Wade breaks out of slump to help secure victory over Temple


Marshall Sunner

Wichita State junior Trey Wade dunks the ball during the first half of the game against Temple on Feb. 27 inside Charles Koch Arena.

Basketball is all about rhythm. For awhile, junior forward Trey Wade had struggled to find that level of play that he was at earlier this season. But something clicked on Thursday night against Temple.

Wade was thrust back into the starting lineup against the Owls and ended up tallying a season-high 21 points. Those 21 points were the most he’s scored since the season-opening game against Omaha.

Although, Wade hadn’t been putting up numbers since making the move to bench, Head Coach Gregg Marshall said he still liked Wade’s energy, which was the main reason for him getting the starting nod.

“I’ve liked his energy the last couple of games,” Marshall said. “He’s been beating people down the floor. He’s rebounded well. He’s a big part of what we’ve done all year long, but he was not playing well. And I’m going to go with guys that are playing well. The guys that play well get a lot of minutes. I thought Trey deserved it tonight and he certainly delivered.”

Part of the reason why Wade made the move to the bench was his struggles with his shot. Over a five-game stretch, the junior college transfer missed nine consecutive three-point attempts. Wade said he was focused on getting going from downtown and was able to do that against Temple.

In 34 minutes played, Wade was able to knock down a career-high four three-pointers and was an essential piece to the close victory.

“I was just preparing for the shot,” Wade said. “I was ready for my shot. I knew they were going to play off of me, since I’ve been shooting the ball badly, but I’ve just been preparing this whole time.”

Part of what helped him have success on Thursday night was the amount of work he put in to get going from downtown. Wade said it was a good feeling to see the shots in practice to translate into the games.

“I’m so happy the ball was going in (Thursday),” Wade said laughing. “I work so hard on my shot. Doing stationary threes, I work so hard on them. I see them go in practice and when they go in in practice and when they go in in the games, that’s a good feeling.”

Part of what has been challenging for Wade in his first year at WSU has been the adjustment from junior college to a Division-I level of play. The biggest thing for him has been the ability to find his role within the team whether that be on the bench or in the starting lineup.

“It’s tough just trying to get acclimated to everything and learning the plays, learning the teammates, and learning the coach. I just try to keep listening, that’s the biggest thing. I try to listen and things will face into place,” he said.

If Wade can continue this level of play, it could be critical to offensive success for the key three-game stretch before postseason starts. From sophomore Jamarius Burton’s perspective, he feels Wade can really help to open up the offense if he can keep up this high level of play.

“When we’ve got him [Trey] scoring like that, he just opens up the offense for everybody,” Burton said. “He’s already a tremendous defender and rebounder so when he’s making shots it just boosts everybody’s confidence and know that he’s a weapon and team’s got to respect him. We’re just grateful to have him.”

Wade and the Shockers will try to continue their winning ways on Sunday as they travel down to Dallas, Texas for a matchup with SMU starting at 3 p.m. Currently, both teams are tied for fourth place in the conference. The game will be critical in determining who could possibly receive a first round bye in the conference tournament.