Paul Suellentrop

Wichita State recruits wrap up season, look ahead to college

Tyrone Taylor played 44 games this season for Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy. He is ready for a break, while also ready to get started on his next basketball chapter.

“I’m tired,” he said.

Taylor, a 6-foot-4 guard, is one four recruits scheduled to join Wichita State next season. They’ve kept track of the Shockers this season on TV and smartphones while finishing their high school or prep school seasons. On Sunday, they will watch the NCAA selection show to see where their future teammates land in the bracket.

Their time as a Shocker is coming soon.

“I dream about it every night,” said Markis McDuffie, a senior forward at St. Anthony (N.J.) High. “I watch them every chance I get.”

▪  Taylor said he averaged around 20 points for Hargrave, which went 38-6 and recently finished its season in the National Prep Championship.

“The biggest improvement in my game has been on defense and understanding the game,” he said. “In the past I would dominate based on pure talent. Being around other great players, I was forced to think the game.”

Taylor, who played high school basketball at Grandview, Mo., thinks he can help the Shockers as point guard behind returner Fred VanVleet.

“I want to play behind him and learn,” Taylor said. “I think I can fill a void, offensively.”

▪  McDuffie’s team played in the New Jersey Non-Public B Final on Saturday. St. Anthony (28-1) finishes it season in the Tournament of Champions this week.

McDuffie, 6-7, scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 58-45 win over Hudson Catholic in Wednesday’s sectional championship. He has two high games of 25 points, according to NJ.com, and averaged 14.6 points in 26 games.

“I’m becoming more of a leader,” he said. “It’s a vocal thing and it’s also being a player who is a natural floor leader.”

▪  Park Hill (Mo.) guard Landry Shamet ended his season with a 21-6 record with a loss in the Missouri Class 5 district championship game.

Shamet , a 6-4 guard, averaged around 18 points, six rebounds and three assists.

“His defensive presence and court awareness was second to none,” Park Hill coach David Garrison said. “He’s such a complete basketball player.”

Shamet guarded the opposition’s top scorer, ran the team and scored from numerous spots.

“He’s a gym rat,” Garrison said. “He’s an extremely talented player, but he gets the most out of it with his work ethic.”

Park Hill tied its school record for victories with a group of seven seniors, one of whom Shamet played with since fourth grade.

“My numbers are down a little bit,” Shamet said before the district title game. “I’m totally fine with that. We all, as a group, are throwing out our personal agendas.”

▪  Eric Hamilton averaged around 14 points and seven rebounds for Sunrise Christian Academy’s prep team.

Hamilton, a 6-8, 220-pound forward, played mostly at power forward for Sunrise, which went 20-6.

“The way he offensively rebounded improved the second half of the season,” coach Luke Barnwell said. “That’s where his game grew the most, playing with a higher motor. He’s a good perimeter shooter and he could also score around the rim and on the block.”

Keep it going — Bowling Green last won a postseason men’s basketball game in 1975. Coach Chris Jans gets a chance to update that history in his first season.

Bowling Green plays at Saint Francis (Pa.) in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament on Tuesday. Jans, a former WSU assistant, sees many benefits. A loss to Eastern Michigan in the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Wednesday ended hopes of playing in the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s a reward for the seniors,” he said. “And for our returners to get taste of what postseason feels like. It’s good for everybody.”

The Falcons (20-11) won 20 games for the first time since 2002 and the fourth-place finish in the MAC is their best since 2009. A 2012 appearance in the CIT is its most recent postseason berth.

Senior Richaun Holmes earned All-MAC honors and those kind of performances made Jans’ first season a smooth one. He inherited nine scholarship players, none of whom experienced a winning season at Bowling Green. When hired last spring, Jans met with each and told him he understood if they wanted to transfer.

All of them stayed, which told Jans good things about their experience at Bowling Green. Their receptiveness to the all the changes made the season a success.

“New ideas, new expectations,” Jans said. “We’ve got good guys. Just the fact that they’ve been open-minded to us and our approach and the culture we’re continuing to try to establish has been the neatest thing about the whole situation.”

Reach Paul Suellentrop at 316-269-6760 or psuellentrop@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @paulsuellentrop.

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