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Shockers get first taste of Chicago in long time

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, at 6:16 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, March 20, 2014, at 6:22 p.m.


No. 3 Wichita State at Loyola

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Gentile Arena, Chicago

Records: WSU 27-0, 14-0 MVC; LU 9-17, 4-10

Radio: KNSS, 1330-AM

TV: Cox 22

No. 3 Wichita State at Loyola

PWichita St.Ht.Yr.PtsReb
FTekele Cotton6-3Jr.10.14.4
FCleanthony Early6-8Sr.16.26.3
CChadrack Lufile6-9Sr.5.65.1
GRon Baker6-3So.13.43.7
G Fred VanVleet6-1So.11.9x-5.2
FNick Osborne6-8So.5.23.9
FChristian Thomas6-5Jr.13.76.5
GJoe Crisman6-4Jr.4.82.9
GJeff White6-1So.10.2x-3.2
G Milton Doyle6-4Fr.15.84.6


Wichita State (27-0, 14-0 MVC): The Shockers scored 23 points off 18 turnovers in Sunday’s 84-68 win at Evansville. “They beat you up in all those intangible categories,” Loyola coach Porter Moser said. Baker scored a career-high 26 points Sunday, making 10 of 17 shots. WSU is 36-8 on the road since 2010-11, the best mark in the nation. Early led WSU with 23 points, making 4 of 9 threes, in a 57-45 win over Loyola at Koch Arena. WSU outrebounded Loyola 44-28. Neither team shot well — WSU made 19 of 52 shots and Loyola made 18 of 51. This is WSU’s first game in Chicago since a 78-56 win at Chicago State on Dec. 29, 2001.

Loyola (9-17, 4-10): The Ramblers are 8-4 at home and 4-3 in home MVC games. They shot 50 percent or better from the field in five of the seven MVC games, including making 31 of 51 (60.8 percent) in an 89-57 win over Missouri State. In those seven MVC games, they are 55 of 132 (41.6 percent) from three-point range. Doyle was Loyola’s only scorer in double figures in the first meeting. He made 7 of 15 shots to score 16 points in 39 minutes. Loyola’s other starters (Cody Johnson, Crisman, White and Thomas) combined to score 14 points on 5-of-20 shooting.

RPIs as of Tuesday: WSU 7, Loyola 285.

Together again

The Shockers and Ramblers played twice a season from 1964-74, filling out the schedule as if conference opponents. The rivalry hit its peak in the 1960s, when one of the two was ranked seven times. In 1963 and 1964, three matchups featured two top 10 teams. WSU leads the series 19-9.

Some highlights from the rivalry:

•  In 1963, the eighth-ranked Shockers defeated the eventual NCAA champions 73-72 at Chicago Stadium in their lone meeting. Dave Stallworth scored 28 points and The Eagle reported some of the crowd of 19,000 stormed the court in anger and had to be subdued by guards. Leonard Kelley and Ernie Moore made four free throws in the final 1:50.

“We go into Chicago Stadium and nobody thought we had a chance,” Kelley said. “They were a real fast-breaking, kind of a wild, team and nobody thought we could run with them. (Coach) Ralph Miller, he figured out a way to beat them.”

No. 3 Loyola’s Jerry Harkness scored 17 points. The Ramblers (24-2) didn’t lose again, defeating Cincinnati in the NCAA championship. The Shockers (19-7) earned the No. 1 seed in the NIT. The game opened a doubleheader with Bradley and Notre Dame.

•  In 1964, Stallworth scored 29 points in an 80-76 win in front of 17,500 fans at Chicago Stadium. The eighth-ranked Shockers made 12 straight free throws, six by Kelly Pete, late in the game. Two weeks later, the Shockers won 65-60 in Wichita with guard Ernie Moore scoring 24 points. Les Hunter scored 23 points for Loyola.

•  Loyola ended its skid in the series with a 93-92 overtime win at Chicago Stadium in 1965. Tom Markey’s follow shot with two seconds remaining gave the Ramblers the win, spoiling a 45-point night by Stallworth for the third-ranked Shockers. In the rematch in Wichita, Jamie Thompson scored 25 points in an 80-77 win.

•  WSU’s Warren Armstrong recorded one of his four triple-doubles in a 95-92 win in 1968 in Wichita. He recorded 19 points, 19 rebounds and 12 assists. Ron Washington’s layup with 15 seconds to play gave the Shockers the lead.

•  WSU’s Terry Benton grabbed 28 rebounds, then most in school history, in an 82-74 win in Wichita in 1971. He scored 23 points, one of six career 20-20 games for Benton.

