Marshall to coach against one of his favorite childhood players


Matt Crow

Wichita State head coach Gregg Marshall yells at a player Saturday in Koch Arena.

No. 13 Wichita State got the attention of the nation after overcoming a 14-point halftime deficit on Thursday and taking down the No. 5 team on Sunday.

They got so much attention that they were named the Team of the Week by not just one organization, but two.

The Shockers were named the Team of the Week by Andy Katz/ the NCAA and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). In addition to the team honors, senior center Shaquille Morris was named The American’s Player of the Week.

Wichita State is looking to carry that momentum into Wednesday night’s game against Tulane.

The Shockers and The Green Wave have never met before, and are only meeting once in the regular season.

Tulane’s head coach, Mike Dunleavy Sr. is a former NBA player and coach. Over the course of 17 years of coaching, Dunleavy won 613 regular-season games, which is good for the 24th-most in the history of the NBA.

Dunleavy was an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, and head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers, and the Los Angeles Clippers.

He was named the NBA Coach of the Year in 1999 after leading Portland to the Western Conference Finals.

Marshall, who was a fan of Dunleavy since he was a kid, said Dunleavy had a big impact on him. Marshall grew up supporting the University of South Carolina and Dunleavy was one of his favorite players.

“As a kid, he was somebody that I looked up to…I thought he was a tremendous player,” Marshall said. “…I told him I loved watching him play, and I was a big fan of those teams growing up.. He had a big impact on me.”

Dunleavy is in his second season at Tulane. The Green Wave is currently 13-13 overall and 4-10 in The American.

They are on a five-game losing streak but have racked up wins against East Carolina, Houston, SMU, and Temple.

Tulane has a +.07 scoring margin and a -1.7 rebounding margin. They average 74.6 points per game and 34.8 rebounds per game.

The Green Wave has the conference’s most accurate shooters: Samir Sehic (.577) and Melvin Frazier (.574). The top two of them are right ahead of Morris who comes in at third (.561).

The Shockers’ biggest threat is Frazier who “came out of nowhere.” He averages 15.9 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game.

“He’s a tremendous athlete. Obviously, he gets a lot of points around the basket. He shoots a very, very good percentage. I’m not familiar with their team last year, but he’s kind of come out of nowhere,” Marshall said.

“Frazier kind of burst onto the scene…an NBA prospect who really has developed under coach Dunleavy.”

With Frazier’s shooting success, Wichita State is focusing on maintaining their defensive competitiveness that they have had the past to games. Marshall thinks The Shockers’ defense has improved as of late.

“We’re a pretty good defensive team, Marshall said. “We’re competing. We’re pretty physical and tough like the way we needed to be at Cincinnati and then the second half against Temple for sure.”

If The Shockers can pull out with a win on Wednesday, they would extend their win streak to five and keep them in the running for first in the conference.

Tipoff is at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcasted on CBS Sports. Both Marshall and Dunleavy will wear microphones for the game.  

CBS Sports will post an exclusive video on their Twitter, @CBSSportsNet, with soundbites from the game.