▪ Drake won’t mind winning a shootout tonight. That’s the style, especially with a defense that is one of the leakiest in the MVC.
MVC opponents make 50.6 percent of their two-point shots against Drake, the second-highest percentage in the conference according to kenpom.com.
The Bulldogs rarely block shots and they don’t force many turnovers. Combine that with a 30.7-percent surrender rate on offensive rebounds and opponents get plenty of shots and plenty of good shots.
According to hoop-math.com, opponents make 62.6 percent of their shots at the rim, No. 93 nationally and third-highest in the MVC. WSU, by comparison, allows opponents to make 49.3 percent of its shots at the rim.
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MVC opponents are scoring 1.09 points per possession, second-highest rate in the conference. WSU opponents score .907, second behind Illinois State’s .884.
The Bulldogs, WSU coach Gregg Marshall, said are playing more man to man defense in recent games. They largely played a 1-3-1 zone in the first meeting.
▪ Drake guard Ore Arogundade seems to have benefited more than any Bulldog from the coaching change. Ray Giacoletti resigned in early December and assistant Jeff Rutter replaced him on an interim basis.
Arogundade’s production took a significant leap in 10 MVC games. His effective field goal percentage (which combines the extra value of a three-pointer) is 63.6 percent in MVC play, up from 52.5 overall. His true shooting percentage is 64.3, up from 54.2. Both rank in the top five for MVC games.
Correspondingly, his offensive efficiency is 1.24 points per possession in MVC play, up from 1.09.
He did not make much of a splash in the first meeting. WSU held him to three points on 1-of-2 shooting.
▪ The Shockers dominated the early minutes of that 90-65 win.
They built an 18-5 lead after forcing Drake into three turnovers and 2-of-11 shooting.
WSU’s Daishon Smith, then starting, produced two steals in the first four minutes, both of which led to baskets.
- When: 6 p.m. Wednesday
- Where: Knapp Center, Des Moines
- Records: WSU 19-4, 9-1 MVC; DU 7-15, 5-5
- Radio: 103.7-FM
- TV: Cox 2022
- Online: ESPN3.com (blackouts apply)
Wichita State (19-4, 9-1 MVC): The Shockers can win a 20th game for a school-record eighth straight season. Before this streak, WSU totaled 11 20-win seasons as an NCAA Division I member. … WSU coach Gregg Marshall is 249-89 at WSU. A win makes him active coach No. 32 with 250 or more wins. He would be the eighth-fastest to reach 250. He is also 126-46 in MVC games, tied with former Kansas coach Phog Allen for fifth on the Valley’s career list. … WSU leads the series 103-47 and has won 10 straight over the Bulldogs. … McDuffie recorded his first double-double in the first meeting with Drake, 10 points and 11 rebounds. WSU led by 30 points at halftime after out-rebounding Drake 36-12 and scoring 19 second-chance points on 12 offensive rebounds. … WSU C Shaq Morris is 18 of 29 from the field in four games against Drake.
Drake (7-15, 5-5): Timmer is 6 of 15 from three-point range and 12 of 14 from the line in the past three games. WSU held him to 11 points, seven on free throws, in the first meeting. … Arogundade averages 13.1 points and is shooting 51.4 percent from the floor and 46.9 percent behind the arc in his last 11 games. … F Billy Wampler averages 10.5 points and shoots 36.6 percent behind the arc. … Rutter replaced Ray Giacoletti in early December. In the 14 games under Rutter, Drake averages 73.1 possessions, up from 66 under Giacoletti.
RPI rank as of Wednesday: WSU 70, DU 275