Know the opponent: Wichita State set for first-ever meeting with Clemson

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Know the opponent: Wichita State set for first-ever meeting with Clemson

Wichita State forward Jaime Echenique looks for a pass during the second half of the game against Cincinnati on March 16, 2019 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

Wichita State forward Jaime Echenique looks for a pass during the second half of the game against Cincinnati on March 16, 2019 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State forward Jaime Echenique looks for a pass during the second half of the game against Cincinnati on March 16, 2019 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

Joseph Barringhaus

Joseph Barringhaus

Wichita State forward Jaime Echenique looks for a pass during the second half of the game against Cincinnati on March 16, 2019 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

Wichita State will return to South Carolina for the second time this week for the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.

No. 2 seed Clemson hosts the Shockers a 1 p.m. Sunday. The two programs have never met.

Wichita State advanced after beating Furman 76-70 on Wednesday. Although Greensville and Clemson, South Carolina, are separated by just 32 miles, the Shockers elected to return to Wichita for 48 hours.

Clemson, out of the Atlantic Coast Conference, entered the postseason with a 19-13 (9-9 ACC) record — good for ninth-place in the conference. It protected home court (14-4), and had notable wins against No. 16 Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Radford and Lipscomb.

The Tigers rank No. 31 in KenPom, making it Wichita State’s second-best opponent behind Houston (No. 15 KenPom), this season. Marcquise Reed leads the Tigers averaging 19 points and three assists per game. He had 24 points in the opening round of the NIT. 

In the paint, the Tigers bring 6-foot-9 forward Elijah Thomas. He’s relieved by 6-foot-10 forward Javan White. Should the Tigers have to go deeper, Aamir Sims is 6-foot-9.

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State center Asbjørn Midtgaard comes down from a dunk during the second half of the game against Temple on March 15, 2019 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).

Wichita State will rotate bigs Asbjørn Midtgaard, 7-foot, and Jaime Echenique, 6-foot-10. The duo combined for 25 points and 20 rebounds in 40 minutes of action on Wednesday.

Tigers guard Shelton Mitchell did not play in the opening game of the NIT because of a knee injury. He is not expected to play in Sunday’s game. He had averaged 11 points and three assists per game.

Clemson average 69 points per game on 45 percent shooting. The team ranks in the bottom half of the country in 3-point shooting, hitting an average of 32 percent of shots from deep. The Tigers also turn the ball over frequently, ranking 260th in the country in turnover percentage.

Having won the NIT in 2011, the Shockers have won six straight NIT games. Eleven of Wichita State’s 14 losses this season have come to NCAA Tournament or NIT qualifiers.

Sunday’s game will be broadcasted on ESPN.

The winner will advance to the quarterfinals. For Wichita State, should it win, it’ll have another road game at either No. 1 seed Indiana or No. 5 seed Arkansas.

Joseph Barringhaus
Wichita State senior Markis McDuffie yells from the ground during the second half of the game against Temple on March 15, 2019 at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower).