▪ Nobody played better than Zach Brown in WSU’s first four games. And nobody played worse in the Battle 4 Atlantis, a disappointing slump for one of Wichita State’s most experienced players.
While the Shockers are 10-deep and changing starting lineups on a regular basis, Brown should be a fixture. He’s started 38 games in his career, most of any Shocker.
WSU needs his three-and-D skills. And he’s cut down on turnovers and added driving skills to his game.
So Saturday’s performance at Colorado State was reassuring to Shockers coaches. After a bad three-game stretch, Brown righted himself on the road.
Brown made 4 of 15 shots and 1 of 8 free throws in the Bahamas and coach Gregg Marshall said those shooting woes drug down his defense.
“He played one of his best games (at Colorado State),” Marshall said. “He got down on himself in the Bahamas. He stopped defending. He stopped rebounding, pursuing the ball. He stopped being a tenacious, hair-on-fire-type guy.”
Brown returned to a defense-first mentality at CSU. It opened up his offense and he scored 16 points to match his career high.
“It’s funny how those things go hand in hand,” Marshall said. “All of a sudden you do those things and you get an easy basket, and then the next thing you know you get a wide open look and you bury it and all of a sudden you’re back on top of the world,” Marshall said. “He has a tendency to let missing a shot or missing a couple free throws negatively affect him on the next possession.”
▪ Junior center Shaq Morris also played well vs. the Rams after an uneven stay in the Bahamas.
Foul problems persist and Marshall offers some sympathy for his post man.
“He gets some bad calls,” Marshall said. “Everyone does, but he in particular gets some bad calls because, he puts his body on people and they generally move. He’s not the one that’s moving.”
Morris averages 16 minutes a game leads WSU with 29 fouls. He survived the first half at CSU with one foul, which allowed him to play 21 minutes, his second highest total this season.
“He also puts himself in bad situations,” Marshall said. “You’re going to get some bad calls. If you get five fouls in a game, there’s going to be one, at least, that’s a bad call. There’s going to be two that you could have avoided.”
▪ WSU director of athletics Darron Boatright joined Marshall in saying that he would like the Saint Louis series to continue. The schools are discussing adding two seasons to the contract, which runs out Tuesday after four meetings. While the Billikens are struggling, the arrival of coach Travis Ford makes patience appealing.
▪ WSU had around 200 tickets available this afternoon.
▪ Watching: Cox 122, Time Warner SportsChannel 2 (Kansas City), ESPN3.com (blackouts apply)
▪ Listening: KEYN, 103.7-FM, goshockers.com
Saint Louis at Wichita State
- When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
- Where: Koch Arena
- Records: SLU 2-5, WSU 7-2
- Radio: 103.7-FM
- TV: Cox 122
Saint Louis at Wichita State
Saint Louis (2-5): The Billikens are coming off an 84-53 home loss to Kansas State on Saturday. They shot 34 percent from the field and committed 21 turnovers. … In the past three games, opponents outscored Saint Louis 66-25 on points off turnovers. It averages turnovers on 21.6 percent of its possessions to rank No. 286 among the 351 NCAA Division I teams, according to kenpom.com. …Roby is shooting 39.1 percent from three-point range. … C Austin Gillmann averages 0.9 points. The Shockers see the best of him, however. He scored a career-high 12 points against WSU in 2015 and nine in 2014. He is 5 of 8 from three-point range against the Shockers. … The Saint Louis bench has been outscored in every game this season, most recently 32-13 against the Wildcats. … Saint Louis leads the series 41-22 after winning 27 of the first 31 meetings between 1936 and 1960.
Wichita State (7-2): WSU is 5-0 at home with an average margin of victory of 27 points. Its 41-game home non-conference win streak ranks second nationally behind Duke (131). … The Shockers are shooting 38.8 percent from three-point range, which ranks No. 57 nationally. … The Shockers force turnovers on 23.7 percent of possessions, No. 27 nationally according to kenpom.com. … Brown scored 14 points, making 4 of 6 shots, in last season’s 68-53 win at Saint Louis. In the past two meetings, WSU forced 33 turnovers and allowed 31 baskets.