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Wichita State starters get extra rest after win

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at 11:39 a.m.
  • Updated Saturday, March 15, 2014, at 9:53 p.m.

Photos

Wichita State-Missouri State recap (Jan. 11, 2014)

Bob Lutz and Paul Suellentrop give a recap of the Shockers 72-69 overtime win against Missouri State Saturday.

AP Top 25

The top 25 teams in The Associated Press’ college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Jan. 12, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and last week’s ranking:

Team (first-place votes) Record Pts Prv
1. Arizona (61)17-01,6211
2. Syracuse (4)16-01,5602
3. Wisconsin16-01,4824
4. Michigan State15-11,4425
5. Wichita State17-01,3006
6. Villanova15-11,2898
7. Florida13-21,20510
8. Iowa State14-11,0489
9. Oklahoma State14-21,04611
10. San Diego State14-11,02013
11. Ohio State15-29793
12. Baylor13-29527
13. Kentucky12-391214
14. Iowa14-383120
15. Kansas11-468618
16. Massachusetts14-157919
17. Memphis12-353624
18. Louisville14-352512
19. Cincinnati15-2405
20. Creighton14-2329
21. Colorado14-332815
22. Pittsburgh15-1299
23. Duke12-419316
24. Saint Louis15-2148
25. (tie) Oklahoma13-3103
25. (tie) UCLA13-3103

Others receiving votes: Missouri 42, Oregon 39, Connecticut 35, Kansas State 25, Gonzaga 17, Michigan 11, California 10, Virginia 6, Louisiana Tech 5, Harvard 3, Illinois 3, New Mexico 3, Xavier 3, George Washington 2.

Greatest Valley comebacks

28 — New Mexico State at Bradley, 1977, won 117-109

23 — Missouri State vs. Southern Illinois, 2005, won 65-61

23 — Evansville vs. Bradley, 2001, won 70-67, OT

21 — Illinois State vs. Butler, 1989, won 67-59, OT

21 — Indiana State vs. Wichita State, 2008, won 83-73, OT

19 — Wichita State at Missouri State, 2014, won 72-69, OT

19 — Creighton vs. Wichita State, 2006, won 57-55

19 — Drake vs. Evansville, 2005, won 76-72, OT

Bradley at

No. 5 Wichita State

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Koch Arena

Records: BU 6-11, 1-3 MVC, WSU 17-0, 4-0

Radio: KNSS, 1330-AM

TV: Cox 22

More minutes in games means fewer minutes in practice for Wichita State’s starters.

Coach Gregg Marshall is watching the wear and tear on his starters and has already begun cutting back on practice demands, a routine that normally waits until later in the season. This season, WSU’s starters are playing more than in recent seasons. Ron Baker, Fred VanVleet and Tekele Cotton average 30 or more minutes.

Saturday at Missouri State, that trio played 40 or more minutes in an overtime win. Cleanthony Early played 38.

WSU, which moved up to No. 5 in the Associated Press poll on Monday, faces a quick turnaround for Tuesday’s game against Bradley (6-11, 1-3 Missouri Valley Conference) at Koch Arena. Sunday, the Shockers (17-0, 4-0) practiced and the starters took it easy. On Monday, they watched film of Bradley and practiced for about 90 minutes

“The guys that played 40-plus minutes didn’t do anything physically (Sunday),” Marshall said. “They had a day off, basically, except for working their minds.”

Injuries, fatigue, depth. It is all a concern. WSU recently added Sky Williams as a practice player to give coaches enough bodies.

“We’ve got to get to the games,” Marshall said.

The games come quickly in January and February with two each week. In December, WSU enjoyed a six-day break. With lighter action in practice, paying attention to the scouting report becomes more important.

“You’ve got to pay attention to detail,” Baker said. “The past couple games have been two days in between. Usually one of those days is light and the next day is focus on the next opponent. That’s our biggest thing, is trying to get fresh before the next game and mentally being prepared.”

In Marshall’s previous six seasons, five players averaged 30 or more minutes — Toure Murry and Clevin Hannah in 2009-10 and P.J. Couisnard, Matt Braeuer and Gal Mekel in 2007-08. With this season’s reserves struggling to score, Marshall’s reliance and trust in his starters is at a high point. In MVC games, Early is also averaging 30-plus minutes.

“You feel it, but at the same time, this is what you’re here for and what you work for,” Early said. “This is a time where you’ve got to start paying attention to certain things, make sure your body is fresh.”

Baker scored 15 points at Missouri State and made 3 of 5 three-pointers. In his past two games, he is 6 of 11 from behind the arc and displaying the quick bounce on his jumper that he had before a left ankle sprain in mid-December.

“Getting better every week,” he said. “I felt pretty refreshed against Missouri State, as far as my jump shot. It’s starting to get back to normal.”

The Shockers have every reason to feel rejuvenated after Saturday’s 19-point rally to beat Missouri State 72-69 in overtime in front of 10,776 fans at JQH Arena. Down 54-35 with 11:48 to play, they executed almost perfectly to tie the game 64-all to force overtime. Marshall watched the game three times to prepare teaching points for Bradley.

“It’s still somewhat amazing that we were able to win that one,” Marshall said. “We made some big plays and our pressure defense really helped us. It was a really gutty second half. We’re going to be in those type of games everywhere we go, and there’s going to be a potential court-storming.”

Wichita State is also back in the top five of the AP rankings for the first time since the 1981-82 season.

The Shockers moved up one spot to No. 5 in Monday’s poll of writers and broadcasters. WSU (17-0) is one of four unbeaten teams remaining in NCAA Division I. WSU received 1,300 points in the poll and replaced Ohio State, which dropped to No. 11 after losing to Michigan State and Iowa last week.

WSU is also No. 5 in the coaches poll administered by USA Today.

Wichita State was last in the top five when it ranked No. 2 in the Dec. 29, 1981 poll. The last Missouri Valley Conference team, other than WSU, to reach the top 5, was Indiana State, which spent four weeks at No. 1 in 1979.

Reach Paul Suellentrop at 316-269-6760 or psuellentrop@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @paulsuellentrop.

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