Illinois State (9-8, 0-5)
Wichita State Shockers (15-2, 4-1)
7 p.m. Central | Wed., Jan. 15, 2013 | Charles Koch Arena (10,506)
Radio: KNSS 1330 - Mike Kennedy/Dave Dahl - shockerradio.com
TV: ESPN3.com - Bruce Haertl, Rich Zvosec
Tonight's Game... Wichita State (15-2, 4-1) plays host to Illinois State (9-8,0-5) in the first meeting between the two teams this season.
-WSU is 18-3 in the Valley on the road the last two-plus seasons, and 2-1 in 2012-13.
-WSU has won 16-straight home games after defeating UNI, 66-41, on Dec. 30 in the Valley opener, which ranks in the top 11 for current streaks.
-Wichita State was back in the Associated Press Top 25 for the second time this year (23rd Jan. 7), before a loss at Evansville dropped WSU to 34 in the AP poll and 30th in the USA Today Poll.
-WSU spent two weeks in the AP poll (24th on Dec. 3 and 23rd on Dec. 10) and was No. 26 in the USA Today Coaches poll before suffering a loss at Tennessee, Dec. 13.
-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.
-WSU is still without its two of its injured starters, Ron Baker (foot) and Evan Wessel (hand). Carl Hall (thumb), was cleared to practice Monday. Hall and Baker have missed seven games and Wessel had missed eight before surgery was decided upon on Jan. 8. Starter Ehimen Orukpe also missed three games earlier this season with an ankle sprain.
Valley Roadies... Wichita State compiled an 8-1 Valley road record each of the last two seasons, and combined with the early 2-1 road start in loop play in 2012-13, WSU carries an 18-3 road Valley record the last two-plus seasons.
Last Time Out... Wichita State suffered its first loss in Missouri Valley Conference play to Evansville, 71-67, on Sunday night at the Ford Center.
Malcolm Armstead led the way for the Shockers, scoring 21 points and handing out three assists. Cleanthony Early added 16 points for Wichita State.
Colt Ryan paced the Evansville attack with 24 points and eight assists. Troy Taylor added 12 points and six rebounds.
Five-Time Honoree.. Cleanthony Early averaged 27.5 points in his two performances last week to earn MVC Newcomer of the week for the fifth time this season, including a career-high and current conference high 39 points against SIU. He also scored 16 points at Evansville for his seventh-straight double-figure scoring out and 14th overall. For the week, he shot 65.4 percent (17-26) from the field, 53.8 percent (7-13) from the arc and 87.5 percent (14-16) from the field to lead the Shockers.
Early and Orukpe... Cleanthony Early's 39 points against SIU are the most for a Wichita State player since Xavier McDaniel had 43 against Bradley on January 10, 1985, while Orukpe's nine blocks in the same game were the most since Robert Elmore had nine in 1977. In addition, Early's 39 are the fifth most in the NCAA this season.
Marshall Moving Up... Head Coach Gregg Marshall carries a 124-62 record at WSU for a .667 winning percentage. The 124 wins ranks fourth all-time at WSU, while his .667 winning percentage currently also ranks fourth behind coaches with shorter tenures than his. He needs just five wins to pass Mark Turgeon's 128 wins from 2000-07. Marshall is also 318-145 in his 16 years as a head coach at Winthrop and WSU.
Point Precision.. Malcolm Armstead averaged 15.0 points on 55.6 percent (10-18) shooting from the field while he also made 57 from the arc (4-7). He also recorded career-highs with 21 points against Evansville and nine assists against SIU. For the week he averaged six assists and two steals a game.
Wiggin Out... Nick Wiggins averaged a team-second 12.5 points last week after scoring 18 points at Drake on 75 percent shooting (6-8) from the field and seven points at Bradley. For the week, he shot 53.3 percent (8-15) from the field and 44 percent (4-9). He also made five of six free throws.
Chair of the Boards...Since 2010-11, the last two-plus seasons, Wichita State is 65-11 when out-rebounding opponents and 4-4 when getting out-rebounded. WSU has not been out-rebounded in a game so far this season, and the 18-rebound surplus against the Southern Miss Eagles (44-26) and UNI Panthers (40-22) were its largest margins of the season.
Since Gregg Marshall arrived, WSU has out-rebounded 149-of-188 opponents, including 15 of 17 this season. The other two were ties. WSU's plus-8.6margin ranks 16th in the NCAA.
Here is the breakdown:
2010-11 - 27-6 when out-rebounding, 2-2 when getting out-rebounded.
2011-12 - 25-4 when out-rebounding, 2-2 when getting out-rebounded.
2012-13 - 13-1 when out-rebounding, 0-0 when getting out-rebounded.
Fast Starts... Wichita State's 15-1 start before its second loss was the best since the 1953-54 team started 16-1 en route to a 27-4 record as the best WSU start in history before a second loss.
Five-time MVC Newcomer of the Week...Cleanthony Early received MVC Newcomer of the Week honors Dec. 31 and Jan. 7 and Jan. 14 for the third, fourth and fifth times. He also earned the honor for two-straight weeks Nov. 19 and Nov. 26. The Shockers were led in scoring in the two games in Cancun by tournament MVP Early, who had 25 points and nine boards in the championship game.
Depth Chart... Tekele Cotton got his first seven career starts 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 and Carl Hall as been released Jan. 14.
National Rankings... WSU as a team and individually ranks in the Top 100 in several categories:
Category Rank % or avg.
W-L % 13 88.2
Points 76 1,203
Scoring Defense 47 59.8
Scoring Margin 48 11.0
FG % 53 46.2
FG % Defense 69 39.9
Rebound Margin 16 8.6
Blocks/Game 39 5.0
Steals/Game 58 8.5
Carl Hall (as of Jan. 2)
FG % 32 57.3
Reb/Game 125 7.6
Blks/Game 70 1.9
Dbl-Dbls 43 4.0
Blks/Game 23 2.57
FT % 58 85.9
Steals/Game 76 1.94
Marshall Loves the 80s... WSU broke the 80-point barrier three times this season with 86 against Tulsa, 80 against Northern Colorado and 82 against SIU. Gregg Marshall is 85-4 in his career at WSU and Winthrop when his teams score 80 or more points, which includes a 31-1 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.
Poll Position... When Wichita State entered the 2012-13 AP Top 25 at No. 24 on Dec. 3, 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 318-146 career record and 124-63 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 MVC 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 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, 2012. 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. With WSU's Top 25 rankings in 2011-12 and 2012-13, Marshall coached the Shockers to the top 25 in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 1981-82, 1982-83 and 1983-84 seasons.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November Heavy... WSU played a school record seven games in November.
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.
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.
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 9-7 in true road non-conference games in his tenure with the wins at VCU and at Air Force. 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 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...
"I'm telling you: Watch. This. Team." - Seth Davis of http://SI.COM, Jan. 10
"You know who would be my national coach of the year right now? Gregg Marshall of Wichita State."- Seth Davis, http://SI.COM, Jan. 10
"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