The Wichita State Shockers won't enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated like they did last season, but they did win the Missouri Valley title again and are hoping to improve upon last season's Round of 32 exit.
Record – 27-3 (17-1 in MVC)
RPI – 11
Strength of Schedule – 105
G Fred VanVleet (Jr.) – 12.5 ppg, 5.4 apg
G Ron Baker (Jr.) – 15.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg
G Evan Wessel (Jr.) – 4.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg
G Tekele Cotton (Sr.) – 9.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg
F Darius Carter (Sr.) – 11.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg
Van Vleet is one of the top point guards in the country, and his ability to control the tempo of the game is the biggest reason why Wichita State is successful. He's normally good decision maker, but he does take questionable shots at the end of close games at times. If he can consistently make smart decisions, the Shockers might just find themselves in another Final Four.
Baker and VanVleet are two extremely explosive players that put pressure on a defense from every angle, but what makes them special is their ability to take care of the ball. Wichita State only turns it over nine games per game as a team, and less than three of those come from the backcourt – a good number since those guys have the ball in their hands most of the time. Guard play is usually one of the two biggest factors in the NCAA Tournament (along with defense), and the Shockers have one of the best backcourts in the country - and they have Final Four experience.
Wichita State's four guard lineup is great for pushing the tempo and shooting from the outside, but they've been exposed by good teams that have size, as shown by losses to Utah and Northern Iowa. Their lineup will create matchup problems for a lot of teams, but they will face an abundance of matchup problems of their own in the tournament.
Wichita State became a fan favorite during their Cinderella run to the Final Four in 2013, and while this year's team has the potential to go deep into the tournament, it'll take another miraculous run for them to make the Final Four because of their lack of size.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed