Tag: Gregg Marshall

Andy Enfield
Associated Press

USC holds on to beat No. 20 Wichita State


With guards Fred VanVleet and Landry Shamet both sidelined due to injury, No. 20 Wichita State arrived at the Advocare Invitational shorthanded. But even with that being the case the highly successful Shockers represented quite the opportunity for USC, and Thursday afternoon the Trojans took advantage.

Despite turning the ball over 23 times Andy Enfield’s team found a way to win, hanging on to beat the Shockers by the final score of 72-69. Freshman forward Bennie Boatwright, a tough matchup for most teams as a 6-foot-10 stretch forward who can score from the perimeter, shot 5-for-9 from three and scored a team-high (and career-high) 22 points.

The tandem of he and junior Nikola Jovanovic, who added 14 points and 11 rebounds, outplayed the Wichita State front court on a day in which the Shockers needed greater contributions from those players. Add in 15 points and four assists from Jordan McLaughlin, ten points off the bench from Katin Reinhardt and a 12-for-23 afternoon from three, and the Trojans were able to do enough to make up for their high turnover count and Wichita State’s 24 points off of turnovers.

Given the absence of VanVleet and Shamet there’s no reason to panic regarding Wichita State. Ron Baker, who was exhausted by the end of the game due to the heavy load he was asked to shoulder, scored a game-high 25 points and the play of freshman Markis McDuffie was a positive to build on.

McDuffie, who entered Thursday’s game without a made field goal in his first two appearances as a Shocker, shot 5-for-9 from the field and contributed 14 points and three rebounds off the bench. With their current perimeter rotation being what it is McDuffie will have opportunities to contribute, and the Shockers will need him to take advantage as they await the returns of VanVleet and Shamet (and the addition of Conner Frankamp).

Doing so will not only help Wichita State in the short term but in the long-term as well, thus giving Gregg Marshall another option to call upon on his bench.

Thursday’s outcome, even with the desire to see more from Anton Grady (eight points, seven rebounds), says more about USC at this point in time than Wichita State. Enfield’s first two seasons at the helm were about amassing the talent needed to compete in the Pac-12 while also gaining valuable (and at times painful) experience. In year three the Trojans hope to take a step forward within the conference, and wins like this one provide evidence of the program’s growth.

Wichita State’s VanVleet leaves game with minor ankle sprain

Fred VanVleet
Associated Press
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No. 10 Wichita State point guard Fred VanVleet entered Friday’s opener against Charleston Southern at less than full strength, as he’d been dealing with a hamstring injury. Unfortunately for the Shockers the All-America candidate picked up another injury in the first half of the 88-63 victory, as he left the game with a sprained ankle that head coach Gregg Marshall described as “minor.”

VanVleet, who played just three minutes Friday night, is considered to be day-to-day with the Shockers’ next games scheduled for Tuesday night at Tulsa.

Friday night freshman guards Ty Taylor II and Landry Shamet saw the most minutes off the bench amongst the Wichita State guards, with Shamet (27 minutes) scoring 13 points and Taylor (16 minutes) tallying ten. Junior John Robert Simon played just eight minutes but finished with a team-high three assists, a number matched by senior Ron Baker.

Also of note in the win was the play of forwards Anton Grady and Eric Hamilton. Grady, a grad student who transferred in from Cleveland State, accounted for 12 points and three rebounds while the freshman Hamilton added 13 points and seven boards off the bench. They’ll be two key players moving forward for a team that has to account for the loss of Tekele Cotton and Darius Carter from last season’s Sweet 16 team.

VanVleet’s status heading into Tuesday’s game will be something to keep an eye on, as Tulsa has a very good backcourt tandem of its own in seniors James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison. And even if he can go, how effective he’ll be dealing with two injuries remains to be seen.

Tallahassee CC guard Smith commits to Wichita State

Gregg Marshall
Associated Press
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With Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker both being seniors, Wichita State was in a position where adding some depth to the perimeter on the recruiting trail wouldn’t be a bad idea. Of course, Gregg Marshall and his staff have addressed this in their 2015 recruiting efforts, with two freshmen (Tyrone Taylor and Landry Shamet) being joined by transfers Conner Frankamp (eligible in December) and Peyton Allen (eligible next season).

Sunday afternoon Wichita State added another perimeter option to the fold, as Tallahassee CC guard Daishon Smith announced via Twitter that he’ll be a Shocker. Smith is Wichita State’s second commit in the Class of 2016, joining three-star shooting guard and former Colorado State commitment C.J. Keyser.

Smith played his freshman season at Eastern Florida State CC, where he averaged 8.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. The 6-foot-1 Smith is a native of Jacksonville, where he attended Ribault HS, and he discussed his skill set with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle.

He describes himself as a combo guard with a strong instinct for defense. He visited WSU over the weekend and committed before flying back to Florida.

“I’m very good at attacking and putting pressure on the defense,” he said. “I’ve built a great relationship with (assistant) Coach (Greg) Heiar. I feel like it’s a good fit to come in behind Fred (VanVleet) and Ron (Baker), just to make things happen and keep the program going.”

In total Wichita State will lose five seniors at the end of the 2015-16 season, meaning that there’s room for a few more additions in their 2016 recruiting class.