— Loyola is new to the Missouri Valley Conference and new to most Wichita State fans. The third-ranked Shockers play in Chicago on Wednesday in a game expected to hand them a share of the Missouri Valley Conference title with little trouble.

WSU is on track for an unbeaten season and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Loyola is trying to escape the cellar of the MVC.

Those who grew up in the Dave Stallworth era, however, remember a different tone to the rivalry. The teams were national powers when they first met in 1963 at Chicago Stadium, starting a series that lasted until 1976.

“This brings back good memories,” said former Shocker Art Louvar, who grew up near Chicago. “I was always pumped to play in those games. To play in those doubleheaders, to play in Chicago Stadium, that was a big deal.”

WSU (27-0, 14-0 MVC) can clinch at least a share of its eighth MVC title at Loyola (9-17, 4-10) on Wednesday at Gentile Arena. The Shockers lead second-place Indiana State, which plays Evansville on Wednesday, by three games with four to play.

The Shockers and Ramblers didn’t play as conference opponents in the 1960s and 1970s, yet they met twice a season from 1964-74. The series peaked early. The Shockers handed Loyola one of two losses during its 1963 NCAA championship season. In 1963-64, both teams were ranked in the top 10 when they played. In 1964-65, the Ramblers split the series with a Shocker team headed to the Final Four.

Befitting games of that stature, they often played at Chicago Stadium as part of marquee doubleheaders. In 1963, Bradley played Notre Dame after the Ramblers-Shockers game. In 1965, Iowa upset No. 1 UCLA. On New Year’s Eve 1968, No. 4 Kentucky played Wisconsin.

“I remember eating pre-game meal and seeing (Kentucky coach) Adolph Rupp for the first time,” former Shocker Ron Mendell said. “Those were big-time, marquee doubleheaders.”

With that regular presence in Chicago, the Shockers began recruiting players from the area. Louvar, from Morton West High in Berwyn, Ill., remembers the excitement of getting a recruiting letter from Shocker assistant Ron Heller. Louvar grew up listening to the Ramblers on the radio and watched Stallworth score 28 points in the 1963 game.

“That was a big recruiting tool,” Louvar said. “Ron Heller recruited that area pretty heavily.”

Greg Carney, from Mount Carmel High, joined WSU in 1967 and ranks 10 on the program’s career scoring list with 1,545 points. Parker High’s Ron Washington, who averages 14.7 points in his career, came to WSU in 1965. Greg Rataj, Bill Lang and Steve Kalocinski joined the Shockers in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

It will take several years for Loyola-WSU to generate that kind of interest in the current era. The Ramblers are rebuilding their program under second-year coach Porter Moser, trying to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1985. His team shoots the ball reasonably well (46.4 percent in MVC games) and defends effectively (allowing 43.3 percent).

Turnovers and rebounding, however, are a problem. The Ramblers rank last in the MVC in turnover margin at minus-2.86 and their average of 13.3 turnovers in conference games ranks ninth. Four times they committed 17 or more turnovers and lost all four.

“I use (WSU guard) Fred VanVleet’s name a lot,” Moser said. “You can’t put a price tag on valuing the ball.”

The Ramblers lost to WSU 57-45 at Koch Arena after cutting a 22-point deficit to nine in the second half. Freshman guard Milton Doyle scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half to help the Ramblers make the Shockers work harder than expected late in the game.

“Doyle really played well at the end of the game.” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “He was very aggressive driving the lane. He comes right at you. You've got to be ready to guard at the point of attack.”

Moser watched the Shockers defeat Evansville 84-68 on Sunday and thought the Aces played hard and benefited from a revved-up crowd. It still wasn’t enough. He won’t waste time trying to convince his players that they are a better team than the Shockers.

“It’s not an NBA best-of-7 series,” Moser said. “It’s one night. We need to be better than them in a two-hour period.”

VanVleet on the ballot — VanVleet, WSU’s sophomore guard, is one of 23 finalists for the Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Fans can vote for VanVleet at www.cousyaward.com until March 10. The field will be cut to five players with the winner announced April 7 at the Final Four.

VanVleet, from Rockford, Ill., averages 11.7 points and 5.2 assists. He is also on the watch list for the Oscar Robertson Trophy, as is teammate Cleanthony Early. That trophy is awarded to the player of the year and selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Time set for senior day — WSU’s March 1 game against Missouri State will tip at 1 p.m. at Koch Arena. ESPN will decide on the network (ESPN or ESPN2) after WSU’s Feb. 25 game at Bradley.

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

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