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View Full Version : Shockin' Y'all: The official Wichita State thread



SoCalPat
04-06-2013, 01:03 PM
Full disclosure: I have a master's in sports administration from Wichita State. And while my first love is the U., I probably have more recent connections to WSU hoops than I do Utah hoops. I had a few classes with Matt Braeuer, who until Fred VanVleet's late heroics against Ohio State, hit the biggest shot in recent school history when he beat Creighton at the buzzer in 2006 -- the year WSU made it to the Sweet 16 before losing to George Mason. Skip to the 2:00 mark to watch it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T4aUW7DH-Q

I've seen one of Gregg Marshall's assistants, Greg Heier, coach in several games when he was at Chipola, a Florida JUCO that's a national power. Not just from the stands, but sitting 5 feet from him during games. One of the things that was disappointing about Boylen's lack of success here was that he had a top-flight JUCO coach on his staff in Barret Peery. Jimmy knew that was essential. I think that's a must in today's game (unless you're Duke or UCLA), and it's working big-time for Marshall.

One of my co-workers during my short-lived and wildly unsuccessful media sales career was Randy Smithson, who was WSU's head coach in the late 1990s. Randy was more than a co-worker, and I still consider him a friend. His dad, Gene, was WSU's head coach on the 1981 Elite Eight team, and Randy was a key role player on that team. Randy was a huge hit in the JUCO ranks outside of WSU, but his perspective as a fired Division I head coach was eye-opening. The biggest lesson he taught me is, when your athletic department starts doing stuff without your knowledge that you should have a say in, you're done. For Randy, it was his AD telling him in the middle of his final year that a preseason tournament for the following year were scrapped -- the AD was already clearing the deck for the new guy.

That new guy turned out to be Mark Turgeon, who for the briefest of periods, had Ray Giacoletti on his staff. Ray's bio really doesn't include his time at Wichita State, since shortly after he was hired by Turgeon, he became the head coach at Eastern Washington. During Ray's second or third year, I had a chance encounter with Turgeon at Chipotle. Wearing my Utah jacket, I told him my first allegiance was Utah, my second WSU. I had forgotten about Ray's connection with WSU, so it surprised me when Turgeon told me about his relationship with Ray. He knew we were struggling and that I was struggling with the direction of the program. "You all need a point guard," Turgeon told me. "You'll be fine once you do. Don't lose faith in Ray -- he's an excellent coach." It was really my first insight into the coaching fraternity and how tight these guys are.

WSU is a funny bird in the state of Kansas. It has no football team, yet its football stadium is still the most dominant structure on campus. It's rivaled in dominance by the memorial as you enter the campus' main gates to the 1970 football team, a good chunk of which perished in a plane crash en route to a game at Utah State. That crash claimed the AD, the head coach, about a dozen players and several boosters. The crash didn't put an end to WSU football -- it discontinued the program in 1986 -- but the program was rarely successful. Football at WSU is most notable for being where Bill Parcells played and Jimmy Johnson coached as a young assistant.

So in Kansas' biggest city, you've got a mixed bag of allegiances. If you're not an alum of any of the state's three D-1 universities, you root for K-State in football, Kansas in hoops and WSU in baseball (the Shockers' sole NCAA title is the 1989 CWS). Even in its own city, WSU plays second fiddle to the bigger state schools.

Which is why the Final Four probably means more to WSU and its home city than it has any program in the expanded tournament era. Other small schools like Butler, VCU and George Mason have long had their own niche and simply aren't competing day-in and day-out with larger schools like WSU does with Kansas and K-State. The gulf is too wide with Butler/Indiana or George Mason/Georgetown on many levels. It's a bit narrower for WSU and it's in-state brethren -- they're very similar in many ways, but in athletics are worlds apart. I'm sure someone can come up with an example that contradicts this, but for someone who lived in Wichita for seven years, it's how I see it and can best explain it.

So I'll watch tonight and hope for the best. I think Louisville is the best team in the tournament by far, and I will be shocked (pun intended) if anyone else but the Cards are cutting down the net. That said, I remember thinking the same thing about Arizona and North Carolina in a notable NCAA tournament from a few years back. I'm hopeful WSU can follow Utah's path, finish the job and claim what would likely be the most unlikely national title in Division I history, and certainly in the modern era.

