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Game Day update: Maryland Eastern Shore at Wichita State

Wichita State junior Zach Brown scored 15 points in Wednesday’s win over Tulsa.
Wichita State junior Zach Brown scored 15 points in Wednesday’s win over Tulsa. The Wichita Eagle

▪  Eastern Shore is 0-3 with a four-point loss to George Washington, last season’s NIT champion, a 77-73 loss to Maryland Baltimore County and a 73-57 loss at Boston College. Those scores suggest the Hawks are competent and it’s worth pointing out they are holding teams to 41.5 percent shooting and have forced 44 turnovers while committing 41.

With only three games, those numbers are subject to one-game skewing — GW committed 20 of those turnovers.

That said, if this is anything other than a rout, everyone will be surprised and it’s a sign the Shockers spent prep time packing for the Bahamas and thinking about LSU/Louisville and other enticing matchups.

▪  Zach Brown is playing very well to continue a trend a that started last season in February, with one big difference.

In a 10-game span that started on Feb. 3, Brown averaged 9.1 points and made 12 of 36 three-pointers (33.1 percent) and 31 of 64 shots (48.4 percent). He also had 12 assists and 11 turnovers in those games, which ended the regular season and extended into the first game of the MVC Tournament.

Brown’s production dropped after that and he didn’t score more than three points in the remaining four games.

He’s started this season playing more like that February guy. He is averaging 11 points and 4.7 rebounds. He is 6 of 11 from three-point range and 11 of 22 from the field.

Most important, he has 10 assists and two turnovers.

That improved ball-handling can carry Brown to a strong junior season, if it continues. If you come to games early, you’re used to seeing Brown work on dribbling with cone drills and more. He’s a regular for extra sessions with assistant coach Greg Heiar.

▪  The Shockers are on a landmark margin-of-victory start against South Carolina State (85-39), Long Beach State (92-55) and Tulsa (80-53). Two of those games should have been more competitive than they were. The Shockers, instead, pummeled Big West favorite Long Beach State and Tulsa.

The opening three-game margin, against NCAA Division I opponents only, of 110 points is a record, topping the 1961-62 Shockers and 82 points against Colorado State (28), Wyoming (24) and Nebraska (30). The 1980-81 (plus-125) and 1975-76 (119) played non-Division I schools.

If the Shockers win by 35 or more, they will add the margin-of-victory mark for a 4-0 start, against all opponents. The 1980-81 team won its four games by a margin of 144 points, beating Abilene Christian, Hardin-Simmons, McNeese State and Colorado State.

If the Shockers win by 36 or more, they will wrap up the program’s top four-game stretch at any point of the season. The 2011-12 Shockers won four games by a combined 145 points, beating Utah State, Newman and Bradley.

▪  The day’s best game is Northern Iowa vs. Xavier in the title game of the Tire Pros Invitational at 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2). The Panthers are off to a good start after beating Arizona State and rallying from 18 down to beat Oklahoma 73-67 in overtime.

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

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