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Wichita State’s 2006 Sweet 16 team reunites for Thursday’s game

Wichita State’s Matt Braeuer celebrates a game-winning three-pointer against Creighton during the 2006 season.
Wichita State’s Matt Braeuer celebrates a game-winning three-pointer against Creighton during the 2006 season. The Wichita Eagle

The team that splashed Wichita State back into all this March Madness is reuniting on Thursday at Koch Arena.

Most of the players from the 2005-06 Shockers are scheduled to attend and will be introduced at halftime of WSU’s 1 p.m. game against Drake.

That team won the Missouri Valley Conference title — WSU’s first since 1983 — and played in the NCAA Tournament — WSU’s first since 1988. The Shockers defeated Seton Hall and second-seeded Tennessee before losing to George Mason.

They finished 26-9 with center Paul Miller earning MVC Player of the Year honors and forwards P.J. Couisnard and Kyle Wilson named honorable mention All-MVC. Coach Mark Turgeon was named MVC Coach of the Year.

“Expectations weren’t that high,” Turgeon said. “I think we were picked fifth in the league (before the 2005-06 season). I remember going into the season and starting practice, I really liked my team and I really liked my guys. You could tell they were together and they were working hard and they believed in each other. So you kind of felt it early with that team, that they had a chance to be good. Then you had a great center in Paul Miller.”

Manager Joe Crowley, who organized the event, said he expects guard Sean Ogirri to be among those who return. Ogirri played three season at WSU before transferring to Wyoming. He’s been hard to track down in recent years, but Crowley said he received word through Couisnard that Ogirri will attend.

Couisnard, Miller, Wilson, Karon Bradley, Ryan Martin, Wendell Preadom, Phil Thomasson and Cameron Ledford are also expected to attend.

Turgeon, who now coaches at Maryland, will not attend. His team opens Big Ten play on Wednesday afternoon. Assistant coaches Tad Boyle and Mike Rohn, both now at Colorado, and Pooh Williamson (now at Texas Tech) are similarly in the midst of their seasons.

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop

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