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 States turn on the court, the second seed hosting seventh-seed Illinois State.
Eddie Foglers 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 cant be laid at Cohens feet. Nor Scott Thompsons, nor Randy Smithsons. It was bad decision after bad decision. Recruits that didnt pan out, mind-boggling losses that made the Shockers seem snake-bit. Anything that could go wrong did.
Its telling that three of the four talented players of the decade Jamie Arnold, John Smith and Maurice Evans didnt finish their careers as Shockers. All for different reasons, but indicative of the suffering Shocker fans endured. It was a decade when the Shockers couldnt finish.
|Season||Overall||MVC (Finish)||Coach||Top scorer|
|1989-90||10-19||8-8 (T5th)||Mike Cohen||John Cooper (17.0)|
|1990-91||14-17||7-9 (8th)||Mike Cohen||Paul Guffrovich (15.8)|
|1991-92||8-20||6-12 (T7th)||Mike Cohen||John Smith (12.8)|
|1992-93||10-17||7-11 (T7th)||Scott Thompson||Jimmy Bolden (13.4)|
|1993-94||9-18||6-12 (T7th)||Scott Thompson||Jamie Arnold (11.7)|
|1994-95||13-14||6-12 (8th)||Scott Thompson||L.D. Swanson (14.6)|
|1995-96||8-21||4-14 (T10th)||Scott Thompson||Marvin Hill (13.1)|
|1996-97||14-13||8-10 (7th)||Randy Smithson||Jamie Arnold (15.0)|
|1997-98||16-15||11-7 (3rd)||Randy Smithson||Jason Perez (13.5)|
|1998-99||13-17||6-12 (T8th)||Randy Smithson||Maurice Evans (22.6)|
|Off the bench|