Shockers open practice with large class of newcomers

Wichita+State%27s+Head+Coach+Gregg+Marshall+speaks+to+media+about+the+upcoming+season+on+Sept.+25%2C+2018+in+Koch+Arena.
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Shockers open practice with large class of newcomers

Wichita State's Head Coach Gregg Marshall speaks to media about the upcoming season on Sept. 25, 2018 in Koch Arena.

Wichita State's Head Coach Gregg Marshall speaks to media about the upcoming season on Sept. 25, 2018 in Koch Arena.

Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State's Head Coach Gregg Marshall speaks to media about the upcoming season on Sept. 25, 2018 in Koch Arena.

Joseph Barringhaus

Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State's Head Coach Gregg Marshall speaks to media about the upcoming season on Sept. 25, 2018 in Koch Arena.

Head Coach Gregg Marshall worked hands-on with a class of 10 newcomers Tuesday, the first day the Shocker men’s team was allowed to hold a complete practice.

Over the summer, the team was given only limited time to practice — four hours a week instead of two, thanks to an NCAA rule change.

The Shockers return just four scholarship players from a year ago.

“Right now, they’re just learning how to compete in college basketball,” Marshall said. “It was a godsend to be able to work with these guys for four hours rather than two all summer.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time with our youth.”

Marshall said he used the additional practice time this summer to focus on individual skill instruction, to which his players have performed well, he said.

“Even with the extra time, we still aren’t quite where we need to be,” Marshall said.

Marshall said the newcomers are settling in well, but it’s still early to see where they’ll fit into his system.

Pullquote Photo

They’ve all shown the reason why we recruited them — but other days they have shown us that this is going to be tough.”

— Gregg Marshall, Head Coach

“They’re wide-eyed and busy-tailed at this point,” Marshall said. “All of them have had their moments. They’ve all shown the reason why we recruited them — but other days they have shown us that this is going to be tough.”

With just two scholarship seniors, Marshall is looking to Markis McDuffie, who two seasons ago led the Shockers in both rebounding and scoring, to make an impact this year.

“We need him to be the Markis McDuffie of old,” Marshall said.

McDuffie suffered a stress fracture in the offseason last year that caused him to miss 11 games from his junior season.

“Coming back last year, he kind of forced things,” Marshall said. “It hurt him and it hurt us, but ultimately, he is a talented kid and wonderful young man. He has an opportunity to shine during his senior year and maybe get back on those draft boards.”

WSU will hold a public scrimmage Oct. 6 at Charles Koch Arena.