The Wichita State women’s basketball team could use a jolt to an offense averaging a tick above 50 points in its last six games.
Maybe the answer will come Friday, when more than 9,000 local schoolchildren take a field trip to Koch Arena to watch the Shockers play Northern Colorado in a noon start.
“It will be a constant roar for 40 minutes,” coach Jody Adams said. “One thing that it brings is an unbelievable energy to the environment. We’re looking forward to playing in front of all of the little Shocker fans.”
Something has to change, as the Shockers have seen three pristine defensive performances, where they held Missouri, Richmond and Kansas State to under 50 points, go to waste because of abysmal offense.
In those three games, WSU combined for 32.9 percent field-goal shooting, 23.5 percent three-point shooting and 61.9 percent free-throw shooting.
“It’s our aggressiveness and our mentality,” senior point guard Jessica Diamond said. “A lot of the times we can get the shots we want, it’s just being aggressive and keep attacking. When we attack, we get good things to happen. We can’t settle for outside shots, we’ve got to keep attacking.”
Too often the Shockers don’t get into their sets until under 20 seconds in the shot clock. That has handcuffed WSU and leaves players shooting to beat the shot clock and not from the natural flow of the offense.
Of its 159 baskets this season, 40 percent have been credited with an assist. For reference, that ranks WSU dead last in the Missouri Valley — the other eight teams all sporting at least a 50-percent rate.
“The point-guard position is the tempo-setter of it all,” Adams said. “The person that brings up the ball starts your offense. It’s like the fuel to the fire, the fuel to the engine. Without that fuel, without that tempo-setter, the engine won’t run and the fire doesn’t burn. We’re asking for a change right there.”
Adams is thrilled with how the team has picked up the tweaks made in the defensive philosophy over the offseason. Right now it’s not equating to victories.
Changes are being made, but nothing drastic. The system is place for the Shockers to win, Adams believes, they just have to execute it better.
“We’ve got to get our bounce back to us,” sophomore Alex Harden said. “Once we get steals, we come back bouncy and our offense just flows off of that.”