Livin' on Tulsa Time
“I guess we shouldn’t have chanted ‘overrated’ “.
Tulsa fan leaving after a 77-54 Wichita State blowout that was tied 31-all at the half, inspiring one of the most ill-timed chants of all time. I’ve always hated that chant, because I think it demeans the effort of the underdog, but, if you are going to use it, you might think about doing it with 0:20 seconds left instead of 20:00 minutes.
How good is it to have them for, essentially, three more years---
Danny Manning called Fed Van Vleet an ‘elite’ point guard and he certainly took charge of the game in the second half last night. The Shockers turned it over just twice in a second half in which they shot nearly 54 percent. Van Vleet and Baker each had 21 points on a combined 14 of 23 sparking the best half…ok…the best 14 minute run of the season.
Third test of the year---
Gregg Marshall pointed to the Baylor scrimmage as the season’s first test, one they passed with flying colors. He graded out the four home games with a C-, but he was all A’s about his club’s effort at Tulsa. Afterwards he called his guys winners, adding that he wants them on any team of his; “you go get your two guys and I’ll take these two every time, because they’re winners”. I couldn’t help noticing the bemused look of Van Vleet’s face—one that seemed to say ‘maybe not golf’.
With Darius Carter out with a foot injury (he’s day to day) and Kadeem Coleby going MIA fouling out in just 14 minutes—the responsibility fell to Chadrack Lufile and he responded, when he wasn’t giving the signal to be taken out to Marshall. The top-Shock said he ignored him a couple of times, but admitted that Lufile tends to do that to him too. In a game where post presence was at a premium CJ’s 9 points and 10 rebounds played big for the Shockers.
Who would you guess?
Van Vleet and Tekele Cotton lead WSU with 36 and 32 minutes played—so who do you suppose was third? Evan Wessel played 28 minutes primarily at the ‘four’. Never mind that he’s just 6’5, with Carter injured and Cleanthony Early in foul trouble Evan hit both of his shots and pulled six boards. He also helped hold Hurricane star Rashad Smith to just 6 points on 1of 5 shooting.
Koch Arena magic---
Tulsa announced 5,446 fans last night and over a 1,000 of them were wearing black and yellow. Even in Wichita State’s generally wasted years of the 90’s, Shocker fans showed up in far larger numbers—they may have left grumbling, but they always showed up. I know that Danny Manning and his staff (all Kansans) are working hard to restore that program—they won 17 last year, but are off to a 0-3 start with games at Creighton and Indiana State looming. 0-5 is a very real possibility for the Golden Hurricane before some wins start showing up—right now, those are as hard to come by as fans.