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YEAR BY YEAR | ALL-DECADE TEAM 1990s: The decade to forget

  • Published Tuesday, March 4, 2014, at 4:02 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at 1:37 p.m.

The beginning of the fall into the abyss came on March 4, 1989. It was a Saturday night in Levitt Arena, and after a day of hosting quarterfinal games in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, it was Wichita State’s turn on the court, the second seed hosting seventh-seed Illinois State.

Eddie Fogler’s Shockers delivered a clunker, losing 66-61 and killing any NCAA Tournament at-large chances. Two weeks and a 1-1 NIT record later, Fogler left for Vanderbilt but left assistant Mike Cohen.

The next decade – 115-171 record, one MVC top-half finish, no postseason appearances – can’t be laid at Cohen’s feet. Nor Scott Thompson’s, nor Randy Smithson’s. It was bad decision after bad decision. Recruits that didn’t pan out, mind-boggling losses that made the Shockers seem snake-bit. Anything that could go wrong did.

It’s telling that three of the four talented players of the decade – Jamie Arnold, John Smith and Maurice Evans – didn’t finish their careers as Shockers. All for different reasons, but indicative of the suffering Shocker fans endured. It was a decade when the Shockers couldn’t finish.

SeasonOverallMVC (Finish)CoachTop scorer
1989-9010-198-8 (T5th)Mike CohenJohn Cooper (17.0)
1990-9114-177-9 (8th)Mike CohenPaul Guffrovich (15.8)
1991-928-206-12 (T7th)Mike CohenJohn Smith (12.8)
1992-9310-177-11 (T7th)Scott ThompsonJimmy Bolden (13.4)
1993-949-186-12 (T7th)Scott ThompsonJamie Arnold (11.7)
1994-9513-146-12 (8th)Scott ThompsonL.D. Swanson (14.6)
1995-968-214-14 (T10th)Scott ThompsonMarvin Hill (13.1)
1996-9714-138-10 (7th)Randy SmithsonJamie Arnold (15.0)
1997-9816-1511-7 (3rd)Randy SmithsonJason Perez (13.5)
1998-9913-176-12 (T8th)Randy SmithsonMaurice Evans (22.6)

PlayerHt.Pos.
Jamie Arnold6-10C
Larry Callis6-8F
Maurice Evans6-5G
Jason Perez6-4G
L.D. Swanson6-2G
Off the bench
Jimmy Bolden6-3G
Robert George6-0G
Terry Hankton5-11G
Claudius Johnson6-6F
Darin Miller6-9F
John Smith6-8C

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