Tuesday’s box score
Wichita St. 53, VCU 51
Percentages: FG .351, FT .625. 3-Point Goals: 3-19, .158 (Baker 2-7, Wessel 1-3, Cotton 0-1, Early 0-4, Armstead 0-4). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 7 (Hall 3, Early 2, Orukpe 2). Turnovers: 13 (Early 3, Armstead 3, Van Vleet 3, Baker, Williams, Orukpe, Wessel). Steals: 8 (Armstead 4, Williams 2, Baker, Van Vleet). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .347, FT .522. 3-Point Goals: 5-14, .357 (Theus 2-4, Daniels 2-4, Graham 1-2, Johnson 0-1, Weber 0-1, Brandenberg 0-2). Team Rebounds: 6. Blocked Shots: 2 (Haley, Reddic). Turnovers: 15 (Weber 4, Reddic 4, Theus 3, Graham 2, Guest). Steals: 9 (Theus 2, Daniels 2, Reddic 2, Brandenberg, Guest, Johnson). Technical Fouls: None.
Att.–7,693. Officials–Scott Thornley, Randy Heimerman, Jeff Campbell.
Just the fax
Wichita State should receive letters of intent from four athletes beginning Wednesday, first day of the signing period.
Quakerdale (Iowa) Prep’s Teddy Hawkins is not one of those athletes. Hawkins, a forward from Dayton, Ohio, reopened his recruiting recently and will not sign with WSU, Quakerdale coach Brad Matney cofirmed on Monday. Hawkins signed with WSU a year ago and went to Quakerdale, with WSU’s help, to improve his academics to reach NCAA eligibility. Soon after arriving at the Iowa school, he affirmed his desire to stick with the Shockers. Then he changed his mind.
Indications are WSU coaches are not inclined to spend time re-recruiting Hawkins. He has taken unofficial visits to Iowa State and Ohio State and also received interest from Colorado State and Nebraska.
WSU is expecting signatures from Oldsmar (Fla.) Christian guard D.J. Bowles, Edmond (Okla.) Memorial center Shaq Morris, South View (N.C.) guard Rian (ree-AHN) Holland and Chipola (Fla.) College forward Earl Watson. Holland visited WSU last weekend and watched the game against North Carolina Central.
“Everybody is so friendly,” he said.
Senior Carl Hall chose WSU over VCU, a recruiting battle Rams fans haven’t gotten over.
They chanted “traitor” at Hall during March’s NCAA Tournament game. On Tuesday, a fan in the student section held up a sign calling for boos when Hall touched the ball. He renewed the traitor theme on the other side of the sign.
The chants hit their peak late in the game when Hall went to the line.
“I wasn’t worried about it,” he said. “I was just trying to keep playing through it.”
The main actors don’t seem to harbor the same ill will. Hall hugged VCU assistant coach Will Wade and chatted with him during warmups.
Two years ago, the WSU side believed it got the wrong end of a foul call that gave VCU’s Joey Rodriguez the winning free throws. This time, it’s VCU fans who griped at the buzzer.
Juvonte Reddic’s last-second shot bounced on the rim, after he drew a foul. WSU’s Cleanthony Early rose to rebound, coming dangerously close to goal-tending, it appeared.
Early said he didn’t touch it on the rim.
“It hit the front of the rim,” he said. “Then I’m coming for the rebound and it just hit my hand and it bounced back onto the rim. It was off the rim and back to me.”
VCU coach Shaka Smart said officials told him the play could not be reviewed.
“Games like this don’t come down to one play,” he said. “Was it goal-tending? I’ll have to look back at the tape.”
One big grab
WSU’s late heroics teetered on the edge with a 47-45 lead. Guard Malcolm Armstead lost the ball while trying to pass and it bounced free.
Then Hall grabbed the ball and tore it away from the Rams. That possession ended with a dunk for Early and a 49-45 lead with a minute remaining.
“We had lost it right in front of our bench, and then I see Carl coming, and those big hands, and he just corralled that basketball,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “Two passes or so and we found Cle on the weak side.”
Reversing the ball got Early a clear lane to the basket.
“They found me right in the corner, and I felt like it was time to take down the right,” he said.
Former Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy coach Fletcher Arritt watched WSU’s morning shootaround. Arritt, who coached seven NBA players in 42 seasons at the prep school, coached WSU player development manager Devon Smith.… WSU matched VCU 38-all on the boards after getting out-rebounded in the previous two meetings.… WSU outscored VCU 30-12 in the lane and 11-5 on second-chance points.… Smart did not think guard Troy Daniels would miss much action after injuring his right ankle late in the game. VCU plays Saturday at Winthrop.
— Paul Suellentrop