Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall doesn’t hire referees for practices, so those sessions lean heavily toward physical defense and offensive frustration. The scoring came easier at Shocker Madness on Thursday at Koch Arena.
Black defeated Yellow 46-36 in a 30-minute running clock scrimmage, and a crowd of around 3,100 watched several offensive highlights. Both teams shot above 50 percent from the floor and they combined to make 11 of 23 three-pointers, numbers that conjure visions of last season’s offensive efficiency. On Thursday, Marshall liked what he saw from his scorers. When he breaks down film on Friday, he wants to see why his defense gave up so many open shots.
“Some of the guys have really improved their games from one year to the next,” he said. “That’s a good starting point for us in front of a live crowd. We don’t score many baskets in practice. When you practice like we do, when it comes to a game situation it usually comes a little easier.”
Senior forward Carl Hall led all scorers with 18 points for Black, making 7 of 9 shots. He showed off his upgraded scoring range, making two 15-foot jump shots to mix with a variety of post moves. He was the focal point of the offense from the tip, driving past Ehimen Orukpe for a basket and scoring another over Orukpe for a 4-2 lead. Later, he outhustled Orukpe for a rebound and putback to give Black a 17-15 lead. His jumper made it 26-24 and Black led the rest of the way, helped by a Tekele Cotton’s three, for a 29-24 lead, after a steal by Ron Baker.
“I was just trying to show a little of my jump shot and show a little of my driving game,” Hall said.
Orukpe also showed some post scoring, an asset the Shockers will need after losing center Garrett Stutz. Orukpe scored the scrimmage’s first points on a jump hook over Hall. He scored again soon after on a strong move to the basket, in addition to blocking four shots.
“He’s hard to stop when he’s throwing his hook,” Hall said.
Sophomore forward Jake White scored 12 points for Yellow, making 5 of 8 shots. Senior guard Malcolm Armstead added 11 and a game-high three assists. He provided the highlight of the night with a no-look pass to White for a layup.
Evan Wessel scored five points, led all players with four rebounds and had two steals and a blocked shot.
Freshman Derail Green made three three-pointers for Black and scored nine points. Junior forward Cleanthony Early chipped in eight points, making 2 of 3 threes.
“I was nervous, I had butterflies in my stomach,” Green said. “When the ball gets thrown up, everything goes away.”
Women win in the lane — Junior Michelle Price confessed to feeling more excitement than normal for Shocker Madness. She sat out last season with a respiratory ailment after starting most of her sophomore season in 2010-11. She showed no signs of rust in a 41-23 win over the male team of practice players in a 20-minute scrimmage.
“It was my first real kind of game back and I wanted to make a good impression for myself and my team that I haven’t changed my game any,” she said. “I was a little anxious.”
Price, a 6-foot-1 forward from Kingwood, Texas, looked at home scoring in the lane, as did most of the Shocker bigs. She made all four of her shots, all close to the basket, and led her team with eight points. She scored WSU’s first points on a bank shot. She gave WSU a 24-13 lead by sealing off her defender and taking a pass from Kelsey Jacobs for a layup.
Jacobs and Jazimen Gordon also scored six points each, most of them in the lane. The Shockers made 20 of 31 shots, 1 of 8 from three-point range. Jasmine Jones made WSU’s three, scoring five points and handing out two assists. Alex Harden handed out four assists and grabbed three rebounds.
“That’s our main focus, is to get it inside,” Price said. “That’s the first look in our offense.”
Price averaged 6 points and a team-leading 4.9 rebounds as a sophomore. She took medication for her respiratory ailment last year and was prohibited from contact.
“I’m all done with that,” she said. “I’m good to go, 100 percent.”
Worth noting — Early won the dunk contest, judged by volleyball players Jackie Church, Emily Adney and Chelsey Feekin. He sealed it with a between-the-legs, one-handed slam on his final attempt. Nick Wiggins and Tekele Cotton also participated.… Marshall handed out Missouri Valley Conference championship rings to players, coaches and staff members from last season’s team. Former Shocker Toure Murry made a surprise appearance and received his ring at halftime of the men’s scrimmage.… Demetric Williams (ankle), Zach Bush (ankle), Fred VanVleet (ankle) and Chadrack Lufile (shoulder) did not play.