No. 11 Wichita State finishes non-conference schedule Friday against FGCU


Brian Hayes

Wichita State forward Rashard Kelly slam dunk against the Arkansas State Red Wolves during the second half in Koch arena

With a 9-2 non-conference record, No. 11 Wichita State has a chance to have double-digit wins going into conference play for the fifth time in six years.

Wichita State will be meeting Florida Gulf Coast for the first time in school history on Friday.

The Eagles are 7-6 overall with their most previous game being a three-point loss to the FIU Panthers.

The Eagles’ are known to speed up the game with their transition offense. According to KenPom, FGCU averaged 72.4 possessions per 40 minutes. That’s 62nd out of 351 Division I teams.

“They really push hard in transition,” WSU assistant coach Isaac Brown said. “They have a lot of Division I transfers. They’re a talented, talented basketball team.”

Guards Christian Terrell and Brandon Goodwin appear to be the driving force to their offense. Last game, Terrell finished with 18 points, Goodwin with 24.

In addition, forward Michael Gilmore, a transfer from VCU, is now eligible to play, adding another factor.

“[Gilmore is] probably the most athletic guy on the court,” Brown said. “That changes their team now.”

The eagles have an 8.2 scoring margin and a 6.2 rebound margin.

The Shockers have a significantly larger margin in both categories with a 15.3 scoring margin, and 12.2 rebound margin.

Wichita State entered the week as the national leader in rebound margin but dropped to No. 3 after going +3 on the glass against Arkansas State on Tuesday.

Senior guard Conner Frankamp missed Tuesday night’s game do to a migraine, but he is set to play on Friday.

Junior forward Markis McDuffie warmed up with the team on Tuesday, but a set return has not been made.

“McDuffie looked good yesterday in practice, besides being fatigued a little bit,” Brown said. “We really really need him. He shoots threes, he puts it down…it’s like having another guard at the forward spot.”

Tipoff is at 6 p.m. and will be aired on CBS Sports.