▪ Wichita State fully expects to see the Northern Iowa that defeated North Carolina and Iowa State in the McLeod Center tonight.
Those Panthers shot 39.3 percent from three-point range (against Carolina) with six turnovers (Carolina), 59.1 percent from three-point range (Iowa State) and held those two opponents to 8 of 35 three-point shooting.
If those Panthers show up, they are hard to beat.
It is worth noting that, according to kenpom.com, North Carolina and Iowa State are two of the worst teams against the three in the nation. Iowa State’s opponents make 36.1 percent of their threes, last in the 10-team Big 12. North Carolina opponents make 38.2 percent of their threes, No. 13 in the 14-team ACC.
WSU’s perimeter defense has improved over the season. Teams are making 35.1 percent of their threes against the Shockers, 29.8 percent in the past six games.
▪ UNI, according to kenpom.com, plays the slowest tempo in the MVC and turns the ball over the least.
▪ The Panthers trailed Loyola 40-38 on Saturday. It scored three more points on its final 11 possessions.
Loyola did a strong job of disrupting UNI point guard Wes Washpun. The Ramblers are agile enough to switch men on screens, so they always had a fairly mobile player guarding Washpun. In those final 11 possessions, Washpun got to the rim twice, once making a layup against sophomore guard Ben Richardson and once missing an off-balance runner.
WSU’s big men have to work hard and fast to help keep Washpun contained.
▪ Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker lost at the McLeod Center in 2013 and 2015 (although Baker didn’t play in 2013). This is the only MVC arena in which they don’t have a winning record. They are 2-1 at Evansville’s Ford Center.
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Bruce Haertl, Shane Dennis
Radio: KEYN, 103.7-FM