For What It's Worth
8:46 AM CST, February 18, 2013
For What it’s Worth--- on this February 18 - Wichita State went 7:30 without a point at Illinois State-- they endured a 17-nothing run and were outscored by 17 at the line and still won a basketball game. Go figure.
Wichita State scored more points in the last 0:41 seconds than they did in the first 14 minutes of the game in Normal, IL last night. Those last 0:41 were a perfect storm producing a technical, two free throws and back to back triples to finish the game on an 8-0 run. The technical call was one of the most interesting I’ve ever seen and Gregg Marshall gets the credit for getting it called.
First time for everything---
Illinois State was up 5 with 0:51 seconds left, when the Redbird’s Jackie Carmichael rebounded a Shocker miss. As he came down his foot made contact with WSU’s Tekele Cotton, it didn’t appear to be much at the time, but after WSU fouled Johnny Hill at the other end—Marshall, saying he thought Carmichael had kicked Cotton, asked officials for a review of the play. They obliged and agreed—awarding two free throws and the ball, all of which was converted into five points. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a call like that; neither had Illinois State head coach Dan Muller who was incredulous. Of course that leads to the Shockers forcing a turnover, which prompted Cleanthony Early’s heave for a winning triple with 0:05 seconds left. It was simply incredible.
Lost in the heroics---
WSU was superb defensively, holding Illinois State to 34% shooting and not allowing them a basket over the last 6:16 of the game.
The win keeps the Shocks one game up with three to play in the Valley race. WSU is trying to win back to back conference titles for the first time since 1964-’65. More than that, it’s another road win against a top 100 team and that’s important stuff in the at large world of the NCAA Tournament. Now it’s on to a suddenly faltering Indiana State, a win there and they’ll come home to face Evansville with a piece of the MVC title on the line. Wouldn’t that be something in a season where they lost, arguably, their best player for seven games and still are without the services of two other starters.
The Shockers gave up 27 runs in three games to Pittsburgh this weekend and were swept at home in a three game series for the first time in the 36 years of the Stephenson era. The lack of timely pitching, or any pitching at all is of most concern. Generally, the one thing you can count on at Wichita State is pitching. There are few people I have more confidence in than WSU pitching coach Brent Kemnitz, he’ll get it figured out. I’m not as sure of the Shocker offense--bats are always behind arms this early in the season, but the production last weekend wasn’t too encouraging. All in all, it was a humbling weekend against a team that wasn’t highly regarded coming in.
Danica on the rail---
As a casual fan of NASCAR---Danica Patrick’s claiming of the pole for next weekend’s Daytona 500 will give me a reason to watch.
KSU on Big Monday---
Bob Huggins comes into Manhattan for the first time since he bolted the program for West Virginia six years ago. I hope he’s greeted warmly; Huggins doesn’t get enough credit for the renaissance of K-State basketball. Besides, his team should be a relatively easy win for his old one.
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