▪ The Shockers are playing against their own brains.
Their road trip, which are usually about 30 hours, extended from Friday evening through tonight’s game. They bused from Normal, Ill., to Evansville on Monday and practiced at Evansville’s on-campus gym Monday night.
Combine that with an 8 p.m. Tuesday start and a slumping home team and I’m not expecting a packed house.
So the Shockers might be a little tired and out of their routine. They can’t count on drawing energy from the crowd.
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▪ Southern Illinois played some triangle-and-two defense in Saturday’s win over the Aces. I don’t expect Wichita State to follow suit, but the tactic tells you how important it is to defend Aces guards Ryan Taylor and Jaylon Brown.
It also demonstrates that the Aces aren’t much of a threat at other positions.
Teams sag off guards Dru Smith and Duane Gibson. Evansville’s big men score little.
The Aces also don’t score often in transtion — 19.2 percent of their points, according to hoop-math.com — to rank No. 235 in the nation.
▪ With an offense reliant on Brown and Taylor, the Aces rank last in the MVC with an offensive efficiency of .897 points per possession in conference games.
They also rank last in effective field goal percentage at 41.8. Evansville commits turnovers on 20.3 percent of its possesions in MVC games, ninth-most in the conference.
This should be a game where WSU’s defense gets well.
▪ The Aces depend on a half-court defense that keeps teams out the lane — they don’t block shots — and from running.
If the Shockers can turn those turnovers and rebounds into fast breaks, it will help their offense greatly. They don’t want to spend 25 seconds of the shot clock working against a set Aces defense.
- When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
- Where: Ford Center, Evansville, Ind.
- Records: WSU 15-4, 5-1 MVC; UE 10-9, 1-5
- Radio: 103.7-FM
- TV: CBSSN
- U-Verse (643), Cox (260), DirecTV (221),
- DISH (158), SKT Communications (58)
Wichita State at Evansville
Wichita State (15-4, 5-1 MVC): WSU, coming off Saturday’s loss at Illinois State, hasn’t lost consecutive MVC games since 2013. … WSU leads the MVC by scoring 83.2 points in six conference games. It allows 70, which is fifth. MVC opponents are 52 of 142 (36.6 percent) from three-point range against WSU, also fifth in the conference.
Evansville (10-9, 1-5): Evansville’s defense remains solid during its slumping start to the Valley season. The Aces are holding Valley opponents to 41.2 percent shooting and an MVC-best 31.6 percent from three-point range. … G Dru Smith averages 4.6 points off the bench and his 36 assists are third on the team. … The Aces lost 73-61 to Southern Illinois on Saturday at home after committing 19 turnovers.
RPI rank as of Tuesday: WSU 83, UE 202