Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A look at Wichita State

The Catamounts hit the road for seven-straight games, including four in the 2012 Cancun Challenge.

First up, as part of the Cancun Challenge, the Cats visit Wichita State on Thursday, Nov. 15, then on to Western Kentucky on Saturday, before traveling to Cancun, Mexico on Tuesday, Nov 20th, for two games at the Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort. 

Wichita State is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC), and was picked to finish 4th over all this season.  Starting his sixth season at Wichita State, the Shockers are coached by Gregg Marshall, the former very successful coach at Winthrop University.

Wichita State
only lost six games during the entire 2011-2012 season, but the the top five scorers are gone from that team that won the MVC conference title and went to the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Malcolm Armstead (6-0 guard, senior), who transferred from Oregon, will add experience and leadership. Armstead is a solid play maker and a good scorer while Fred Van Vleet (5-11 guard, freshman) is the Shockers point guard of the future and should see quality minutes as a freshman. Coach Marshall brought in a few junior college transfers to fill in openings, Cleanthony Early (6-8 small forward, junior) should be an all-around scorer. Nick Wiggins (6-6 guard, junior) will provide plenty of quality depth.

As far as the newcomers are concerned, junior college transfer Chadrack Lufile (forward) is the likely impact player.  At 6-9 and 240 pounds, Lufile will provide defensive depth. The player to watch is seven-footer center  Ehimen Orukpe, who averaged just 1.3 points and 2.1 rebounds in under eight minutes per game last season. WSU is hoping for a big rise from Orukpe during his senior season.

The Shockers will enter the game with a 2-0 record, after a 53-51 win over VCU on Tuesday night in Richmond.  WSU opened the season with a 71-57 win over NC Central.

This is potentially a very deep team and how quickly they can jell together and form a cohesive unit will make all of the difference.  Later in the season, this could be a very good team.