Wichita State wrapped up the Puerto Rico Tip-Off this past Sunday losing in overtime to Temple, 74 to 78. Wichita State’s offense sputtered nearly the entire game, and couldn’t find a way to consistently score the ball. We scored in spurts and became cold during long stretches of the game. A constant trend all tournament was a lack of solid play from our veteran guards. Kyles started slow but ended with 11 points in a decent showing from his poor game against Alabama. However Demetric Williams didn’t score a single point this game, which puts him at scoring 3 points in 61 minutes of playing time during the entire Puerto Rico Tip-Off campaign. That simply can not happen if this team wants to win these big games. Tekele Cotton came in late in relief of Williams and eventually Ragland once Joe fouled out. Tekele in 14 minutes of the game on Sunday had 5 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound and 3 fouls. He played with enthusiasm and tenacity, and did not look like a Freshman often in his 14 minutes.
Murry had a great outing again. Toure had 24 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Take into consideration that Toure still has that lingering chest injury that he reinjured earlier in the tournament, and he played better than expected. Murry fought hard all game, and played a ton of minutes. He was on the court for 42 minutes, which is 2 minutes longer than Stutz who had 40, and the next closest in minutes was Ben Smith with 34. Garrett Stutz recorded another double-double with 13 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal. When the offense clicked, and we could push the ball down low to Stutz, he put nearly everything in the hoop. It was the inability to work the offense down low that really killed the offense at times. This is a key point to looking at our play in Puerto Rico. It never appeared to me that we were running our offense on all cylinders. We would get in a groove and make a bit of a run, then sputter off into making bad decisions and running the shot clock down passing around the perimeter.
Coming off the weekend in Puerto Rico the Shockers end up 1-2 in the tournament and the overall record is now 2-2. I can only come away feeling disappointed at the product the Shockers put out on the floor for the tournament. WSU was given the opportunity to beat a top 25 team and a team that should be in playing in the NCAA tournament in March. Both opportunities were lost, and that is the part that stings. Neither of the losses in Puerto Rico are bad losses, but they are losses, and the missed opportunity to show the nation that we belong was lost. I was expecting much better play from the offense as a whole, and I felt as if the team never showed off how good they could be on offense. I’m sure coming home that the team will have a lot of things to work on that the coaching staff saw as weaknesses.