Conference opener provides clean slate for sluggish Shockers

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) -- Wichita State enters a new era Saturday morning, playing its first American Athletic Conference game in school history. The conference slate also provides the team an opportunity to rejuvenate with more energy than they showed during the non-conference slate.

The Shockers finished their non-conference schedule 10-2, losing to quality opponents Notre Dame in Maui and Oklahoma at Intrust Bank Arena.

Despite the No. 8 ranking and the 10 wins, the team has struggled defensively, allowing an astonishing 70.8 points per game (150th nationally) and forcing a low turnover rate of 16.4 percent (305th nationally).

Assistant coach Kyle Lindsted says they need to bring their a-game against UConn.

"It's important for us to just play well," he said. "You're not going to win the conference if you're not playing well. And to put it mildly, we haven't felt great about some of our performances as of late. No matter what, we need to feel good about the way we play."

Wichita State tips off against UConn at the XL Center in Hartford at 11:00 AM CT on KWCH 12.