Two games down, and we’ve seen the good and the bad from Wichita State. It’s mostly good as the 16- and 29-point margins indicate. Injury and suspension force coach Gregg Marshall to play a lot of people in meaningful situations. That should pay off. WSU heads to the Sprint Center for Pitt and either Texas or Iowa.“I want to see what we can do with our full team,” Marshall said. “I’m excited about the challenge. Tonight’s effort probably’ s not good enough to win against Pitt. But we’ve got five more days to improve. Just like Arkansas-Monticello played up, probably, for us, we’ll more than likely play up for Pitt.”* WSU’s defense shows some periods of impressive intensity. Then are some breakdowns, many of which can be attributed to liberal substitutes. It took the Boll Weevils 5:30 to score a field goal in the first half. They scored two points in the first 5:45 of the second half. WSU’s defense slipped when the subs came in. The shot chart says UAM made six layups and three shots in the lane in the second half.“I thought our defense was good at times,” Marshall said. “When they get to the rim a little too easy, or we don’t find our man in transition it’s a concern. But we were pretty good, especially at the beginning of both halves.”* Aaron Ellis played good defense all game. He played a large role in taking UAM out of its offense. Gabe Blair showed scoring skills he did not in the first game.
* Garrett Stutz missed 8 of 10 shots, including two dunks. It’s pretty clear he is more comfortable facing the basket, which isn’t unexpected from a player who grew late. In the post, he isn’t quick enough with his moves to beat the defense many times. That will come with practice. Too bad he missed the dunk off the fastbreak pass from Kenny Manigault. I do give him points for running the floor, catching the pass on the move and almost scoring. A lot of big men can’t get that close. Marshall said several of his players missed easy shots, perhaps the product of them not taking the ball strong enough to the basket.“Eventually, Garrett is going to finish that play,” Marshall said. “When he does, he’s going to bring the roof down.”