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Senior state of mind

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Wichita State seniors John Robert Simon (14) and Zach Bush (5) talk at half court during the first free throw shot. Simon and Bush are the only two seniors on the Wichita State team.

Wichita State seniors John Robert Simon (14) and Zach Bush (5) talk at half court during the first free throw shot. Simon and Bush are the only two seniors on the Wichita State team.

Hannah Roberts

Hannah Roberts

Wichita State seniors John Robert Simon (14) and Zach Bush (5) talk at half court during the first free throw shot. Simon and Bush are the only two seniors on the Wichita State team.

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Wichita State’s men’s basketball team will say goodbye to two seniors this season.

J.R. Simon and Zach Bush have been on the team for four and five years, respectively.

Simon and Bush consider each other brothers, live together and even get on each other’s nerves sometimes.

“We’re pretty tight,” Bush said. “He’s pretty much my brother, even to the point where he gets on my nerves sometimes and I’m pretty sure I get on his.”

As the Shockers head into the NCAA Tournament, Simon and Bush have not known anything else when it comes to postseason play.

Bush, who is the sole-remaining player from the Final Four team, said there are too many highlights to choose from during his time at WSU.

“It’s hard to chose just a few because I feel like there’s been so many,” Bush said. “The conference championships have been awesome, the Final Four, the blackout against Creighton my very first year, then College GameDay being here.”

Dave Bush, Zach’s dad, said he has a hard time believing the timing of Zach’s career as a Shocker.

“It’s been an unbelievable ride,” Dave Bush said. “He came at one of the most amazing times at Wichita State. He’s enjoyed every moment. We’re just blessed to be apart of it and share it with him.”

Both Simon and Bush were on the undefeated 2013-14 team, but for Simon, that season included something he won’t ever forget.

“I’ll always remember that when we went to the NCAA Tournament my freshman year that I scored two points in the first game (against Cal Poly),” Simon said. “That’s something I’ll be able to keep with me forever.”

John Simon, J.R.’s dad, scribed his son’s performance as being something he enjoyed watching throughout J.R.’s time at WSU.

“He’s very unselfish,” John Simon said. “I used to give him a hard time because he didn’t take the reigns and could have been a little more selfish at times.”

With the end of the season approaching John Simon said he is ready for J.R. to be finished, but will miss his time as a father of a college basketball player.

“I’ve got mixed emotions,” John Simon said. “I’m happy he’s graduating because he’s getting through in four years, but I’m going to miss [Shocker basketball]. We’ve had a lot of good fun.”

For Bush and Simon, the end of the basketball season is bittersweet.

“Probably more bitter than sweet, but it’s definitely weird,” Bush said. “I’m definitely trying to enjoy every day a lot more and I’m thinking more and more everyday that these are the last days I’m going to get to spend with [the team]. I’m trying to enjoy it and make it last.”

“You’re upset; you’re thinking about all the times you’ve had and it’s coming to an end and you realize that and you don’t want it to be over,” Simon said. “But it’s sweet because you think about all the times you’ve had these past three years.”

The more wins the Shockers gain in NCAA Tournament play, the further these brothers will go. No matter how far they travel or the city in which they play their final game, it is clear from every comment they make that their friendship will never end.

“People say that you don’t realize what you had until it’s gone,” Simon said. “So seeing the light at the end of the tunnel has made me cherish all this stuff as much as I can each day.”

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