Shockers defeat Charleston Southern in season opener


Freshman Landry Shamet drives to the paint in the first half Friday night against Charleston Southern at Charles Koch Arena. Landry finished the night with 13 points, five rebounds and two assists as the Shockers defeated the Buccaneers 88-63.

Rolling past the Buccaneers 88-63, the Wichita State men’s basketball team extended its home court winning streak to 33 games, and its season-opening record to 14 games. 

“We got in some serious foul trouble with our post players and had to go really small, which worsened the situation,” Charleston Southern head coach Barclay Radebaugh said. “They played to their strengths and had very talented big strong guys. It’s a first-class experience when you come play here.” 

The groundbreaking match-up brought to light some Shocker strengths, but did not come without difficulty. 

Both sides of the court struggled with playing according to the new rules on foul calling. 

“It was just one of those muddle-through games,” WSU head coach Gregg Marshall said. “It will be an interesting progression to see how we adjust to the new rules. In the end, we won 20 plus against a very well-coached team.”

A total of 66 fouls in the game made it one that was slow-paced and non-rhythmic.

“It’s like going from tackle football to two-hand touch,” Marshall said. “You’ve got to show your hands, because anything that resembles contact now is a foul.” 

Wichita State made the most of their opportunities at the free-throw line, making 31 of 41 shots, good for 76 percent from the line, while CSU was 19-30 and 63 percent. 

The Shockers were 44 percent from the field, sinking 25 of 57 attempts, and 28 percent from the three-point range. For a team that finished 11th in the NCAA in three-point attempts last season, the Shockers held the Buccaneers to 38 percent shooting and just eight for 25 from the three-point line. 

Favoring more depth, WSU played 13 men, 12 playing eight minutes or more. 

Senior and pre-season All-American Ron Baker led the Shockers with 15 points, shooting five for 11 and gaining three assists and four rebounds. 

The freshmen held their own on their first official night in uniform, combining for 38 points, four assists and 16 rebounds. Among them, freshman Landry Shamet had an explosive night, finishing with 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and no turnovers.

“I focus on not trying to do too much, and just do my job staying under control,” Shamet said. “It’s good to have a veteran out there to model myself after, and I try to attack opportunities when they come to me, not necessarily create too many.”

Deemed “Player of the Game,” freshman Eric Hamilton contributed 13 total points and six rebounds in 15 minutes of play.

“[Hamilton] is kind of like a bull in a china shop,” Marshall said. “He’s a ball-getter, and he can really shoot the ball.”

Anton Grady and Ty Taylor pulled their weight with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Both teams started slow, finally settling in near the second half of play. 

“We got our confidence up in the second half and started knocking down our shots,” Baker said. 

The heartbeat of the team, senior Fred VanVleet, left the game after just three minutes with a tweaked ankle, and Baker and Shamet took matters into their own hands. 

“I’m just trying to be as ready as possible to help our team execute and get wins,” Shamet said.

WSU out-rebounded CSU 28-16 and outscored them 25-13 from the bench.

The Shockers travel to Tulsa on Tuesday for a competitive match-up and early test, airing at 7 p.m. on Cox Channel Kansas. 

“Tuesday will either be a foul-fest or they will let us play, and it will be a fun game to watch,” Baker said. “We’re facing a really good offensive team come Tuesday.”