MTXE mindset helps earn WSU their second conference win of the season

Junior Clarence Jackson gets excited after a big play during the game against Tulsa on Feb. 1 inside Charles Koch Arena. The Shockers defeated TU behind a dominant second half performance. (Sean Marty / The Sunflower)

The acronym MTXE, which stands for mental toughness extra effort coined by Gene Smithson, was a mindset that helped transform men’s basketball at Wichita State during the 1978-86 era. 

This mindset was taken to heart by the current men’s basketball team in a 58-48 win against Tulsa on Tuesday night. The Shockers wore what they called “throwback” jerseys from the MTXE era against Tulsa. 

“It was a great team win,” Head Coach Issac Brown said. “I talked to the guys about what MTXE means and those guys understand you know… about mental toughness, extra effort and they wanted to win that basketball game for all the players that played here in the past.”

The Shockers have led at the half numerous times this season — only to come up short by the end of the game. This was almost the case for Wichita State after trailing Tulsa by one at halftime. 

However, Brown said his team’s ability to grind offensively had to do with consistent execution on the defensive side of the ball, limiting Tulsa to only 16 points after halftime.

“I thought we did a good job at not turning over the basketball tonight,” Brown said. Valuing the basketball, taking better shots. “I thought we had a couple of guys that stepped up and played some big minutes.”

Tyson Etienne reacts to an early foul call during the game against Tulsa on Feb. 1 inside Charles Koch Arena. (Sean Marty / The Sunflower)

After a career high of 31 points last week against UCF, Council contributed to his team’s “mindset” by putting forth solid effort off the bench. Against Tulsa, Council scored a team-high 11 points in 18 minutes. 

“Tonight I was just focusing on the scoreboard because I know in the past, like I’d be looking and we’d be up 10 and the next thing we’re down one,” Council said. “One time I told Qua (Grant) just like bring it up slow. We controlled the pace of the game and I think that helped tonight.” 

Up next, the Shockers will play back to back games against SMU later this week. It has been two years since the Shockers last matched up with SMU. The Mustangs sit at No.2 in the American Athletic Conference men’s basketball standings and have a 7-1 conference record so far this season. 

Wichita State will play at SMU on Friday at 6 p.m.,  followed by a matchup against SMU at home on Saturday at 5 p.m.