UNI Panthers (7-5, 0-0)
Wichita State Shockers (11-1, 0-0)
5 p.m. | Sun., Dec. 30, 2012 | Charles Koch Arena (10,506)
Radio: KNSS 1330 - Mike Kennedy/Dave Dahl - shockerradio.com
TV: MVC TV - John Rooney, Mark Adams
Sunday's Game... Wichita State opens the Missouri Valley Conference season 5 p.m., Sunday, in Charles Koch Arena against UNI in the 46th meeting between the two teams.
-WSU has won 14-straight home games headed into today's game, which ranks as the 11th-best active home court streak in the country.
- WSU trails in the overall series, 25-20, to UNI.
-On this day during 1994-95 season, Dec. 30, 1994, Wichita State senior L.D. Swanson made his second-of-two-straight, game-winning overtime shots to beat The Citadel, 64-62, in the championship game of the Cessna Classic in then-Levitt Arena. The night before, he hit a game winner to defeat Gonzaga.
-WSU is 32nd with 11 points in this week's AP poll, and 36th in the USA Today poll with three points.
-Prior to the loss at Tennessee, WSU was ranked No. 23 in the AP Top 25 poll (Dec. 10), and was receiving 88 points in the USA Today Top 25 poll, which was good enough for No. 26.
-The Shockers entered the polls at No. 24 (Dec. 3) in the AP Top 25 poll and had enough points in the USA Today Coaches poll for a No. 27 ranking.
-Wichita State's 9-0 start was the first time since 2006-07 when the Shockers also started 9-0 and reached a No. 8 AP ranking. WSU also started 9-0 in the 2004-05 season. The three undefeated 9-0 starts are the best in school history.
Holiday Slow Down... After playing a record seven games in November, WSU is playing just three games in 18 days between Dec. 13 and 30.
Last Time Out... Wichita State scored the final 10 points and rallied from a 12-point second half deficit to defeat Southern Miss, 59-51, Dec. 22, at INTRUST Bank Arena. WSU was making its third appearance in the downtown venue, one each of the last three years.
Demetric Williams led a trio of Shockers in double figures with 17 points. Nick Wiggins added 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting and Cleanthony Early chipped in 10 for WSU.
Last Week's Standout... Cleanthony Early averaged 15.0 points and 7.0 rebounds on 27 percent shooting in WSU's two wins last week. The junior also had three assists for the week. He collected his first WSU career double-double with 20 points and a WSU career-high 10 boards vs. Charleston Southern.
Glass Hogs... WSU has not been out-rebounded in a game so fat this season, and the 18-rebound surplus against the Southern Miss Eagles (44-26) was its largest margin of the season. Since Gregg Marshall arrived, WSU has out-rebounded 144-of-183 opponents, including 10 of 12 this season. The other two games were ties.
More on Fast Starts... Wichita State is 11-1 for the first time since the 2009-10 season when it also started 11-1 before its second loss. That team went on to a 25-10 record and NIT berth against Nevada. The 2010 team started 13-2, but its second loss was the seventh game of the year.
Depth Chart... Tekele Cotton got his first two career starts against Charleston Southern and Southern Miss as the Shockers have three starters out for at least a month. The Shockers played only eight players against Southern Miss, which is the least this season, as Jake White was scratched at game time. WSU was also missing Even Wessel (hand), Ron Baker (foot) and Carl Hall (hand). Ehimen Orukpe returned to the starting lineup against Southern Miss after missing time with an ankle injury.
Valley RPI's... Here are the RPI numbers for MVC schools heading into this weekend (games through Dec. 25).(records below include only Division I competition)
•The MVC ranks No. 9 as a league.
•Two league schools (Wichita State-13; Creighton-16) are in the Top 20.
•Illinois State (40) and Indiana State (54) are also in the Top 100.
•Five league schools have a non-conference schedule strength in the Top 100.
Road Success Ranking... Wichita State, since the beginning of 2010-11, ranks second best nationally for road success. The Shockers are 21-4 over the past two-plus years on the road (non-conference and conference road games combined). Only Kansas (18-3) has a better winning percentage.
Attack the Boards... Since Gregg Marshall arrived, WSU has out-rebounded 144-of-183 opponents, including 10 of 12 this season. The other two games were ties.
WSU out-boarded all but four opponents in 2011-12, and finished at 6.5 a game, which was 15th in the NCAA.
In addition, WSU carried a plus-8.4 rebound margin in 2010-11, which ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA all season.
Marshall Loves the 80s... WSU broke the 80-point barrier two times this season with 86 points against Tulsa and 80 against Northern Colorado. Gregg Marshall is 84-4 in his career at WSU and Winthrop when his teams score 80 or more points, which includes a 30-1 record in the last five-plus seasons at WSU. He is also 16-0 when his teams have scored 90-plus points in his 15-plus seasons as a head coach. In 2010-11, WSU was 7-0 when scoring more than 80 points, and was 3-0 when scoring more than 90. In 2011-12, his teams were 13-1 when scoring more than 80, 4-0 when scoring 90 or more, and 1-0 when scoring more than 100.
