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Twitter Q&A: Wichita State all-tournament teams, the Valley, seedings

Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early earned All-NCAA Tournament honors in 2013.
Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early earned All-NCAA Tournament honors in 2013. The Wichita Eagle

Thanks for the questions. It’s answer time:

Some conferences will tour a campus to get a fix on how the school’s facilities look. That also can alert people (media) that the game is afoot, so sometimes that doesn’t happen. A campus visit probably isn’t required to understand if a school is comparable to its peers. Much of that can be done by word-of-mouth.

In WSU’s case, I can’t imagine its facilities would be a negative. The school’s done a good job of building and keeping up in all sports.

Once the tournament is down to 31 possible opponents, almost every game is a challenge. That’s why it would be nice for the Shockers to move away from the 8-9 seed.

Big, physical, experienced guards would concern me. So would post scorers.

How many teams can do those things to a level that disadvantages WSU? Not many.

West Virginia always terrifies me if I were to think about coaching against Huggins’ bunch. The press speeds up opponents — No. 2 nationally in defensive possession length — and it wants an ugly game.

Virginia is patient and plays good defense. An eight-point lead can feel like 18. How would the Shockers react?

Gonzaga plays great defense, which isn’t that program’s reputation. It leads the nation in effective field-goal percentage allowed at 41.6 percent, according to kenpom.com. Teams make 30 percent of their threes against the Zags, one of the nation’s lowest percentages.

Cleanthony Early is a good starting point as the lone Shocker to make the NCAA All-Tournament team (2013).

Early averaged 19.3 points and 7.4 rebounds in seven games. He made 15 of 37 threes (40.5 percent) and 55.4 percent of his shots.

Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet lead WSU’s tournament record book in tournaments played (4), games played (13), minutes and points.

They played important roles in 2013 and larger roles in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Kelly Pete played in six NCAA games in 1964 and 1965. He averaged 19.3 points and 7.8 rebounds and made 62.1 percent of his shots.

Then it’s a choice between Cliff Levingston and Antoine Carr.

Levingston played in four NCAA games and averaged 21.5 points and 13.3 rebounds, making 54.1 percent of his shots. Carr played in four games and averaged 19 points and 9 rebounds, making 59.2 percent of his shots.

Carr blocked 15 shots and committed 10 fewer turnovers than Levingston. It’s a coin flip, but I’ll give to Antoine.

That leaves off Dave Stallworth, who played in only two games and averaged 29.5 points and 19.5 rebounds. Carl Hall, Malcolm Armstead (2013 regional MVP) and Jamie Thompson are also tough omissions. Shout out to P.J. Couisnard for scoring 20 against Tennessee in the biggest game of the Turgeon era.

Like everything with this issue, you get a range of thought. Almost nobody begrudges Wichita State its chance to look at options and better itself.

Most see the possibility as a major blow to the MVC’s prestige. Combined with Creighton’s departure, it’s a significant event in conference history and could change the trajectory of the conference in many ways and for many years.

Some are skeptical if it’s a good long-term move for WSU. Some admit it would open opportunities for the remaining schools. Some would point out athletics are cyclical and that things change quickly.

No one I talked to wants WSU to leave the MVC.

No. NCAA rules limit schools to 13 scholarships.

I guess it’s possible.

Creighton’s timeline, according to the Omaha World-Herald, makes me think it’s unlikely unless things are moving more quickly than we’ve seen reported.

By Feb. 27 of 2013, Creighton knew an invitation was possible. By March 4, Creighton’s Board of Trustees discussed the matter. On March 13, Creighton received the official invitation.

WSU could be on that timetable. It would surprise people I’ve talked to.

That timetable in 2018 spring seems more realistic.

Any school that wants Gregg Marshall has one path — Start the offer at around $5 million and say ‘You’re our guy.’ Marshall or his agent probably already know if it’s a job he is seriously interested in and I don’t think he will need to do much more investigating.

Indiana can do that. North Carolina State can probably do that. Maybe Missouri. Schools such as LSU can, but I’m not sure it would.

In 2007, he came to WSU because he wanted better seeds and more access to at-large bids. The MVC has slipped in those regards in recent seasons. That fact is No. 1 in my mind when I think about his future at WSU. It’s got to be discouraging to go 30-4 and stare at a 8-9 seed.

I would be surprised if WSU fell as low as No. 11.

All those others seem reasonable.

They would love fans in the arena. It probably ranks behind the opponent.

I have no way to set realistic odds. I think it’s possible. I can’t get to likely until I know more.

Different people say different things, so the whole thing seems fragile if a few presidents wake up and say “Why do I want to send my teams to Wichita from Orlando?”

No. 2 is the big question. It helps if WSU wins. If it’s harder to win, that changes things.

In the three seasons of American existence, it produced seven at-large bids. The highest seeded team in those seasons was No. 4 Louisville, now an ACC member. That 2014 season also produced a No. 5 seed for Cincinnati. Since then, the highest is a No. 6 by SMU (in 2015) and everything else from 7-11.

This season, SMU and Cincinnati are projected in the 5-7 range.

By those performances, access to at-large bids is up. The American spread seven at-large bids over 11 members (or 10 who need one) over the past three seasons. The MVC spread two over 10 (or nine) the past three seasons.

Seeding doesn’t seem like a big change. WSU can get 8-9 seeds in the MVC.

While I get the desire to move conferences and I understand the limits of the MVC, there are risks. Winning is good and WSU appears set to win in the MVC for a long time.

Of course, we would have said the same thing about baseball in 2008.

Dayton was great because of the crowd and size of the arena. Big enough to feel big. Small enough for a great atmosphere. It felt more like a college basketball game than a college game in a pro arena.

Honorable mention:

Omaha was top-notch because of the size and location (close to the court) of the media/interview areas. Great setup.

Los Angeles was nice because the hotel was within walking distance of the arena and the area had many places to eat. For us scribblers, ease of travel to the arena and food options open late after game are important.

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

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