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For What it’s Worth: 18-0, Bounce back ‘Cats, Championship Sunday

Published On: Jan 15 2014 12:21:36 PM CST
Bruce Haertl: For What It's Worth...
WICHITA, Kan. -

When asked who he might take ahead of Fred Van Vleet at point guard right now, Shocker coach Gregg Marshall thought it over before coming up with…Chris Paul of the LA Clippers. Of course, he was quick to add that Paul was currently injured; leaving me to believe that he wouldn’t trade the sophomore for anyone.

Shock talk---

Right now I think Shocker fan is sustained by the winning streak and the lofty national ranking, but I wonder how long they’ll look forward to matchup like the one last night against Bradley. Gregg Marshall cleared his bench with 13:30 left in the game, a game which, for all intents and purposes, was over before the half. Maybe Indiana State can provide the sense of anticipation that Creighton used to provide…maybe, but is there anyone else who can come into Koch Arena with enough to create the doubt that makes matchups intriguing? What will be the closest margin of victory for Wichita State at home?

Shoot it---

Lost in the relief of the rally at Missouri State and the blowout of Bradley is the fact the Shockers haven’t shot it very well of late. Over the last 4 games Wichita State is shooting under 40 percent as a team, that’s down from a season average of 46 percent. As expected, the opening game point surge around the Valley has corrected itself. After scoring 82 in their MVC opener at Southern Illinois, the Shockers haven’t hit more than 72 in their four games since, averaging just over 69 points over that stretch.

In case you’re keeping score at home---

Fred Van Vleet over his last seven games: 38 assists to 4 turnovers and 15 points a game. Find me a point guard anywhere in college hoops who’s playing better.

Depth---

Marshall had a great chance to work on his depth last night and Derail Green took a step forward with career highs with 8 points and 18 minutes. The freshman redshirt also played well defensively, he’s got to be more aggressive on the glass to earn Marshall’s trust, but it was a nice step forward. I can’t figure Nick Wiggins out—he’s much improved defensively, but, suddenly, he can’t shoot. We’re talking about a guy who hit 42 percent of his three pointers last year; so far he’s about half as good as that this season.

Great bounce back---

After being hammered at KU, Kansas State bounced back with their best three point shooting effort of the season last night at home against OU. The Wildcats hit 11-21 from deep, but it was their defensive pressure which really impressed especially against the Sooner’s Cameron Clark who came in as the Big 12’s leading scorer. Clark, who was coming off a 32 point performance against Kansas last week, was held to just two. You had to be impressed with K-State’s resilience.

Final four---

I’m not sure anyone could argue that the four best teams in the NFL are the one’s still playing this weekend. Seattle and San Francisco has the chance to be the most chippy conference championship we’ve seen in a long time and whoever gets tired of Brady v. Manning? You hope the games live up to the hype attending them, although, if you think about, there’s no combination of wins that wouldn’t produce a much anticipated Super Bowl.

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