As you know, I love every team in the Shocker Invitational. It helps that they were chosen from among the best players in Wichita State basketball history. And when this 16-team tournament begins – and I promise it will – there are sure to be some fun match-ups.
Don’t be surprised if Team 8 – the Paul Miller team – is around for a while.
Miller is the anchor, the 6-foot-10 center who in 2005-06 was the Missouri Valley Conference player of the year and the best player on a Sweet 16 NCAA TouPaul Miller leaves the floor in Nashville after a heartbreaking overtime loss to Vanderbilt in the 2005 NIT.rnament team. Miller, who struggled to find consistency early in his basketball career, averaged 13.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game as a senior.
The power forward is 6-6 Rich Morsden, a Kansas City Wyandotte product who transferred to WSU from Hutchinson Community College, where he was one of the best junior college players in the country.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Morsden was outstanding for the Shockers, too, averaging 15 points and 8.1 rebounds in 1972-73 and 16.5 points and 9.2 rebounds in 1973-74.
One of his Shocker teammates, Bobby Wilson, is the shooting guard for Team 8. And what an outstanding shooter Wilson was. Also a junior college transfer, Wilson averaged 17.7 points as a junior and 20 points as a senior. He played for parts of four seasons in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics and Indiana Packers. Here’s a recent interview with Wilson from celticslife.com.
Wilson is one of the best guards in Shocker history, even though Wichita State was just 21-31 during the time he and Morsden were teammates. The Missouri Valley Conference was a beast in those days, which had something to do with the Shockers’ lackluster record.
The small forward on Team 8 is Coffeyville native Al Tate, who at 6-4 averaged 9.9 rebounds during his WSU career from 1957-60. Tate, a tremendous athlete, also scored 14.6 points per game as a Shocker. Tate played on three Ralph Miller-coached teams, all of which finished 14-12.
Team 8′s point guard is Robert George, another junior college transfer. There seems to be a theme here. George played for Mike Cohen during the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons. He averaged 12 points and 4.2 assists as a junior and 10.6 points and three assists as a senior.
There’s a lot to like about this team, but it’s lacking size. Morsden and Tate, though, were outstanding if undersized rebounders.
This is a very good team and one that could go far in the Shocker Invitational. But I say that about all the teams.