Starting Lineups: All Hail The Wichita State Shockers

wichita state shockers 201434-0.

I can’t remember the last time I won anything 3-4 times in a row, much less 34 in a row, which makes what’s happening in the heartland of Kansas all that more amazing. The Wichita State Shockers are back, as guys like Fred VanVleet, Ron Baker, Mitchell Wiggins and Cleanthony Early have put the wood on all foes thus far this season. What’s been fascinating with Dubb State has been its mantra of “Play Angry,” as the phrase isn’t something usually related to what we used to define as a “mid-major” program. (Of note, this is the first time I’ve ever thought about using the phrase “mid-major.” The term just might be dying.)

However, for VanVleet and his Shockers, playing angry doesn’t mean that they’re antagonizing people on the basketball court; it means that their level of focus might be at an all-time high. Here’s the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year talking about his journey from Rockford, Illinois, and the adversity he had to overcome:

“I used to try to look for (negativity) as motivation and stuff like that, but I think that gets you to a point where you’re playing the game the wrong way. You’re playing the game filled with hate. That’s not a good way to play. It’s good to be motivated and things like that. But I think you can just as easily find motivation in trying to make people proud.” — Wichita State PG Fred VanVleet

Personally, I’d love to see Dubb State get the 1-seed in the Midwest Region, then have the NCAA selection committee slot the Kansas Jayhawks at the 2-seed, and maybe we can dream of a scenario where we see the battle of the Sunflower State take place on a neutral court in Indianapolis. (Sorry, Kansas State, but Marcus Foster is really good though.) One can only hope the brackets work out that way.

Here’s your pertinent reading material to get your week started off right. Happy Monday, everybody.

Gerald Green’s revival was a long time coming — SB Nation

Bun B Shares His Trillest SXSW Recs — Complex

Two Days At Sloan: How Sports Analytics Got Lost In The Fog — Regressing

8 exciting uses for wearable tech that will blow your mind — BGR

Examining the Thunder’s defensive struggles since All-Star break — Welcome to Loud City

1% of Artists Earn 77% of All Recorded Music Income — Pigeons and Planes

NYCFC unveil two club badge designs, ask fans to vote — Soccer By Ives

Josh Smith and Rajon Rondo have had conversations about playing together again — No Guts, No Glory

5 Replies to “Starting Lineups: All Hail The Wichita State Shockers”

  1. I love an underdog story as much as the next guy (if Wichita State even qualifies for Under dog status at this point), but I just get the strangest feeling they’re going to get dusted off smooht out of the Sweet 16. Hopefully not, but the way these brackets work….

  2. I hope you have to eat your words Esau! WSU was in the Final Four last year and they are a MUCH better team this year!

    1. I would not go that far. The backcourt is better, the front court is not (Coleby, Carter, or Lufile are not as good as Carl Hall). WSU could get killed by a team with a dominant big man.

      1. The Shocks out rebound every team they play. Everyone on the team including the guards create turnovers, dive for loose balls. Since Marshall rotates the 3 bigs, they are usually fresh. Their combined scoring is more then when they had Hall. Then theirs the 34-0 thing.

      2. All 3 center/forwards are 6’9″ or more. Marshall rotates them often to keep them fresh, & their combined scoring & rebounds are better then when they had Hall. They play tall & are quick. The team out rebounds opponents, & all players dive for balls & create turnovers. They have played many teams with 7 foot centers. Then there’s that annoying 34-0 thing. VanVleet & Baker are sophomores, & Cotton a junior, Cleanthony is a senior. All are veterans that went to the final 4 last year. All are capable of scoring inside or from long range. All have busted 20 during the season. They are one tough out. They have had the most away game wins of all college teams for the past 3 years.

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