Shockwaves

Game Day update: Wichita State at Bradley

Wichita State’s Darral Willis got the attention of Bradley’s defense in the first meeting.
Wichita State’s Darral Willis got the attention of Bradley’s defense in the first meeting. The Wichita Eagle

▪  Coaches usually react strongly to past performance when they prepare the scouting report. That puts Bradley in an interesting position.

On Jan. 1 at Koch Arena, the Braves reacted to Darral Willis’ string of big games and focused their defense on Wichita State’s post scorers. The Shockers made 13 of 29 three-pointers

“They’re going to pound people in the paint,” Bradley coach Brian Wardle said after that 100-66 defeat. “We wanted Wichita State to beat us from three. But not give them wide-open threes.”

That puts Bradley (as it does most teams) in a tough spot. Bradley holds MVC opponents to 45.3 percent shooting from two-point range, which is second in the MVC. That’s what the Braves do well. In the first meeting, the Shockers spoiled that strategy by shooting well from the outside.

▪  The absence of guard Austin Reaves, out with a shoulder injury, hurts WSU’s shooting. He made all four of his threes in the first meeting and scored 14 points in 11 minutes.

It will be interesting to see if Reaves’ injury opens the way for C.J. Keyser to play more minutes.

▪  Bradley is shooting 39 percent from three-point range in MVC play and it can spread out WSU’s defense with several good three-point shooters.

Darrell Brown, JoJo McGlaston, Luuk van Bree and Nate Kennell all shoot 36 percent or better behind the arc. The Braves aren’t going to keep this game close with paint touches.

In the first meeting, Bradley made 7 of 19 threes.

▪  If the past is an indication, this game will come down to turnovers. It’s a major problem for the Braves, who rely heavily on freshmen and sophomores, to pass and dribble against the Shockers.

In the past three meetings, Bradley committed more turnovers than it made baskets against the Shockers.

Season

Score

FG

Turnovers

Assists

FG%

2013-14

WSU 93, Emporia State 50

19

24

8

36.5

2013-14

WSU 83, Drake 54

18

20

5

41.9

2014-15

WSU 71, Memphis 56

20

24

4

40.8

2014-15

WSU 74, Drake 40

15

17

8

38.5

2014-15

WSU 78, Missouri State 35

13

16

6

25

2014-15

WSU 56, SIU 45

16

18

5

34

2015-16

WSU 68, Saint Louis 53

16

18

13

44.4

2015-16

WSU 67, Utah 50

14

19

5

41.2

2015-16

WSU 67, Drake 47

16

18

10

37.2

2015-16

WSU 85, Bradley 58

17

23

8

37.8

2015-16

WSU 88, Bradley 54

18

20

11

43.9

2015-16

WSU 78, Evansville 65

16

18

8

34.8

2015-16

WSU 76, SIU 55

19

22

7

30.6

2016-17

WSU 85, South Carolina State 39

14

19

5

26.9

2016-17

WSU 92, Long Beach State 55

20

21

8

31.3

2016-17

WSU 87, Southern Nazarene 57

16

17

8

32.7

2016-17

WSU 82, Colorado State 67

18

19

12

40.9

2016-17

WSU 100, Bradley 66

21

23

10

40.4

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

Wichita State

at Bradley

  • When: 3 p.m. Sunday
  • Where: Carver Arena, Peoria, Ill.
  • Records: WSU 18-4, 8-1 MVC; BU 8-14, 3-6
  • Radio: 103.7-FM
  • TV: ESPNU

Wichita State at Bradley

P

Wichita St.

Ht

Yr

Pts

Reb

F

Zach Brown

6-6

Jr.

8.1

3.5

F

Markis McDuffie

6-8

So.

12.6

5.1

C

Shaq Morris

6-8

Jr.

8.6

4.0

G

Landry Shamet

6-4

Fr.

10.2

x-3.0

G

Conner Frankamp

6-1

Jr.

6.6

x-2.6

P

Bradley

Ht

Yr

Pts

Reb

F

Donte Thomas

6-7

Jr.

6.1

6.1

C

Koch Bar

6-11

Fr.

6.0

5.8

G

Antoine Pittman

6-3

So.

6.5

2.0

G

Darrell Brown

5-10

Fr.

12.1

x-2.6

G

Nate Kennell

6-6

Fr.

5.5

1.6

x-assists

Wichita State (18-4, 8-1 MVC): G Austin Reaves, the MVC’ s top three-point shooter at 52.1-percent, is questionable to play in Sunday’s game due to a dislocated right shoulder. … The Shockers routed Bradley 100-66 on Jan. 1 at Koch Arena. Their 13-0 run to start the game matched the effort against Saint Louis for the biggest of the season. WSU led 51-29 at halftime. For the game, the Shockers forced 23 turnovers and limited Bradley to 21 baskets. In the past three meetings, WSU gave up 56 baskets and forced 66 turnovers on their way to an average margin of victory of 31.6 points. … WSU has won 14 in a row over Bradley. Its longest win streak against an MVC opponent is 15 against Drake from 1979-85. … WSU coach Gregg Marshall is 125-46 in MVC games. He trails former Kansas coach Phog Allen by one victory for fifth place on the MVC career list.

Bradley (8-14, 3-6): The Braves are on a four-game losing streak, most recently 70-50 at Loyola. The Ramblers made 11 of 21 three-pointers and MVC opponents are making 37.6 percent of their threes against Bradley. Thomas had 11 points and 11 rebounds, his second double-double this season. He averages 10.8 points over the past five games and is shooting 60 percent. He averaged 4.6 points in the first 17 games. … . Brown leads Valley freshmen in scoring. … G Jayden Hodgson averages 10.3 points over the past three games, tripling his previous average and almost doubling his playing time. … Bradley is the Valley’s most turnover-prone team. It commits turnovers on 26.3 percent of its possessions in conference play. Its 160 turnovers in nine MVC games are 37 more than Evansville. … The Braves get 30.7 points from its four freshmen, most in the MVC. Wichita State and Northern Iowa are tied for second at 19.3.

RPI as of Sunday: WSU 72, BU 223

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