Another Newcomer Breaks Out.. Chadrack Lufile had a WSU career-high six points and 10 rebounds against Northern Colorado. Lufile made all three of his field goal attempts and also added two assists in 20 minutes of play off the bench.
Poll Position... When Wichita State entered the AP Top 25 at No. 24, it marked the first time since the Shockers were ranked in back-to-back seasons since the 1981-82, 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons. The Shockers spent five weeks in the poll in 2011-12, finishing No. 18 in the final AP poll.
On Gregg Marshall... Head Coach Gregg Marshall is in his sixth season at WSU and his 16th season overall in 2012-13 with a 314-145 career record and 120-62 record at WSU. Wichita State went 27-6 in 2011-12 to complete the bookend to the best two-year record (56-14) in Wichita State history in Gregg Marshall's fourth and fifth seasons. En route, the Shockers won the Missouri Valley Conference title, which earned Head Coach Gregg Marshall the Valley Coach of the Year honor, his first at WSU. With the conference title in the bag, WSU then earned an at-large ticket to the NCAA Tournament, dropping a second round game in Portland to VCU. Under Marshall's tutelage, Wichita State has also been voted the Army National Guard All-Defensive Team for two-straight seasons. Marshall personally reached the 300-win career mark and 100-win WSU mark in 2011-12. He ended the season with a 303-144 career record in 15 seasons as head coach, and was 109-61 at WSU in five seasons. His 2011-12 team also won the Valley regular season for the first time since 2006 with a 16-2 record. Marshall's 300th career win came in 2012 with a win Feb. 18 in the Bracketbuster Series game at Davidson. Marshall also coached the first Shocker Top 25 team since 2006-07 when WSU entered the list at No. 24 on Feb. 13. The Shockers rose to No. 15 in the AP poll and No. 14 in the USA Today/Coaches Top 25, and entered the NCAA Tournament 18th and 19th, respectively, in the polls. For his effort, Marshall was named 2012 Division I All-District 16 Coach-of-the-Year and the 2012 MVC Coach-of-the-Year.
Hall Against the Vols... Carl Hall scored 21 points and had nine rebounds, just one short of what would have been his fifth double-double of the season. He went 9-of-10 from the field at Tennessee to shoot 90 percent. He also had three blocks and a steal against the Volunteers.
Reaching New Heights... Demetric Williams' 18 points and Malcolm Armstead's 17 points against DePaul were career highs for both players, while Williams' four steals were also a career high.
Carl Seeing New Highs, too... Carl Hall is sporting a prescription sport goggle that has him shooting a career-high 71.2 percent (37-52) from the line this season after shooting 64.6 percent (62-96) as a junior. He also shot 61.5 percent (8-13) from the field in WSU's two Cancun Challenge games.
MVC Player-of-the-Week... Carl Hall averaged 18.5 points on 68.2 percent (15-22) shooting, and added 10.5 rebounds a game to lead WSU to wins against Tulsa and Air Force and earn MVC Player-of-the-Week honors. He also had three assists, three blocks and two steals. His 16 points against Tulsa and 21 points at Air Force were team highs, as were his 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively against the pair. The two double-doubles were his third and fourth of the year.
Senior Leader... Senior forward Carl Hall put together two-straight double-doubles to open the season with his 12 points and 11 rebounds against VCU, and his 17 points and 13 rebounds in Wichita State's home-opening win. He was named WSU and the College Sports Madness MVC Player of the Week.
He added his third and fourth double-doubles with the 16 points and 11 rebounds against Tulsa and 21 points and 10 boards at Air Force.
Two-time MVC Newcomer of the Week...Cleanthony Early received Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week honors for the second straight week (Nov. 19/26). The Shockers were led in scoring in the two games in Cancun by tournament MVP Cleanthony Early, who had 25 points and nine boards in the championship game, which included a 7-of-13 effort from the field and an 8-of-9 effort from the line. For the week, he averaged 16.5 points and 9.0 rebounds while shooting 50 percent (11-22) from the field and 89 percent (8-9) from the line.
In-Season Tournaments... Prior to winning the 2012 Cancun Challenge, Wichita State last won an in-season tournament that it did not host during the 1963-64 season when the Shockers won the All-College Tournament in Oklahoma City with a 3-0 record, defeating Montana State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma City University. Since then WSU has won in-season tournaments that it hosted, including the Cessna Classic from 1997-99. In all, WSU has won 14 in-season tournaments with 10 of them held in Wichita. Prior to the Challenge, WSU was last in the title game of an in-season tournament at the 2003 Paradise Jam.
Championship game against Iowa in Cancun... Wichita State won its first in-season tournament outside the State of Kansas since 1963 with a 75-63 defeat of Iowa in the championship game of the Cancun Challenge Wednesday night.
