Like many teams in the Missouri Valley Conference last season, the Shockers were a well-balanced team as their top four scorers averaged between 9-12 points a game while their five leading rebounders pulled down between four-five boards per contest. Expect more of the same this season.
Point guard Clevin Hannah is the only starter lost to graduation and will likely be replaced by either David Kyles or Demetric Williams. Toure' Murray is the team's top returning scorer and will be joined on the wing by Graham Hatch who is a solid outside shooter.
J.T. Durley brings his physicality to the frontcourt and will likely be joined by seven-footer Garrett Stutz who took over the starting job from Aaron Ellis late in the season. Ellis will provide some experience off the bench as will Gabe Blair giving the Shockers solid depth up front. If seven-foot transfer Ehimen Orukpe can contribute right away, that will give head coach Gregg Marshall even more options.
Wichita State was great at home last season posting a 17-1 mark. If they can continue to impose their will in Wichita and improve upon their 5-7 road mark, there is no reason to believe that this team will not be tourney bound come March.
Player to Watch: Garrett Stutz, C
Stutz took over Ellis' starting job for the final five games of the season. His presence on the floor gives the Shockers five players who can all step out and knock down jump shots since fellow post J.T. Durley is an effective three-pointer shooter. Though not a great shot blocker, his height allows him to alter shots in the paint. He has shown steady progress in his first two seasons and could play a big part in Wichita State's success in 2010-11.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/22 vs. UConn (Maui Invitational)
11/23 vs. Michigan State/Chaminade (Maui Invitational)
11/24 vs. Kentucky/Oklahoma/Washington/Virginia (Maui Invitational)