Up until recently, nobody described Wichita State center Garrett Stutz as bouncy.
Now, that is just one of the glowing descriptions his play produces. Stutz scored 10 points and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds in WSU's 87-52 win over Alcorn State on Monday at Koch Arena.
Stutz, a 7-foot sophomore, has always been a skilled scorer. In the past three games, he seemed to magically add touches of quickness that make him much more productive. He scored in double figures for the third straight game and doubled his previous rebound high.
"Some of the plodding, if you will, is less evident," coach Gregg Marshall said. "He's quicker. He's moving better. He's going and getting balls now. He's more of a factor on blocking shots."
Of course, there's nothing magical about it. He is a year older and spent much of that year lifting weights and working to get stronger and more agile. The recent trend indicates that work is paying off big.
"We did a lot of extra leg sessions," Stutz said. "It's all kind of coming back to me. Everything is catching up."
Stutz was one of five Shockers in double figures as they recorded their highest point total of Marshall's three seasons.
WSU (5-1) started to pull itself out of the muck in the final minutes of a sloppy first half. The Shockers led 22-14 with 8:48 remaining. An 11-1 run put the game out of reach and WSU led 42-24 at halftime.
That didn't mean Marshall was pleased. The teams combined for 27 turnovers and 20 fouls in the first half and the Shockers did their part. Some letdown was expected after last week's busy schedule and wins over Iowa and Cleveland State.
"Our energy wasn't where it needed to be in the first half," Stutz said. "But we picked it up and we played good enough."
The Shockers started the second half by scoring eight straight points. They didn't allow Alcorn State (0-9) to score until 15:41 remained in the game.
That cushion gave Marshall plenty of time to play his bench. No starter played more than 27 minutes.
"We got to play a lot of guys, and it was a workmanlike 35-point win," he said.
Aaron Ellis led WSU with 14 points, his first game in double figures since he scored 10 in the opener. Toure Murry scored 13. David Kyles added 11 off the bench after totaling two in the past three games. Gabe Blair scored 12 off the bench.
Marshall continued his search for a backup point guard by playing Demetric Williams a season-high 18 minutes and Kenny Manigault 12. They combined for five assists and one turnover, which is a good start for Marshall.
"That's a big thing we're trying to do, is establish who that guy is going to be," Marshall said. "In the second half, I thought they were better. We didn't ask them to do too much. It wasn't very complicated."
JaMarkus Holt led the Braves with 13 points. Alcorn State committed 28 turnovers, leading to 36 points for the Shockers.