▪ There is probably one way Wichita State can lose this game and that would be at the foul line.
The Sycamores get almost 25 percent of their points at the line in MVC games, trailing only Evansville. In all games, that number is 23.8 percent, which ranks 31st nationally.
The Shockers, as we know, foul. On the season, they’re down 25 points and 20 attempts at the line. In every other way, this is a near-perfect defensive machine.
Sycamores guard Devonte Brown leads the way by making 173 of 227 foul shots, which is the most in the MVC by wide margins. Evansville’s D.J. Balentine is second in attempts (176) and Drake’s Reed Timmer is second in makes (140).
In WSU’s 82-62 win over Indiana State last month, Brown scored 14 points on 3-of-9 shooting. He made 7 of 8 foul shots.
▪ Indiana State guard Brenton Scott carried the Sycamores in that first meeting, scoring 24 points and made 4 of 5 three-pointers.
He is a tough player to guard because of his skills, but also because of his utter unpredictability. Scott always feels he is in range and the Sycamores have to live with some adventuresome decisions. For the season, he is shooting 40.5 percent from three-point range.
He has 40 assists and 52 turnovers. In the past four gaames, he has two assists and nine turnovers.
Balentine is hard to guard, but at least the defender knows where he is going most times. Scott must be hell to write a scouting report on.
▪ Indiana State leads the MVC in tempo and ranks No. 68 nationally, according to kenpom.com, because it relies on its guards and it has several of them who can rebound, push the ball and score on breaks.
In the first game, the Shockers held the Sycamores without a fastbreak basket, on their way to holding them to 35.2-percent shooting.
▪ The race between WSU’s Fred VanVleet and Northern Iowa’s Wes Washpun to lead the Valley in assists is tied, both at 5.6 a game.
VanVleet could become the MVC’s fourth player to lead the conference in assists three times. Illinois State’s Jamar Smiley last did it from 1995-98.
VanVleet enjoys a healthy lead in assist-to-turnover ratio, which he could become the first to lead three straight seasons (since the MVC began compiling the stat in 1996-97). VanVleet has a 3.4 ratio, with Indiana State’s Everett Clemons second at 2.2.
Evansville’s Jeremy Stanton (1999 and 2001), Creighton’s Tyler McKinney (2003 and 2005) and Creighton’s Antoine Young (2010, 2011) are the only players to repeat in the category.
Wichita State at Indiana State
- When: 3 p.m. Sunday
- Where: Hulman Center, Terre Haute, Ind.
- Records: WSU 20-7, 13-2 MVC; ISU 13-14, 7-8
- Radio: KEYN, 103.7-FM
- TV: ESPNU