This was supposed to be the time of year for a buzz to develop as the Wichita State women's basketball team nears Missouri Valley Conference play.
After nine games, we were supposed to know about these Shockers. One certainty is that they have talent, which has helped them slip by with a 5-4 record.
Little else is clear. WSU has been inconsistent, and guessing who WSU will play in today's matchup with Texas-Pan American at Koch Arena is impossible.
"We expect things to be given to us," WSU coach Jody Adams said after WSU lost 78-66 to California-Davis on Tuesday. "And right now they've all been taken away."
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There was no shame in losing to UC Davis, the favorite to win the Big West, but the fashion WSU did it in was a concern. It might serve as a wake-up call to the team.
"I think that was probably one of our changing points, it has to be," junior Heather Robben said. "We have to figure it out because if we don't, we're going to have a problem."
Since the loss, the team has had three practices that could help determine which way WSU will go in this crossroads point of the season.
This is where senior leadership would come in handy. However, the Shockers have one player with more than one season of Division I experience.
"I think those who work the hardest are going to be the ones that are most powerful and the driving force of the team," Robben said. "It doesn't matter if you're a freshmen or a senior, you just have to step up."
When it was scheduled, today's game seemed like a simple win for Wichita State. But at this point, especially with UT-Pan American on a three-game winning streak, nothing is a given.
"It's frustrating because we have so much talent and we haven't really done anything with it," Robben said. "We've just been going though the motions and not being disciplined."
Not all is bleak for WSU. The conference season lies ahead.
"We have time, but that time is ticking away," Robben said. "We need to get it figured out before conference starts so we can get out on the right foot."