Emporia State isn’t much of a team and the Shockers did what they should have done, which is blow out the Hornets in an exhibition game Tuesday night at Koch Arena.
All in all, there were a lot of things I liked about Wichita State’s performance.
* Depth looks like it could be a strong suit again, like it was last season. But most of that depth is in the Shockers’ backcourt, where there appear to be seven able-bodied performers: Joe Ragland, Demetric Williams, David Kyles, Evan Wessel, Ron Baker, Tekele Cotton and senior Toure Murry, who didn’t play against Emporia State because he’s nursing a back injury. I’m assuming WSU coach Gregg Marshall is still planning to red-shirt Baker, a promising freshman from Scott City. But will he put the red-shirt tag on either Wessel or Cotton, too. All three of those guys had some good moments against Emporia State. It definitely bodes well for the Shockers’ future.
* Carl Hall, a 6-foot-8 newcomer on the front line, is an aggressive and energetic player. He had 10 rebounds – seven of them offensive – in only 20 minutes of action. He also made all five of his free-throw attempts, a good sign for a player who likes to bang inside the way Hall does.
* Freshman forward James Anacreon is an athlete. I’m not sure what kind of basketball player he’s going to turn out to be, but he’s an athlete.
* Seven-footer Garrett Stutz played 20 minutes, five-plus more than he averaged last season, and fouled only once. Fouls have plagued Stutz, a senior, during his Shocker career. Against Emporia State, he wasn’t going against anyone taller than 6-6. That won’t be the case when the real season starts. But Stutz has to increase his minutes and the first step toward doing so is cutting down on fouls.
* The Shocker pep band sounded great, as always. But “25 or 6 to 4?” Peter Cetera doesn’t remember that song. Let’s break out a few new songs, can we? Pretty please.
* I liked the seven or so minutes the Shockers played with four perimeter players on the floor to start the second half. We’re going to see that a lot this season because it allows Marshall to do some things with defense and fast breaking. This team’s strength is on the perimeter and Marshall will utilize that. Plus, I think the fans will love it because it’s such a quick, aggressive group.
Thanks for reading, as always. I’ll be back later today to update the blog.