31-0 and way more to come
Senior Chadrack Lufile walked off the floor at Koch arena with his dad by his side. C.J., as he's knows by his teammates, admittedly didn't have the best game against Missouri State but the feeling was still the same. "It's indescribable," said C.J. Chadrack's dad was standing right next to him in the tunnel and looked at me to add, "There is more to come."
31-0. Perfect. Loud. Emotional. Those are all things that describe Koch Arena and Wichita State's flawless regular season that came to a close on Saturday afternoon. But none of them really fit. For a team that has made a perfect season look so easy, Coach Marshall says they're so far from it. "You don't have to play perfect basketball to win a game," said Marshall. "We always strive for perfection. And if you strive for perfection oftentimes you can achieve excellence. We have not played the perfect basketball game so we're not perfect but thus far we've been excellent."
One thing that the Shockers have not been excellent with in years past is the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. The Shocks haven't won the tournament title since 1987 and have never won the title in St. Louis. Up to now they've been using famous athletes as inspiration for wins like the Richard Sherman game (25-0). However, as we enter Arch Madness preparation the incentive doesn't need an athlete. "All we have left to do is win it," said Marshall of the tournament. That enough is motivation for this group.
Maybe that's what C.J.'s dad meant by there being more to come. Maybe he was talking about the NCAA tournament too. I was wondering that as I saw another man coming down the tunnel who looked strikingly similar to CJ and his dad. It was Chadrack's Uncle John, rushing up to greet CJ while still carrying his luggage from his flight. John had bad trouble getting to Wichita with cancelled flights and such, and missed the entire game; but you could tell none of that mattered once he got his arms around his nephew. Turns out C.J.'s dad was right, there was more to come. And after what I've watched on the court for the last 4 months, I think the Shockers aren't close to being done.