2010s: Already the Shockers’ greatest decade

03/04/2014 4:05 PM

08/06/2014 10:09 AM

By Gregg Marshall’s third season, an identity was being built with Shocker basketball. Tough, tenacious defense. Winning the rebound battle nearly every single game. Enough offense to win, but spread around so much that no one player could be keyed on by opponents.

It has led to many memorable moments, most of them in the postseason. In 2011, the Shockers’ second straight NIT visit turned into a Garden party – five straight wins for the program’s first NIT championship, beating Washington State in the semifinals and Alabama in the Madison Square Garden final.

A Valley championship in 2012 led to a disappointing NCAA loss to VCU in the second round, but the postseason experience helped a year later. The Shockers peaked at the start of the postseason, getting Ron Baker back from injury, and rattled off four unlikely NCAA Tournament victories: Pittsburgh, Gonzaga (the No. 1 overall seed), La Salle and 2-seed Ohio State. Wichita State, a No. 9 seed, was in the Final Four for the first time in 48 years.

Even a loss to eventual-champion Louisville — a game WSU led by 12 points with 10 minutes to play — didn’t dampen the spirit of the program’s most successful season.

This month, WSU will be in its fifth consecutive postseason tournament (first time since 1962-66) and its third consecutive NCAA Tournament (a first).

Season Overall MVC (Finish) Coach Top scorer
2009-10 25-10** 12-6 (2nd) Gregg Marshall Clevin Hannah (12.0)
2010-11 29-8** 14-4 (2nd) Gregg Marshall J.T. Durley (11.2)
2011-12 27-6* 16-2 (1st) Gregg Marshall Joe Ragland (13.4)
2012-13 30-9* 12-6 (2nd) Gregg Marshall Cleanthony Early (13.9)

* — NCAA Tournament; ** – National Invitation Tournament

Player Ht. Pos.
Cleanthony Early 6-8 F
Carl Hall 6-8 F
Toure Murry 6-4 G
Garrett Stutz 7-0 C
Fred VanVleet 5-11 G
Off the bench
Malcolm Armstead 6-0 G
Ron Baker 6-3 G
Gabe Blair 6-8 F
Tekele Cotton 6-2 G
J.T. Durley 6-7 F
Graham Hatch 6-4 F
Joe Ragland 6-0 G
Ben Smith 6-5 G
Demetric Williams 6-2 G

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