Jarid in Cedar
04-06-2013, 05:48 PM
Shockers with a narrow lead. Looked like the Cards were going to run them off the court after they erased the 8-0 hole. Should be a good game the rest of the way.

#1 Utefan
04-06-2013, 05:52 PM
Full disclosure: I have a master's in sports administration from Wichita State. And while my first love is the U., I probably have more recent connections to WSU hoops than I do Utah hoops. I had a few classes with Matt Braeuer, who until Fred VanVleet's late heroics against Ohio State, hit the biggest shot in recent school history when he beat Creighton at the buzzer in 2006 -- the year WSU made it to the Sweet 16 before losing to George Mason. Skip to the 2:00 mark to watch it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T4aUW7DH-Q

I've seen one of Gregg Marshall's assistants, Greg Heier, coach in several games when he was at Chipola, a Florida JUCO that's a national power. Not just from the stands, but sitting 5 feet from him during games. One of the things that was disappointing about Boylen's lack of success here was that he had a top-flight JUCO coach on his staff in Barret Peery. Jimmy knew that was essential. I think that's a must in today's game (unless you're Duke or UCLA), and it's working big-time for Marshall.

One of my co-workers during my short-lived and wildly unsuccessful media sales career was Randy Smithson, who was WSU's head coach in the late 1990s. Randy was more than a co-worker, and I still consider him a friend. His dad, Gene, was WSU's head coach on the 1981 Elite Eight team, and Randy was a key role player on that team. Randy was a huge hit in the JUCO ranks outside of WSU, but his perspective as a fired Division I head coach was eye-opening. The biggest lesson he taught me is, when your athletic department starts doing stuff without your knowledge that you should have a say in, you're done. For Randy, it was his AD telling him in the middle of his final year that a preseason tournament for the following year were scrapped -- the AD was already clearing the deck for the new guy.

That new guy turned out to be Mark Turgeon, who for the briefest of periods, had Ray Giacoletti on his staff. Ray's bio really doesn't include his time at Wichita State, since shortly after he was hired by Turgeon, he became the head coach at Eastern Washington. During Ray's second or third year, I had a chance encounter with Turgeon at Chipotle. Wearing my Utah jacket, I told him my first allegiance was Utah, my second WSU. I had forgotten about Ray's connection with WSU, so it surprised me when Turgeon told me about his relationship with Ray. He knew we were struggling and that I was struggling with the direction of the program. "You all need a point guard," Turgeon told me. "You'll be fine once you do. Don't lose faith in Ray -- he's an excellent coach." It was really my first insight into the coaching fraternity and how tight these guys are.

WSU is a funny bird in the state of Kansas. It has no football team, yet its football stadium is still the most dominant structure on campus. It's rivaled in dominance by the memorial as you enter the campus' main gates to the 1970 football team, a good chunk of which perished in a plane crash en route to a game at Utah State. That crash claimed the AD, the head coach, about a dozen players and several boosters. The crash didn't put an end to WSU football -- it discontinued the program in 1986 -- but the program was rarely successful. Football at WSU is most notable for being where Bill Parcells played and Jimmy Johnson coached as a young assistant.

So in Kansas' biggest city, you've got a mixed bag of allegiances. If you're not an alum of any of the state's three D-1 universities, you root for K-State in football, Kansas in hoops and WSU in baseball (the Shockers' sole NCAA title is the 1989 CWS). Even in its own city, WSU plays second fiddle to the bigger state schools.

Which is why the Final Four probably means more to WSU and its home city than it has any program in the expanded tournament era. Other small schools like Butler, VCU and George Mason have long had their own niche and simply aren't competing day-in and day-out with larger schools like WSU does with Kansas and K-State. The gulf is too wide with Butler/Indiana or George Mason/Georgetown on many levels. It's a bit narrower for WSU and it's in-state brethren -- they're very similar in many ways, but in athletics are worlds apart. I'm sure someone can come up with an example that contradicts this, but for someone who lived in Wichita for seven years, it's how I see it and can best explain it.

So I'll watch tonight and hope for the best. I think Louisville is the best team in the tournament by far, and I will be shocked (pun intended) if anyone else but the Cards are cutting down the net. That said, I remember thinking the same thing about Arizona and North Carolina in a notable NCAA tournament from a few years back. I'm hopeful WSU can follow Utah's path, finish the job and claim what would likely be the most unlikely national title in Division I history, and certainly in the modern era.


