Shockers’ unselfish play ‘a thing to marvel at’


Matt Crow

Wichita State forward Markis McDuffie passes to Darral Willis Jr. Wednesday night in Koch Arena.

Wichita State made a splash on national leaderboards ranking in the top-10 in three different categories. Two of which shows how their unselfish play helps them win games.

The Shockers rank third in the nation in assists, averaging 19 per game, and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.59).

The team’s ability to share the ball makes for “pretty basketball” which is something Head Coach Gregg Marshall doesn’t like to strive for, but said it’s still a thing to marvel at.

“Sometime you marvel at the—it really is pretty basketball,” Marshall said. “I’m not into that. That’s not something I want to coach—pretty basketball—but it is a thing to marvel at sometimes.”

The Shockers show just how selfless they play by their willingness to pass up a shot opportunity for someone else to get off an even better shot.

“Sometimes a really good shot, they give it up for a really great shot,” Marshall said. “That’s really rare when they don’t improve the quality of the shot with that extra pass.”

The Shockers don’t care who it is scoring the points, they just want to get the best look every possession.

“We have a lot of unselfish guys, nobody cares who is scoring,” sophomore guard Landry Shamet said. “We just want to get an open look every time down the floor.”

Shamet exhibits his unselfish play not only on Wichita State’s stats, but The American’s as well. Shamet leads the league in both assists, averaging 5.3 per game, and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6).

The team’s unselfish attitude doesn’t just come from assists, but also from offensive rebounds that lead to second-chance shots. Those come the most from Wichita State’s “energy guy”, senior forward Rashard Kelly.

Kelly said he knows his role when it comes to getting rebounds and assists, and he loves it and how he fits into the team.

“[Getting offensive rebounds] is just fun…I love it. I smile after it, then I pass it out and get an assist right after that too,” Kelly said. “I just try to fit in. We have great shooters around me.”

Kelly’s ability to get offensive rebounds gives the shooters more confidence when taking shots. Kelly likes to reassure them that even if they miss, he’ll set The Shockers up for second-chance shots.

“I told Austin Reaves when he had the ball, ‘Man, make a move…you shoot the ball and I am going to get it for you anyway,’” Kelly said. “It’s just where I fit in at, and I take pride in it. It’s fun and I enjoy it.”

Kelly is the The American’s top offensive rebounder averaging 3.3 per game.

Kelly is also ninth on WSU’s career games played list with 130. He will extend that Thursday as Wichita State hosts Temple.