Fans get preview of 2021-22 basketball programs during Shocker Madness


Rachel Rudisill/ The Sunflower

Junior Dexter Dennis goes up for a dunk during the Shocker Madness dunk contest on Oct. 12 inside Charles Koch Arena.

Shocker basketball welcomed fans back to Charles Koch Arena with Shocker Madness on Tuesday night. 

Fans were introduced to the 2021-22 men’s and women’s basketball teams, and the returners from the 2020-21 men’s team were presented with their American Athletic Conference championship rings.

The event started with a three-point contest, as senior Asia Strong advanced to the finals with a 13-10 victory over junior Carla Bremaud in the first round. Freshmen Jalen Ricks and Kenny Pohto then faced off for the men’s, with Pohto defeating Ricks, 13-12, to advance to the finals.

Pohto, a 6’11 freshman center, claimed the three-point contest title after defeating Strong 17-10 in the final round. 

“Kenny is a weapon,” head coach Isaac Brown said. “He’s one of those big guys that can step out and shoot the three. He’s probably the best shooting big man I’ve ever coached. You can run pick and pops with him, he can shoot the three at a high percentage, he can defend, and he’s got great size at 6’11.”

Four Shocker players – Clarence Jackson, Dexter Dennis, Ricky Council IV, and Isaac Abidde – then competed in the slam dunk contest. Dexter Dennis advanced to finals after the only perfect score of the night, while freshman Isaac Abidde advanced following a dunk-off with Council IV.

After a final-round tie, Abidde took home the title after defeating Dennis in his second dunk-off of the night.

“Isaac’s my man, I was talking to him before, ‘I’m going to win but who knows you might win you’re the freshman, you’re the new guy’,” Council IV said. “He can jump out of the gym so I’m not mad.”

The night wrapped up with 10-minute scrimmages from both teams. In the women’s, Yellow defeated Black, 9-7, behind seven points from freshman center Ella Anciaux. Anciaux, a freshman from Wichita, saw her first action as a Shocker in the scrimmage.

“It’s so special to be here and have all my friends and family, I know that they’re there supporting me,” Anciaux said. “It’s really special just to be here in my hometown, where I was raised.”

Senior Seraphine Bastin led the way for the Black Team, with three points, while Asia Strong, Mariah McCully, and Carla Bremaud each tallied two points each.

“We’ve got a lot of things we’ve got to work on but I’m excited about our team,” head coach Keitha Adams said. “We’ve got some inside presence and some outside presence so our balance I think will be improved this year. We’re going to have more depth and we’re going to have a fun season so I’m excited.”

Ricky Council IV and Joe Pleasant led the charge in the men’s scrimmage, combining for 18 points in Yellow’s 22-21 victory. Council finished with a team-high 10 points while Clarence Jackson tallied eight points for Black. 

“I like our guys,” Brown said. “We’ve got a new basketball team pretty much, we’ve six new players and that’s a lot of guys. We’ve just got to get them to gel together, start learning about each other so those guys can play more on the basketball court. I like what we’ve got right now.”