Shockers enter AAC tournament looking for a fresh start

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Shockers enter AAC tournament looking for a fresh start

Markis McDuffie walks through the lobby of the team hotel on the way to the game on March 14, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower.)

Markis McDuffie walks through the lobby of the team hotel on the way to the game on March 14, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower.)

Joseph Barringhaus

Markis McDuffie walks through the lobby of the team hotel on the way to the game on March 14, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower.)

Joseph Barringhaus

Joseph Barringhaus

Markis McDuffie walks through the lobby of the team hotel on the way to the game on March 14, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower.)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Wichita State freshman Erik Stevenson had a simple way of saying it.

“0-0! Post season,” Stevenson wrote on Twitter.

Wichita State’s season has been a mix of the best and the worst. The Shockers, who have seven freshmen, are among the league’s (and the country’s) youngest. Inexperience showed through in the team’s first seven conference games, where Wichita State lost in six. Then, the team clicked. Wichita State won nine of its last 11, and a four-game winning streak surged the team into sixth place in the conference standings.

No team in American Athletic Conference history that started with a 1-6 conference record had finished with more than seven conference wins. Wichita State won 10.

Joseph Barringhaus
Asbjøurn Midtgaard walks through the lobby of the team hotel on the way to the game on March 14, 2019. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower.)

Wichita State now must win the conference to advance to the NCAA Tournament.

“I’m pretty disappointed in how we started the season,” said Troy Batson, a retired Shocker fan who traveled to the tournament in Memphis. “Hopefully, we show well win two games and make the NIT.”

“Young,” said Andrew Nelson, a young Wichita State fan, of this year’s squad. Nelson and Ron DeWeese, want the Shockers to play in three games. That’ll mean advancing past Temple and playing in the semifinals of the tournament on Saturday.

“Honestly, we can be the dark horse of this tournament,” Steven Gonzales, a fan from Wichita said. “The way we’re playing right now, we can play in the championship.

“We can play any of these teams. It comes down to maturity, and it comes down to composure,” Gonzales said.

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State will play at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee for the American Athletic Conference.