#21 Wichita State Shockers: College Basketball 111 in 111

wichita state basketball

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season.  We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

After their Cinderella run to the Final Four, the Wichita State Shockers have firmly put themselves on the college basketball map.  With Creighton leaving for the Big East, Gregg Marshall’s team is the clear cut favorite to win the Missouri Valley Conference.

WICHITA STATE SHOCKERS
Last Season: 2nd, 12-6 in MVC, 30-9 overall
Predicted MVC Finish: 1st

Projected Depth Chart
C: Kadeem Coleby (Sr)/Chadrack Lufile (Sr)/Shaquille Morris (Fr)
F:  Cleanthony Early (Sr)/Darius Carter (Jr)/Derail Green (So)
G/F:  Ron Baker (So)/Nick Wiggins (Sr)
SG: Tekele Cotton (Jr)/Evan Wessel (So)
PG: Fred VanVleet (So)/D.J. Bowles (Fr)/Ri’an Holland (Fr)

Gone: F/C-Carl Hall, PG-Malcolm Armstead, G-Demetric Williams, C-Ehimen Orukpe, F-Jake White (transfer-Nebraska Omaha)

2013-2014 Outlook:
A big reason for the Shockers tourney run was their balance and depth across the board.  They lose a few key players but bring back leading scorer Cleanthony Early who made the smooth transition from the JUCO level.  Early is a versatile forward who can post up smaller defenders or take bigger guys out to the perimeter.  Junior college transfer Darius Carter and redshirt freshman Derail Green will battle for playing time at forward as well.

With Carl Hall and Ehimem Orukpe graduating, there is a void to fill in the middle.  After sitting out last season, Louisiana-Lafayette transfer Kadeem Coleby figures to plug that hole.  The 6-9, 250 pounder averaged 9.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.4 blocks per game as a junior and is a physical presence in the paint.  Chadrick Lufile and Shaquille Thomas are also wide loads inside and will compete for minutes behind Coleby.

WSU returns a ton of talent on the wing and plenty of capable shooters.  Tekele Cotton and Ron Baker figure to earn the starting nod.  Cotton is a versatile guard who can really get after it on the defensive end while Baker is more of a three-point specialist.  Nick Wiggins was a role player a year ago and adds three-point shooting off the bench as does Evan Wessel who missed most of last season after undergoing surgery for a broken pinky.

Fred VanVleet takes over the reins at the point guard position.  He is a talented creator and distributor, and can stroke it from the outside.  The former top 150 recruit is poised for a breakout season and the Shockers need him to make the most of his opportunity since true freshmen D.J. Bowles and Ria’n Holland are the only point guards on the roster.

Can the Wichita State Shockers ride the momentum of last season’s magical run?  To a certain extent, yes.  This team should easily win the MVC, consistently be a Top 25 team, and is capable of making it to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.  With new faces inside and at the point though, there are some pieces that need to fall in place to be a true contender on the national scale.

Player to Watch: Fred VanVleet
Playing behind Malcolm Armstead and Demetric Williams, VanVleet showed flashes in the minutes he was given especially in the tourney as he was being groomed as Wichita State’s next starting point guard.  He appears more than ready to take over that spot and there shouldn’t be a whole lot of drop-off.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/20 at Tulsa
11/25 vs. DePaul (CBE Classic)
11/26 vs. BYU/Texas (CBE Classic)
12/1 at St. Louis
12/14 vs. Tennessee
12/17 at Alabama
12/29 vs. Davidson

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#22 VCU
#23 New Mexico
#24 UConn
#25 Indiana
#26 Colorado
#27 Tennessee
#28 Baylor
#29 St. John’s
#30 Harvard
#31 UCLA
#32 Iowa
#33 Boise State
#34 Villanova
#35 Oregon
#36 St. Louis
#37 La Salle
#38 San Diego State
#39 Stanford
#40 Arizona State
#41 BYU
#42 Pitt
#43 California
#44 Iowa State
#45 Providence
#46 Cincinnati
#47 UNLV
#48 Purdue
#49 LSU
#50 Illinois
#51 Xavier
#52 Boston College
#53 Ole Miss
#54 Missouri
#55 Washington
#56 Saint Mary’s
#57 Maryland
#58 Butler
#59 Minnesota
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#61 Akron
#62 Temple
#63 Alabama
#64 Florida State
#65 Arkansas
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#68 Davidson
#69 Dayton
#70 Miami FL
#71 SMU
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#74 UMass
#75 Northwestern
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#78 Oklahoma
#79 Richmond
#80 Manhattan
#81 Belmont
#82 Texas
#83 Houston
#84 Washington State
#85 Iona
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#88 Towson
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#91 Rutgers
#92 Drexel
#93 USC
#94 Charleston
#95 Seton Hall
#96 Vanderbilt
#97 George Mason
#98 Clemson
#99 Penn State
#100 Nebraska
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#104 DePaul
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#107 TCU
#108 Virginia Tech
#109 Georgia
#110 Utah
#111 Auburn

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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