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Shockers back at work

Wichita State practiced Saturday and Sunday, giving coach Gregg Marshall a chance to assess his team’s fitness after a four-day break. Sunday’s practice was a long one, going almost three hours. The Shockers spent a lot of time on individual work to work off any rust from the layoff. Marshall didn’t see any signs of overdosing on food or TV.“Nobody looks to be in that bad of shape,” he said. “We worked them pretty hard for two days and had a long practice today.”

Marshall is optimistic about walk-on Mason Felter gaining academic eligibility for the second semester. Marshall is waiting for paperwork to make it official. "I have not heard officially from anyone, but I've got his grades and he passed what he needed to pass," Marshall said. Felter, a sophomore from Bishop Carroll, could be a useful player. He is in his second year at WSU and third year of college basketball (after one season at a juco), so he’s got some experience and he holds his own in practices. He gives WSU a fifth big man. He is somebody who Marshall might feel comfortable using for the final minutes of a half if foul trouble is an issue with Blair, Stutz, Durley and Ellis. At UMKC, Marshall had to use guard Derek Brown for a few minutes at the power forward spot in a similar fix.Freshman guard Tyler Richardson made it to practice. He missed Saturday’s workout with flight delays.WSU gives up an average of 23 points in the first half and 34 in the second half. Marshall isn’t sure if that’s an oddity or something significant. Some of it could be explained by handing out generous playing time to reserves in the second half. Texas Tech’s 17-point outburst in the final 55 seconds explains some of it. “If it’s that big a discrepancy, I’ve got to look into it,” he said. “I know we’re pretty good in the first half.”Illinois State strikes Marshall as an impressive athletic team, one that can certainly match his team. The Redbirds and 9-2 and seniors Dinma Odiakosa and Osiris Eldridge are hard to match. “As physically a gifted team as we have in our league,” Marshall said. “I’ve said that for three years and they’ve still got the two guys that were the source of that comment.”