Wichita State Shockers

Marshall’s lone positive for WSU from 32-point OU loss: ‘I get to go home’

Wichita State forward Markis McDuffie fights for a rebound against Oklahoma forward Kristian Doolittle during the first half of their game at Chesapeake Energetic Arena in Oklahoma City on Saturday.
Wichita State forward Markis McDuffie fights for a rebound against Oklahoma forward Kristian Doolittle during the first half of their game at Chesapeake Energetic Arena in Oklahoma City on Saturday. The Wichita Eagle

The Wichita State men’s basketball team played its worst offensive game of the Gregg Marshall era in its 80-48 loss to Oklahoma at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Saturday afternoon.

The Shockers (4-4) made 24.2 percent (15 of 62) of their shots, 18.5 percent (5 of 27) of their three-pointers and committed 15 turnovers, while OU (8-1) extended its winning streak to four games.

Here is what WSU said afterward:

1. ‘I get to go home’

The quote from coach Gregg Marshall sums up WSU’s experience in Oklahoma City on Saturday.

Asked if there was a single positive to be taken away from the Shockers’ performance, Marshall quipped “I get to go home.”

It was the worst offensive performance, at 0.66 points per possession, in the Marshall era and lowest output ever recorded by WSU since Ken Pomeroy started tracking the metric in the 2001-02 season. The 48 points were the lowest by WSU since 2008 and the 32-point drubbing was by far the worst defeat suffered in the Marshall era.

“It’s embarrassing, period,” WSU freshman Erik Stevenson said. “This program is not known for that. It’s a very elite program. We win a lot of games here. We haven’t seen this in a long time in this program. It’s embarrassing to be the team to do that. I know the team is very embarrassed and Coach is very embarrassed, but we’ll have to bounce back.”

WSU opened the game with its second-worst half of offense for the season, then followed it up with its worst as the Shockers’ efficiency cratered to 0.57 points per possession in the second half.

“It snowballed on us and we couldn’t stem the tide,” Marshall said. “It went from bad to worse. We played them pretty well for a half, but that’s definitely not good enough. You’ve got to play 40 minutes and we’ve had a hard time doing that.”

“We have to come ready to play,” WSU senior Markis McDuffie said. “We have a pretty new team, so we have to let these guys know that every game they have to come ready to play. If we’re not ready to play from the start, we’re going to have more games like this.”

2. ‘It got away from us in the first half’

It was hard to believe WSU was within five points, 35-30, early in the second half.

The score was close, but the level of play was not. WSU was close, mostly because OU hadn’t started hitting shots. Once the Sooners started making them, the lead grew to 20 points by the 10-minute mark of the second half.

“It got away from us in the first half really with our mindset,” Stevenson said. “We weren’t locked in. We were blowing sets ... We were lucky to just be in that game. We had our opportunities to stay in that game but we obviously didn’t jump on them.”

Rarely could WSU find an open shot. Sometimes a player would grow impatient and rush a shot; other times OU’s defense would make WSU listlessly pass the ball around the perimeter until forced to throw up a contested look late in the shot clock.

After doing that much of the first half, not much changed after halftime.

“It was just bad execution,” WSU freshman Jamarius Burton said. “The ball wasn’t moving like it did in the Baylor game.”

“We weren’t executing so we felt like we had to force up shots,” McDuffie said. “That’s just because of our maturity with so many young guys. We’re only going to get better.”

3. ‘It was just contagious’

So was it a case of bad Wichita State offense or good Oklahoma defense?

Like most cases, it was a little of both. WSU did itself no favors by settling for contested shots early in the shot clock without running through its sets, but that shouldn’t take away from OU’s performance.

Not only did the Sooners do well to contest so many shots, but they also limited WSU to a season-low 22 percent of its offensive rebounds. Not only was WSU missing a lot, but OU’s defense wasn’t giving up many second chances.

“We enjoy playing defense and we know when we’re locked in defensively and playing as a unit not many teams are going to get very good looks against us,” OU guard Miles Reynolds said.

Marshall thought WSU found enough open looks in the first half but when even those weren’t falling, WSU started pressing on offense and that urgency didn’t lead to the best quality of looks.

“We couldn’t buy a basket,” Marshall said. “I think once they had defended us so well, it got to the point where it was just contagious. We were missing shots, wide open shots, we couldn’t even make those.”

OU’s defense successfully prevented what WSU’s offense wanted to do by switching all ball screens.

“We’ve played against that before, though,” Stevenson said. “It wasn’t so much a matter of them defending us, it was a matter of us making plays and making shots.”

All of the misses certainly skewed the rebounding numbers, but OU’s 52-33 rebounding advantage also highlights WSU’s worst rebounding effort of the season. Not only did it grab a season-low 22 percent of its offensive rebounds, but WSU allowed OU to grab 39 percent of its offensive rebounds, the second-worst mark this season by WSU.

“We did a bad job checking out and finding a man and making contact,” Burton said. “We need to get back to practice and get to work.”

WSU also failed to defend the three-point line like it wanted against OU, as the Sooners made 10 three-pointers and shot 40 percent from beyond the arc.

But on a day like Saturday, that didn’t even register on Marshall’s list of concerns.

“We had a lot of other issues, to be honest,” Marshall said.

“You need to credit Oklahoma, they were the far superior team. They beat us in every way.”

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