One of the major questions for Wichita State coming off of their surprise Final Four run would be their ability to replace Malcolm Armstead and Demetric Williams’ scoring touch and playmaking ability on the perimeter.
Sophomore Fred VanVleet from Rockford, Illinois appears equipped to handle the role. After a high school career that saw VanVleet win games at all levels, the Shockers saw late-season flashes that VanVleet would take on more of a staring role this season with a key play late in the win over Gonzaga in the Round of 32.
During early Tuesday morning’s 24-Hour Hoops Marathon, VanVleet led the Shockers to a 66-49 win in front of a great crowd in Wichita with 17 points, five rebounds, three assists, four steals and only two turnovers.
By leading four Shockers in double-figures with only seven field goal attempts, it speaks on VanVleet’s ability to get to the free throw line and score and he’s also one of the few Shockers to regularly make three-pointers, which is something to monitor going forward.
For now, the No. 15 Shockers will take a win over Western Kentucky during an odd time on national television as they move forward with their season.