Wichita State Shockers

Freshman C.J. Keyser returns to health in time for WSU scrimmage

Gregg Marshall expects all of his players to be healthy enough to participate at Shocker Madness.
Gregg Marshall expects all of his players to be healthy enough to participate at Shocker Madness. The Wichita Eagle

Wednesday’s Wichita State basketball practice ended and then coach Gregg Marshall sent freshman C.J. Keyser back on the court.

Keyser needs to play catch-up on his homework at shooting guard, so he spent a few minutes running offensive sets with four teammates. The good news is Keyser is healthy and back at practice. He plans to compete in the dunk contest and play in the scrimmage at Shocker Madness on Thursday at Koch Arena.

Wichita State University's men's basketball team member C.J. Keyser answers questions about basketball and life away from the court. (video by Jaime Green) October 14, 2016

In fact, all the Shockers are in relatively good health and should participate.

“It looks like everybody will be able to go,” Marshall said. “We had a light practice, did a lot of drill work, very competitive, but no contact.”

It’s been rare this fall when all the Shockers are in action.

Inflammation in his left foot sidelined Keyser until recently. A hip pointer kept Landry Shamet out this week, following a broken nose and concussion that previously limited his work. He will wear a mask until early November to protect the nose. And Austin Reaves’ shoulder, which kept him out most of the summer and for periods this fall, remains a concern. Daishon Smith said he is slowed a bit by a strained groin.

But, everybody played on Wednesday and the trend looks good for Thursday’s hour-and-15-minute practice that will precede Shocker Madness.

Keyser, a 6-foot-4 guard, is the player most affected by injuries. Stress injuries in his right foot benched him all summer.

“He looked really, really lost when he came out in the fall, and then he had another setback,” Marshall said. “Lately, he’s still pretty lost, but he shows that superior athleticism.”

Keyser practiced Tuesday and is optimistic that his left foot is no longer a significant issue.

“I’m back, full contact,” he said. “I got through two full practices. It’s fine.”

Keyser is predicting victory in the dunk contest, which he expects to contest against Kaelen Malone and Eric Hamilton.

“I’m confident,” Keyser said.

Keyser showed off two of possible dunks after practice. He lobbed the ball high in the air, caught it on the bounce and dunked. Then teammate Austin Reaves banked the ball off the backboard for Keyser to grab and slam in the basket.

“I’m just going to go out there and see what stuff feels like,” he said. “I’ll wait to see what my teammates do.”

Keyser turned into a minor Internet sensation last fall when a video of him kissing the rim at Sunrise Christian Academy played on national sport sites. He would not commit to an encore.

“We might see it,” he said. “I can’t give away anything.”

Eagle scribes talk about what they see in the Shockers. (10/13/16)

A look inside Eagle photojournalist's Bo Rader's makeshift photo studio at Koch Arena. Rader photographed all the members of the men's basketball team. (video by Jaime Green) October 13, 2016

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

Shocker Madness

  • 5:30 p.m. – Doors open
  • 6:30 – Introductions of women’s and men’s teams
  • 6:50 – Men’s ring ceremony
  • 7:05 – Three-point contest
  • 7:45 – Dunk contest
  • 8:25 – Women’s scrimmage
  • 8:55 – Men’s scrimmage