Wichita State Shockers

WSU notes: Illinois point guard plays like somebody you know

Fred VanVleet, a traditional point guard, finished as WSU’s career leader in assists, played on teams that won nine NCAA Tournament games. The Shockers are recruiting another Illinois point guard.
Fred VanVleet, a traditional point guard, finished as WSU’s career leader in assists, played on teams that won nine NCAA Tournament games. The Shockers are recruiting another Illinois point guard. The Wichita Eagle

This description of guard Xavier Castaneda should remind Wichita State fans of someone, even before his home-state is revealed.

“He is a legitimate, traditional point guard,” coach Tyrone Slaughter said. “He’s in complete control. He knows what’s right; he knows what’s wrong.”

If that calls up memories of another Illinois point guard, raise your hand. Castaneda, a senior at Chicago’s Whitney Young Magnet High, hears comparisons to former Shocker Fred VanVleet, a master at controlling the pace and using ball screens.

Castaneda (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) said he will visit Wichita State the week of Sept. 18.

“With them having Fred VanVleet … that’s my style of play,” Castaneda said. “I’m very familiar with him and his game, coming off ball screens, running the offense and getting his team involved.”

Whitney Young won Illinois’ Class 4A title in March with Castaneda scoring eight points and handing out nine assists.

“He has won, literally, at every level he’s played,” said Slaughter, who coaches Whitney Young and Meanstreets summer program. “He wants to be in a place where he can win.”

Castaneda said he is visiting South Florida on Sept. 1 and Kent State on Sept. 8.

“(WSU) coaches have been talking to me since the AAU season and they’ve always been very positive,” he said.

Pomeroy on home cooking — College basketball stats guru Ken Pomeroy ranks Wichita State’s Koch Arena No. 62 for its home-court advantage, with a points-edge of 3.7 points a game (3.5 is average).

Pomeroy admits the 1-351 rankings are imperfect and mostly useful for conversation. He told the Kansas City Star that Gonzaga’s rank of No. 224 may be so low because of the many blowouts it registers.

That could also apply to WSU over its past 50 home and road conference games.

WSU ranks sixth in the Missouri Valley Conference and no Shocker fan will accept falling in behind Evansville, Missouri State and Drake. Perhaps it’s easier to accept if fans think about it as a measure of how much better teams play at home than on the road.

Mystified Shocker fans can find comfort with their Jayhawk buddies — Pomeroy ranks Allen Fieldhouse No. 31 (3.9), which is sixth in the Big 12.

“The result is that determining which team has the best home-court advantage is impossible with any degree of certainty,” Pomeroy wrote. “Even distinguishing between the 10th-best and 60th-best home-court advantage is on shaky ground. It’s probably best to think of home-court rankings in groups of three. Teams rated in the top-third probably have an above-average home-court advantage and teams in bottom-third probably have a below average home-court advantage.”

Pomeroy found that foul calls provide a significant part of home-court advantage. Elevation is also a factor, as are non-steal turnovers and blocks.

No. 14 Memphis leads the American with a points-edge of 4.1.

American way — Wichita State’s women’s tennis team opens the season on Sept. 21 in the Mizzou Invitational.

The American does not play a round robin schedule and the Shockers will play three AAC opponents — Tulsa, SMU and Central Florida —before the conference tournament on April 18-21 in Dallas.

Worth noting — Monday’s silent auction at the Grier Jones Men’s Golf Fundraiser includes a signed Ron Baker jersey and basketball and a signed Gregg Marshall basketball. The auction begins around 5 p.m. at Willowbend Golf Club after completion of the four-person scramble. … Former WSU men’s basketball walk-on Jared Walker will play for NAIA Clarke (Iowa) University, according to the program’s Twitter account. Walker, from Dubuque, Iowa, played in 11 games in 2014-15 for the Shockers… Friday’s first day of American Athletic Conference volleyball featured a 5-9 record and a loss by Memphis to Bradley. … Shocker softball assistant coach Elizabeth Economon is holding four-week hitting clinics beginning Sept. 11. For information contact her at eeconomon@goshockers.com.

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

Pomeroy at home

Rankings (1-351 NCAA schools) for home-court advantage as calculated by Ken Pomeroy.


No. 15 Illinois State (4.1 points)

No. 17 Evansville (4.1)

No. 30 Drake (3.9)

No. 36 Bradley (3.9)

No. 38 Missouri State (3.8)

No. 62 Wichita State (3.7)

No. 75 Indiana State (3.6)

No. 81 Northern Iowa (3.6)

No. 107 Southern Illinois (3.5)

No. 238 Loyola (2.9)

American Athletic Conference

No. 14 Memphis (4.1)

No. 56 Tulsa (3.7)

No. 73 SMU (3.6)

No. 91 Central Florida (3.6)

No. 113 Connecticut (3.4)

No. 115 Cincinnati (3.4)

No. 157 Houston (3.3)

No. 163 Tulane (3.2)

No. 171 East Carolina (3.2)

No. 184 Temple (3.1)

No. 228 South Florida (2.9)