Did Utah ever look at Greg Marshall when we hired Boylen or Krystko? I have to think his days at WSU are numbered unless he is a native or something and just loves the place.

I saw Wichita St. beat Gonzaga here live a few weeks back. Was very impressed with their team. I did research on both Hall and Early after that game thinking to myself how come a team like Wichita St. can get these type of 6'8'' athletic players and Utah hasn't been able to recently. Was surprised to see they were both JUCO players. This is one of the reasons I have been so adamant about Utah finding someone along those lines to go along with our 8-9 wing players ;). I figure if Wichita St. can find 2-3, a PAC-12 school with Utah's facilities and history should be able to find one.

I'll be cheering for the Shockers to pull another upset today but I will be surprised if they can get past Louisville. I have to say, though, their mascot is quite possibly the worst (and creepiest) college mascot I have ever seen. Looked like a bad Halloween costume some parent threw together for their kid a couple of hours before going trick or treating.

Jarid in Cedar
04-06-2013, 06:07 PM
26-25 WSU at the break.

San Diego Ute Fan
04-06-2013, 06:37 PM
Go Shockers! Looking to continue to shock the world! Wow! Adding to the first half lead.

OrangeUte
04-06-2013, 07:17 PM
Louisville is tough to beat when they come back. Their defense is hacking wsu and getting away with it.

OrangeUte
04-06-2013, 07:18 PM
Shockers are ice cold on offense. They need to call a timeout and regroup mentally now that they have lost the lead.

OrangeUte
04-06-2013, 07:18 PM
Finally a foul that may give some momentum back to wsu.

OrangeUte
04-06-2013, 07:23 PM
Wichita state with some stupid turnovers the last few minutes. Luckily Louisville has missed a few layups.

SoCalPat
04-06-2013, 07:40 PM
Wichita state with some stupid turnovers the last few minutes. Luckily Louisville has missed a few layups.

Great game, great season. Thought Baker got the short end of two bad calls -- the held ball with seconds to go and the double foul with 3 and change to go that easily could have been a flagrant 1 on the cardinal player.

OrangeUte
04-06-2013, 08:43 PM
Great game, great season. Thought Baker got the short end of two bad calls -- the held ball with seconds to go and the double foul with 3 and change to go that easily could have been a flagrant 1 on the cardinal player.

Absolutely agree. I really like this team.

LA Ute
04-06-2013, 09:26 PM
Absolutely agree. I really like this team.

I absolutely covet that VanVleet kid. Wish we had him.

#1 Utefan
04-07-2013, 03:52 PM
I absolutely covet that VanVleet kid. Wish we had him.


I covet Early & Hall. If the Utes could get someone similar to either one, it would be a big help inside. Pat, you didn't answer my question on Marshall. Do you think he stays at WSU or someone lures him away?

SoCalPat
04-07-2013, 06:45 PM
I covet Early & Hall. If the Utes could get someone similar to either one, it would be a big help inside. Pat, you didn't answer my question on Marshall. Do you think he stays at WSU or someone lures him away?

It's tough to say. He has to be in position where his basketball program is the unquestioned top dog within the athletic department. He would thrive at Indiana, Duke or Kansas. He would be miserable at Oklahoma, USC or Florida State. New Mexico would be a great next job for Marshall if it was in a true power conference. At the same time, I could be wrong about all of that and Marshall might be basketball's version of Chris Peterson -- a guy who could have any job he wants, but really does want the stability for his family and the comforts of a medium-sized city.

FN Phat
04-07-2013, 08:03 PM
It's tough to say. He has to be in position where his basketball program is the unquestioned top dog within the athletic department. He would thrive at Indiana, Duke or Kansas. He would be miserable at Oklahoma, USC or Florida State. New Mexico would be a great next job for Marshall if it was in a true power conference. At the same time, I could be wrong about all of that and Marshall might be basketball's version of Chris Peterson -- a guy who could have any job he wants, but really does want the stability for his family and the comforts of a medium-sized city.

A la Jimmy Boehiem

OrangeUte
04-07-2013, 08:24 PM
A la Jimmy Boehiem

The man.