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For What it’s Worth---Unfinished business

By Bruce Haertl, bhaertl@kwch.com
Published On: Mar 09 2014 10:06:39 AM CDT
Bruce Haertl: For What It's Worth...

“We know what we’re up against.”

---Indiana State Head Coach Greg Lansing on today’s match-up with WSU

Gaining fans---

The axel's on the Shocker bandwagon are starting to bow from all those jumping on board. Gregg Marshall has always said of his team’s detractors, ‘come watch us’—knowing that they’ll likely be swayed once they see the Shockers with their own eyes. The amount of sugar that WSU is getting out of St. Louis would be enough to decay a sweet tooth, but they know it all comes tumbling down with a loss today.

Elevating game---

As if Wichita State hasn’t been dominating enough all season, Gregg Marshall was clearing his bench with eight minutes to go after building a 38 point lead against Missouri State yesterday. Not only are they shooting better than 50 percent here, but they’ve held two opponents to an average of 50 points and that’s after giving up a bunch during ‘cleanup times’ in both games.

Line of the day---

---Missouri State fan yelling from the crowd at Wichita State yesterday: “Hey Wiggins, your brother is better than you”. His buddy sitting ear me responds: “Yeah…but his team’s not”.

That remains to be seen, but being here this weekend one can’t help but wonder what kind of circus it would be if the Shockers and Jayhawks were both here in two weeks. They wouldn’t even have to be playing in the same region (wouldn’t that be thick), just sharing the same space would be incredibly entertaining and potentially combustible. Shocker fan is really feeling it right now and would have no problem engaging KU fans that, traditionally, are pretty confident themselves. Delicious.

Question---

How many losses would Wichita State have with KU’s schedule? Eight?

Indiana State---

The Sycamores got twenty points from Jake Odum in their semi-final win over Southern Illinois; the senior guard averaged 9 points on 6-16 shooting in two losses to the Shockers and he’ll have his hands full with Tekele Cotton. ISU was really scuttling at the end of the season, dropping their last three games to finish six games back of the Shockers in second place in the Valley. They haven’t played particularly well here, but will buoyed by a chance to steal a trip to the NCAA’s and a third shot against the Shockers.

One thing to watch for the Sycamores—Justin Gant, their second leading scorer, was poked in the eye near the end of the Southern Illinois game last night, rendering his status or effectiveness for today as questionable.

Point to ponder---

With all the skepticism about Wichita State’s schedule this year, you’d think that Creighton’s Doug McDermott would have been called into question for scoring most of his 3,000 career points against the Valley. Of course the notion is asinine on both fronts…I’m just sayin’.

Missing Creighton---

The Valley hasn’t felt the sting of Creighton’s departure as much in this tournament because Wichita State has helped to fill the void. The conference was fortunate that Southern Illinois and Missouri State made the semi-finals, both showed up nicely yesterday. There has also been a measure of locals showing up out of curiosity of the Shockers, but Creighton’s been missed. I can’t imagine what the buildup and anxiety would be with a top ten matchup in store today.

I know…don’t let the door slap you in the backside on your way out…but the Jays made the Valley and the Shockers better.

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