This Game Was Offensive
Well, that was easy. In their fourth game of the season, the Shockers destroyed the Hawks of Maryland Eastern Shore, 116-79, in front of a semi-packed house in Charles Koch Arena. The game was never close and was highlighted by Wichita State’s barrage of three-pointers. In fact, WSU tied a school record for most threes made in a game with 15.
For a while, it seemed like every shot by Wichita State was going in, and with 14 Shockers scoring, the night was definitely all about the offense. In total, 6 Shockers scored in double digits, with Landry Shamet and Daishon Smith leading the pack with 16 each. It was another balanced and (dare I say) beautiful game on offense. The Shockers were scoring at will, knocking down 62.5% of their 3s and 66% of their field goals. Passes were crisp and on time, and assists were flowing like a melted snow cone on a hot summer’s day. Everything was going right on offense, including a rare three-point make for big man Shaq Morris.
It seems silly to point out mistakes in a 37 point victory, but there’s always room for improvement. The Shockers committed 12 turnovers and allowed the Hawks to grab 8 offensive rebounds. Those numbers aren’t terrible, but against better teams, it could be a problem. Also, the defense gave up 79 points, which is quite rare for a Gregg Marshall coached team. Most of that was due to a faster-paced game where the offense was the focal point, but still, there were a few mental lapses on defense that will need to be corrected.
Player of the Game
Picking the top Shocker from this game was like me trying to decide who to start on my fantasy football team this past weekend. It wasn’t easy, but freshman phenom Austin Reaves stood out. Not only did he have 15 points on 4 for 6 shooting (including 4 made threes), but he also contributed with 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals. Whenever he was in the game, he was active on both ends of the court. It’s pretty clear that he has a high basketball IQ, which was evident during his sweet alley-oop pass to Zach Brown shortly before halftime. Reaves is already great and will only get better.
This game was decided when the UMES Hawks got off the bus before the game even began. Seriously. This was one of the biggest Division 1 mismatches in recent Shocker history. Before the game, WSU was ranked 22nd on KenPom’s computer ratings, and UMES was 339th. For those who are wondering, there are only 351 schools. The Hawks didn’t play terribly; they were just playing a team way out of their league.
The Shockers are done with the easy part of the nonconference schedule and now travel to the Bahamas for an elite tournament featuring LSU, Louisville, Old Dominion, VCU, Baylor, St. John’s, and Michigan State. WSU will first play LSU on Wednesday at 11:00 A.M. and then either Louisville or Old Dominion the following day. The Shockers’ third game will be against one of the other four schools, depending on who wins and loses. This tournament will give the Shockers a true test and provide opportunities for good nonconference wins. If the Shockers want a top seed in the NCAA Tournament, they will have to play their best in the Bahamas.
Next Game Details
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