▪ Key statistics: After making 10 of 40 three-point shots in the exhibition game and the opener, Wichita State made 10 of 20 against the 49ers, a big factor in turning the game into a rout in the second half.
The Shockers made 7 of 11 threes in the second half and they’ve shown a lot of unselfishness and smart passing to get open shots.
Zach Brown, in the first half, showed driving skills coaches are begging for when he got into the lane and passed to Conner Frankamp for an open shot. Frankamp and Austin Reaves, in particular, are adept at making a perimeter pass that turns an OK shot into a great one for a teammate.
▪ How the game turned: Nobody disputes Daishon Smith’s speed.
Coach Gregg Marshall during summer and fall practices complained that Smith didn’t play hard enough to make good use of it. He saw Smith’s speed as a wasted gift.
Not on Sunday.
Smith turned a solid 10-point halftime edge into a no-doubter with a personal 8-0 run in which he turned on the jets for a steal, coming off his man to strip a post player, and dunk. A few seconds later, he deflected a post pass to set up a sequence that ended with a Frankamp three.
“He’s starting to put his athleticism into the game,” Marshall said. “Pushing the break. Going by people.”
▪ Records: LBSU 1-1, WSU 2-0
▪ Rotation watch: The starters stayed the same and there’s no reason to think that will change. It’s the experienced group that plays good defense and runs the offense.
The interesting piece, as Marshall acknowledged, is sophomore forward Markis McDuffie.
In the opener, he played 16 minutes and made 5 of 7 shots for 11 points. Sunday, he played 14 minutes and made 4 of 5 shots for eight points. He grabbed five rebounds and contributed three assists, one block and one steal.
McDuffie missed some time to fix blood on his uniform. In the second half, he butted heads with Long Beach State’s Gabe Levin and went to training room for an exam. He returned a few minutes later.
“I’ve got to get him more minutes,” Marshall said. “I feel like I’ve got about 10 starters and he’s certainly one of them. I’ve just got to find a way to get him more minutes. He’s ultra-talented.”
WSU’s bench scored 45 points after scoring 54 in the opener.
▪ Somebody said this:
▪ Good: In two games, WSU is holding teams to 29.3 percent shooting, 13.9 from three-point range (5 of 36).
“Everything on the defensive end, Coach (Marshall) is really stressing,” Smith said. “No matter if it’s checking out, contesting, closing out. No matter what it is, you’ve got to do it, because Coach will point it out in film the next day.”
▪ Bad: While this doesn’t seem like a day to nit-pick the Shockers, they are shooting 63.6 percent (21 of 33) from the foul line. Marshall’s teams are generally good from the line and we’ve seen them improve over the course of the season before. And — small sample size.
▪ Numbers guy says: Speaking of small sample size … WSU led the nation in Ken Pomeroy’s defensive efficiency stat last season when it held teams to .876 points per possession.
After two games, WSU is fourth at .892.
Three weeks ago, Marshall said this team stood a long way from that neighborhood.
▪ On and on: WSU’s 92 and 85 points are the most scored in the first two games since the 1988-89 team opened with a 98-71 win over Central Michigan and a 96-75 win over George Mason. WSU’s 41.5 margin of victory is the biggest in the first two games since the 1980-81 team opened with an average of 50 points in a 101-60 win over Abilene Christian and a 105-46 win over Hardin Simmons. … WSU’s reserves outscored its first two opponents 99-94.
▪ Next up: Tulsa (0-1), 7 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN3.com)
The Hurricane is picked ninth in the American Athletic Conference. It opened the season with an 84-73 home loss to Jacksonville State.
Former Shocker Corey Henderson Jr. scored 15 points for Tulsa in his first game. Junior Etou, a transfer from Rutgers, scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Tulsa started the season with three players with Hurricane game experience and 10 newcomers on its roster.
Jacksonville State, picked last in the Ohio Valley Conference East Division, went from Tulsa to Missouri State, where the Bears won 91-65.