TV & Radio // The 8:30 p.m. CT tip will air statewide on Cox Channel Kansas (Cox HD 2022) and in the Kansas City area on Time Warner SportsChannel2, with Shane Dennis(pbp) and Bob Hull (analyst) on the call. Fans outside of the two viewing areas can catch the game via ESPN3… Mike Kennedy, now in his 37th season as the Voice of the Shockers, will call his 1,173rd consecutive game on radio, and Dave Dahl returns for his 36th year as home analyst. Tune in on 103.7 FM KEYN or GoShockers.com/Listen.
A Banner Day // For the seventh-consecutive year, the Shocker home opener will be preceded by a banner drop. Between Friday night’s national anthem and starting lineups, WSU will unveil its 2016 MVC Championship and NCAA Tournament signs.
Long Streak vs. Strangers // WSU 54-1 in home non-conference regular season games since November of 2008… That includes a school-record 37-game non-conference home winning streak that currently ranks second nationally behind Duke (125)… The Shockers’ last home loss to a non-conference foe came to Final Four-bound VCU in a 2011 Bracket Busters Matchup.
Crowded in Here // Charles Koch Arena has played host to 181-consecutive regular season crowds of 10,000 , dating back to December of 2004… The Shockers have sold out 41-consecutive campus home games since Senior Day, 2013…. The moral support has gone a long way. WSU is 101-9 (.918) over its last seven seasons at Koch Arena and 107-9 (.922) overall in Wichita.
WSU in Season Openers // The Shockers open at home for the 13th-consecutive year. They’ve won 14 openers in-a-row and 22-of-23 since 1992, with the lone blemish coming in November, 2001 against Delaware at the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska… Marshall is 9-0 in openers as Shocker head coach.
WSU in Home Openers // The Shockers have won 20-consecutive regular season home openers. Their last setback came Dec. 4, 1995 to Northern Illinois (77-52)… WSU is 94-18 all-time in such games. That includes a 53-7 mark at the Roundhouse, which opened its doors in 1955. The team has won all 13 home openers since the building’s renovation and rededication as Charles Koch Arena in 2003.
LinkedIn // WSU and South Carolina State share a mutual friend. In 1979, WSU hired Willie Jeffries away from SCSU to be its head football coach. In the process, Jeffries became the first African American head coach of an NCAA Division I-A football program at a predominantly white college. He spent five seasons on the Shocker sideline before accepting a similar position at Howard University, then returned to SCSU from 1989-2001. Jeffries was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
The Series with SCSU // This is the first meeting between the two programs… The Shockers are 10-2 overall against current members of the MEAC… Over the next 10 days they’ll face both SCSU and Maryland Eastern-Shore.
Marshall vs. SCSU // Marshall has also never coached against SCSU, which is something of a rarity. He has faced each of South Carolina’s 12 Division I programs at least once, save for SCSU, Winthrop (his former school) and Wofford… Marshall is 5-0 against South Carolina schools since arriving at WSU and 44-14 overall. Throw in six wins over Division II programs and that record climbs to 50-14.
Scouting SCSU // The Bulldogs are picked second out of 13 teams in the MEAC … They are coming off of a 19-win season, and last year’s second-place finish in the MEAC standings was its best since 2005… SC State fell to Hampton in the MEAC Tournament final but still earned its first postseason bid since 2003 with a trip to the CIT… Advanced metrics varied in their appreciation for the Bulldogs in 2015-16. They ranked 205th in the RPI but were 268th in Ken Pomeroy’s calculations.
Dodge City (Kan.) Community College product, Eric Eaves is a preseason first team all-conference pick after making the second team as a junior… Eaves, a 6-3 guard, was the team’s leading scorer last season at 17.3 points… Junior guard Edward Stephens is a preseason Second Team All-MEAC pick… Murray Garvin – entering his third full year at SC State — is reigning MEAC Coach of the Year.
Starting Fresh // Should Landry Shamet crack Friday night’s starting lineup, he would become just the sixth Shocker freshman to start an opener in the last 20 years, joining Ron Baker (2012), Demetric Williams (2009), PJ Couisnard (2004) and the duo of Jamar Howard and Rob Kampman (2001). Howard, Kampman and Williams are the only true freshman on that list.
Ballot Ball // WSU rolled out an exhibition starting lineup that averaged 6-foot-7 across the board, with the 1-5 combo of Landry Shamet (6-4), Zach Brown (6-6), Markis McDuffie (6-8), Rashard Kelly (6-7) and Rauno Nurger (6-10). Marshall polled his coaching staff prior to the game, asking each to list five “everyday guys.” That’s a commonly term in Marshall lexicon, used to describe players who consistently do things the right way in practice.” Shamet, Brown, McDuffie, Kelly and Nurger were a unanimous choice.
Line Changes // Marshall expects to do some tinkering with his 2016-17 starting lineup until the right mix emerges. A year ago, injuries forced him to run with four-different lineups in six November games. His fifth lineup (VanVleet, Baker, Wessel, Kelly, Morris) made its debut on Dec. 5 and stuck for the final 29 contests.
Beat-the-Odds Couple // Former Shockers Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet have made a habit of exceeding expectations, and that trend continues at the next level. Baker (New York Knicks) and VanVleet (Toronto Raptors) were two of only a dozen undrafted rookie free agents from last year’s NCAA ranks to make a 2016 Opening Night roster. A total of five Shockers have now made their NBA debut in the last four seasons.
Quick Turn // The Shockers open with two games in less than 48 hours. Friday night’s 8:30 p.m. tip is followed by a 7 p.m. Sunday matchup against Long Beach State. The latter was a late schedule add and is considered a fourth, non-bracketed game in the upcoming Battle 4 Atlantis. Exempt tournaments allow teams to play up to four games, provided that they fall within a two-week window. LBSU’s packed road schedule made finding an ideal date challenging, but the experience could ultimately benefit the Shockers when they prep for three games in three days later this month in the Bahamas.
FROM WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS RELEASE