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Sports Illustrated ranking respects Wichita State’s defense

Wichita State’s Shaq Morris and Conner Frankamp defend against Loyola last season.
Wichita State’s Shaq Morris and Conner Frankamp defend against Loyola last season. The Wichita Eagle

Sports Illustrated isn’t worried about Wichita State rebuilding.

The magazine’s ranking puts faith in WSU’s tradition of excellent defense (No. 1 in Ken Pomeroy’s defensive efficiency stat last season and in the top 26 the past five seasons) and its current roster to place the Shockers No. 26 in its list of all 351 schools.

SI’s Luke Winn and Dan Hanner project WSU to finish in the top 20 of defensive rating.

“Team defensive efficiency projections are based on players’ projected rebound, steal and block percentages, height (taller frontcourts make for stingier D), experience (veterans have fewer lapses) and coaches’ defensive resumes,” Winn and Hanner write.

SI isn’t alone in giving WSU credit for past success, even after the loss of five seniors.

Pomeroy ranks WSU No. 34.

The Associated Press preseason poll, announced Monday, gave WSU 21 votes. The coaches poll (Northern Iowa’s Ben Jacobson is the MVC voter) gave WSU 15 votes.

CBSSports.com puts WSU No. 26.

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

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