The Shockers were led in scoring by tournament MVP Cleanthony Early, who had 25 points and nine boards in the championship game, which included a 7-of-13 effort from the field and an 8-of-9 effort from the line.
Malcolm Armstead, also a member of the all-tournament team, had 14 points to back Early, while he also dished out five assists. Armstead also had 17 points in the semifinal win against DePaul Tuesday night.
Against DePaul in Cancun... Wichita State defeated DePaul, 75-62, behind 18 points from Demetric Williams in the Cancun Challenge at Moon Palace Resort to move into the title game against Iowa. The Shockers (5-0) also had Malcolm Armstead and Carl Hall score in double-figures with 17 and 11 points, respectively. DePaul's Brandon Young had 19 points to lead the Blue Demons, while Moses Morgan and Cleveland Melvin backed him with 15 and 11 points, respectively. Young was only 4-of-14 from the field, but made 10-of-12 free throws. WSU led the entire game with the largest margin at 13 points in the second half at the 6:11 mark.
Shocks Win at VCU...WSU defeated VCU, 53-51, on a game-winning jumper from Malcolm Armstead with 3.8 seconds remaining in the game. Senior Carl Hall recorded his second double-double in two games for Wichita State (2-0, 0-0) with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Cleanthony Early added 13 points and Armstead had 11. Juvonte Reddic led VCU (1-1, 0-0) with 22 points and 10 rebounds. The Shockers held the Rams to a 34.7 shooting percentage for the game and dominated the paint, out-scoring their opponent 30-12 in the lane. In a low-scoring contest that went back-and-forth all night, Darius Theus hit a 3-pointer for VCU that tied the game at 51 with 26.6 seconds to play. Armstead then nailed a long two-pointer that eventually won the game for Wichita State.
Baker's Breakout... Redshirt freshman guard Ron Baker scored a career-high 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting in the home-opener, which included a 4-of-7 effort from the arc. Baker also made all four free throws and had four rebounds.
Early's Breakout Game.. Cleanthony Early scored a WSU-high 21 points and grabbed eight boards to lead WSU against Western Carolina on 6-of-11 shooting, including an 8-of-8 effort from the line.
20/20/20... Wichita State has won more than 20 games the last three seasons, and is on a quest to make it a school record fourth-straight season. In 2012-13, Wichita State returned only 22.7-of-77.1 points and 42-of-165 starts a game from a year ago with seniors Carl Hall and Demetric Williams, as well as Tekele Cotton, Jake White, Evan Wessel and Ehimen Orukpe.
Home Opener... Wichita State now has an 88-18 record in its home openers and a 78-28 record in season openers in its 106 years after defeating North Carolina Central, 71-57, Saturday Night. The Shockers have won the last 17 home openers, including all six in Gregg Marshall's tenure.
True Non-Conference Road Record... Gregg Marshall and the Shockers are 8-7 in true road non-conference games in his tenure with the win at VCU. The last two-plus seasons WSU is 6-2 with wins at LSU, Virginia Tech, Tulsa, Davidson, VCU and at Air Force. The losses were at San Diego State and at Tennessee.
Early Bumps and Bruises/Redshirting... Junior center Chadrack Lufile did not play in the exhibition due to a left knee injury, but picked up limited minutes against NC Central, VCU and WCU... Demetric Williams played 12 minutes in the exhibition after missing time in the preseason returning from ankle surgery, and played 12 minutes in the NC Central game... Fred VanVleet played 11 minutes in the exhibition after missing some preseason with an ankle injury... Freshmen Zach Bush and Derail Green did not play and will redshirt.
Shockers Picked Fourth; Hall Preseason Honorable Mention All-MVC... Defending champion Wichita State was picked fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll of league coaches, sports information directors and media, the league announced Monday. The complete poll is listed to the left. In addition, senior forward Carl Hall was picked as a member of the preseason honorable mention team.
What they're saying...
"In what should have been a rebuilding year for Wichita State, the Shockers have made their way into the MVC title conversation. Can they keep the momentum up? Andy Glockner weighs in." -CNNSI.com, Dec 4
"You probably can't name one player on the team, but don't sleep on the Shockers. They're reloaded and headed toward another NCAA berth." -Matt Norlander, Wake Up Call article, CBS Sports.com, Dec. 5
Home-court advantage...Ranking the best home-court advantages in the country (voters: Jason King, Andy Katz, Dana O'Neil, Fran Fraschilla), ordered by total points with number of first-place votes in parentheses:
1. Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas (3): 39
2. Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke (1): 37
3. Assembly Hall, Indiana: 24
4. Carrier Dome, Syracuse: 23
5. The Kennel, Gonzaga: 18
6. Viejas Arena, San Diego State: 17
7. Rupp Arena, Kentucky: 16
8. The Pit, New Mexico: 14
9. Breslin Center, Michigan State: 8
10. Charles Koch Arena, Wichita State: 6