SPRINGFIELD, Mo. —Northwest Florida State College's Carl Hall calls his fainting spell during a game last month a little incident.
He is confident it won't be more than that, now that he takes medicine for heart arrhythmia, an irregular heart beat that can be common and harmless. Hall, who signed with Wichita State's men's basketball team in November, said the condition won't be a problem.
"I'm good now," he said. "I've been playing a lot of basketball and I feel good."
WSU coach Gregg Marshall is also confident Hall is healthy. He underwent numerous tests after collapsing on Jan. 19. He did not lose consciousness and watched the remainder of the game from the bench. When he returned two games later, he played well enough to win Panhandle Conference Player of the Year honors.
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"I've been told he tested out and everything is good," Marshall said.
WSU fans hoped to watch Hall, a 6-foot-8, 235-pound forward, in the NJCAA Tournament in Hutchinson next month. Northwest, however, failed to make the state playoffs and finished the season 22-6. Hall blames his absence for three losses.
"I hated for it to end that way," he said. "We would have been the No. 1 team in the panhandle without those three losses."
Hall is preparing for WSU by watching the Shockers on TV when he can.
"I like the fact that they play inside-out," he said. "(WSU) throws the ball down low to Aaron Ellis and the other big guys. That gives them a chance to score and make plays. I feel like I can step in and do that."
Hall, who said he wants to play at 250 pounds next season, knows the Shockers need him to contribute significantly next season. Ellis, Gabe Blair and J.T. Durley will be gone. Hall's rebounding and defense is a must.
"I love to rebound and block shots," he said. "I take pride in defense."
He averaged 17.6 points and 9.6 rebounds, making 59 percent of his shots. He won't be one of those big men who wanders out to the three-point line.
"I can score around the basket," he said. "I love my hook shot. I've been doing it since I was young, when I thought I was going to be short. You can't block a hook shot."
Write stuff — WSU golfer Calvin Pearson muddled through an average fall, never finishing higher than a tie for 24th.
The spring is starting in a much different manner.
Pearson shot an opening-round 5-under-67 on his way to finishing in a tie for second in the 15-team Rice Intercollegiate last week. WSU finished third and Pearson's 210 is tied for the third-best score in the 11-year history of the tournament.
"I didn't feel bad about any part of my game," Pearson said.
Pearson wasn't so confident in the fall. That's understandable for the freshman from South Africa. He came to the United States for the first time when he started school. All of sudden, he was on his own and responsible for school, golf and everything else.
"I didn't really know how to manage my time very well," he said. "I'm managing my time better this semester."
He shot some good rounds in the fall, but couldn't put together a complete tournament.
"I was trying a bit too hard," he said. "Now that I've played in a few tournaments, I'm a bit more relaxed."
Pearson went home over Christmas break. He played a lot of golf because it's summer in South Africa. Garth, his father, is a golfer and helped him with his game.
"He's always been my swing coach," Calvin Pearson said. "We just tidied up a few flaws."
Pearson also worked on his mental game. He read a book called "Your 15th Club: The Inner Secret to Great Golf" by Bob Rotella. Following the book's advice, Pearson wrote down all his good shots during the tournament in Houston.
"It really helps you forget the bad ones," he said.
WSU continues its spring season Monday and Tuesday in the Del Walker Intercollegiate in Long Beach, Calif.
Volleyball in the spring — WSU will not hold a spring volleyball tournament at Koch Arena. Coach Chris Lamb said he couldn't find teams interested in the available dates.
"We weren't getting a lot of love from people coming here," he said.
WSU will travel to Houston, an annual stop, on March 26 to play in a multi-team tournament. It plays Nebraska in Grand Island, Neb., on April 9. The Shockers travel to Kansas City on April 16 to play Kansas State, and perhaps others, at a location to be determined. On April 23, WSU plays Oklahoma and Texas-Arlington in Norman.
The Shockers start practice in mid-March. Individual drills started last month.
Plenty available — St. Louis box-office and TicketMaster sales are up 30 percent for the MVC Tournament. School sales are down to 5,169 all-session passes from 6,335 in 2010.
The big issue in St. Louis will be walk-up crowds at the Scottrade Center.
Southern Illinois, Illinois State and Bradley will play Thursday in the play-in round. Bad teams don't sell many tickets to their fans and two of those three could be eliminated on the first day. Those three schools are within 180 miles of St. Louis and traditionally fill a lot of seats. SIU is the closest MVC school to St. Louis at 101 miles.
Don't expect large turnouts from those three this week. Will fans from Indiana State (170 miles) and Missouri State (212) pick up the slack?
As of mid-February, Wichita State led the school sales with 1,688 all-session passes sold. Creighton was next at 950, followed by Northern Iowa (583), Illinois State (575), Missouri State (500), SIU (333), Bradley (275), Indiana State (145), Evansville (120) and Drake (100).