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The Valley's exhibition season

Wichita State’s men’s basketball team returned from Brazil today. I’m sure they were thrilled to get home and get in bed. They left Brazil on Wednesday evening around 9 and got into Wichita around 11:30. That’s a long flight for a lot of big guys.

What did WSU get out of the five games and 10-plus practices? We won’t know for sure until they start playing games, but it seems certain the Shockers made progress. Maybe it shows up in November and December against a tough schedule, or maybe it doesn’t show up until March in the MVC Tournament. We don’t know, but all that extra time should benefit players such as Carl Harl, Ehimen Orukpe and other unknowns.“Defensively, as a team, our younger players stepped up and played big-time roles in the game for them just getting here,” senior David Kyles said. “I was real proud of them all week.”Coach Gregg Marshall played his newcomers (and Orukpe) often during the tour. In one game, he sat his returners and let the reserves play.“We’ll know more in October and November,” he said. “There were some moments when guys really bonded. You have to grow closer together, because you have to be together. It was really good in a lot of regards.”WSU isn’t the only MVC team that traveled this summer.

Creighton won four games in the Bahamas. Freshman Avery Dingman scored 24 points in Tuesday’s win. Doug McDermott scored 26 in a win Monday. McDermott averaged 24.3 points (playing just 21 minutes a game). The Jays got good contributions from several freshmen. Dingman averaged 9.0 points and 5.0 rebounds, making 7 of 19 threes. Center Will Artino (a redshirt) averaged 10.3 points and 11.0 rebounds. Guard Austin Chatman led the team with 30 assists (10 turnovers). Center Geoffrey Groselle averaged 7.5 rebounds. Junior Grant Gibbs, a transfer from Gonzaga, had 17 assists and three turnovers. Sophomore Jahenns Manigat made 6 of 13 threes. Creighton played without center Gregory Echenique, who is with the Venezuelan National team.Illinois State went 2-2 in Canada. The big news seems to be the scoring of guard Tyler Brown, a juco transfer who also considered WSU. Brown averaged 11.5 points with high games of 19 and 16. He wrapped up the trip by making 5 of 6 threes in a win. Jackie Carmichael had games of 22, 18 and 11.Northern Iowa went 5-0 in Brazil. Coach Ben Jacobson mentioned freshmen Nate Buss and Deon Mitchell played well on the trip. UNI and WSU did not play common opponents.Drake is three games into a tour of Australia and New Zealand. Sophomore Rayvonte Rice is averaging 18.7 points. Redshirt freshman Jeremy Jeffers is averaging 10.7 points.