You have probably heard the term “glue guy” when talking college hoops. To me, a glue guy is someone on your team who won’t have crazy stats, but has other intangibles that affect the outcomes of games. Those intangibles can range from leadership, hustle, camaraderie, knowing the system, to being a solid practice player helping your team out. Through the years, especially under Gregg Marshall, Wichita State has seen it’s share of glue guys. Off the top of my head, Wichita State glue guys under Marshall have been Demetric Williams for 12-13, Ben Smith 11-12, Aaron Ellis 10-11, and you could argue Graham Hatch for 10-11 as well. The definition of “glue guy” is subjective, so Hatch could be viewed as a glue guy even though he was a starter, based on the fact that his stats aren’t stellar, but did everything right that Marshall needed on the court.
So who is this year’s glue guy? Well I think that this year’s glue guys are Chadrack Lufile and Nick Wiggins. The two Canadian connections for Wichita State are what you’d consider swing states in a political election. Important pieces to the puzzle, if you want to win. Chadrack had a huge opportunity and role to fill this offseason. Replacing Carl Hall and Ehimen Orukpe is no easy task. As we near conference play, Chadrack seems to have edged out Kadeem in starting duties. However, as we know from watching Marshall basketball, the starting lineup rotates from game to game, but Chadrack has been playing lights-0ut against SLU and ORU. The opportunity for Lufile to be a consistent starter is there, and I would bet he takes full advantage of it. A lot depends on Kadeem being able to get out of his offensive slump. Either way, Lufile’s contributions to this team will continue to be a glue guy no matter what. His personality is electric, he hustles hard, he puts work in. During the off-season he asked the coaches for extra work to be a better player. If the SLU and ORU games are examples of the outcomes of his hard work, then his offseason was well spent. Over the last two games he’s averaging 24.5 MPG, 13 PPG, 0.590 FG%, 1.000% FT% (6-6), and 7.5 RPG. During the first 7 games of the year, Chadrack averaged 15 MPG, 5.71 PPG, 0.540 FG%, 0.750% FT%, and 5.14 RPG. As you can see, coach has given Lufile more minutes, and with those minutes he’s becoming more efficient, mainly in scoring, but also on the glass.
Nick Wiggins on the other hand has statistically been in a slump lately, and compared to last year, he’s not as efficient as a scorer. The disparity in the two year’s numbers is nothing to worry about though, Nick is one of the most talented players on this Shocker team. His athleticism is outrageous, and I wondered if Nick would hit his head on the lowered scoreboard this year. That’s exaggerating, but the guy gets his head above the rim, and throws down some nasty dunks. Nasty! He reminds me a lot of David Kyles, athletically gifted, can stroke it from 3, high flyer who dunks like it’s his job. Nick just needs to find the rhythm in his shot, and get one solid game of shooting behind him. He has a smooth outside shot, and the ability to dribble drive and fly high. All combinations that leave me waiting for his break out game, and it is coming. I guarantee you that. When the crowd needs to get back into a game, Nick can throw down a dunk to excite the crowd and get the homecourt advantage back in WSU’s favor. If on the road, he can provide the boom to quiet an opposing crowd. His ability to change the momentum of a game in one jump finalizes my opinion on glue guy status.