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Midnight madness, spin control and Will Myers

By Bruce Haertl, bhaertl@kwch.com
Published On: Nov 12 2013 09:28:50 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 12 2013 09:30:00 AM CST
Bruce Haertl: For What It's Worth...
WICHITA, Kan. -

As someone who’s up bleary eyed this morning after watching the Shockers live, I’ve got to appreciate a young son who’s smart enough to have slept through the night, but passionate enough to get up at 5:00am and watch the game on DVR before he went to school.

Midnight at the Oasis---

Huge props for Shocker fans making the Roundhouse rock at midnight, but, even more impressively, for still making it shake two hours later. Koch Arena is made a special place not only by the team that plays in it, but by the fans that support it. Both showed up nicely last night….er, this morning.

Splitting hairs---

First and foremost the Shockers beat Western Kentucky by 17 points, for a nice win against a team that won’t hurt them in the RPI. However, Ron Baker has got to get more than one shot in the first half and only three for the game. Fred Van Vleet runs the Shocker show, but he needs Baker to create the offensive flow that wasn’t there against Western Kentucky. Sure, WSU producing some easy highlights off lobs from dribble penetration, but Gregg Marshall needs more fluidity in the half court and Baker is key to providing that. The Shockers took only 11 three-point shots, about ten under their average a year ago. Baker and Nick Wiggins are their best long range threats, when they have outside presence it only opens the inside game up more. This team should average much more than the 66 points it produced last night.

It’s a good thing that the Shockers practice behind closed doors because Marshall will probably make some…strong…points about his team’s defensive rebounding. Not only was WSU outrebounded by the Hilltoppers, but they gave up 20 offensive rebounds—not something that the coaching staff will take lightly.

Of course, the fall back is their defense and it was spectacular against Western Kentucky. There’s been a lot of concern about how a defensive team like Wichita State would be affected by the new ‘no contact’ rules in college hoops, but it’s all about staying in front of your man and play without fouling, something the Shocks have done very well through their first two games.

Believe it or not---

I only saw the shortened version of the Richie Incognito interview on Fox last weekend, but I’ve got to tell you—he was a good interview. It may smack in the face of his track record, but Incognito was thoughtful and intelligent in his answers to some tough questions from Jay Glazer. Of course, action speaks louder than words and Incognito’s actions have been reprehensible. The Dolphins are meeting with Jonathan Martin tomorrow in California; it’ll be interesting to see if he does any kind of interviews.

Royals fans---

Do Royals fans swallow hard when they see Will Myers named as American League Rookie of the Year? It will all depend on how things move forward from a season that was nearly seismic for Kansas City. Considering where they are with Wade Davis the royals, essentially, traded Myers for James Shields. If Shields is the architect of change in KC—the deal was a good one. If the Royals back up at all you’re going to be ruing the day you parted with Myers.

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