Shockers feel prepared to take on conference tournament competition 

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Mia Hennen/ The Sunflower

Sophomore Tyson Etienne calls out a play during the game against East Carolina on March 5.

WSU shut Tulsa down twice this season but sophomore guard Tyson Etienne said it’s all for nothing if they can’t shut them out in the opening round of the American Athletic Conference Championship. 

“I think in order for us to advance you know we gotta play ‘our basketball game’,” Etienne said. “You know it’s no more time for we should have done this or we could have done this. Everything that needs to be done needs to be done in that forty minute period.” 

The men’s basketball program is the No. 7 seed in the tournament and will play Tulsa in the opening round of the tournament tomorrow afternoon.  Tulsa is set as the No. 10 seed.

The Shockers are heading into the tournament with a 6-9 conference record — last season they posted an 11-2 record that led to an NCAA tournament bid. In order for WSU to get in the NCAA tournament, they will need to win all four games of the conference tournament. 

“You’ve got to take it one game at a time,” Brown said. “Right now, you can throw out the records. I think these guys are confident. They feel like we can beat anyone when we play well, and when we don’t, we can lose to anyone.” 

Brown said every player will need to defend the ball at a high level. Brown believes that freshman Ricky Council IV’s improved ability to defend well is going to be a nice advantage heading into the tournament. 

“He’s keeping guys in front, he’s rebounding and he’s getting better at taking care of the basketball,” Brown said. “That’s the thing he has to work on now, just valuing the basketball, having a better assist-to-turnover ratio. But he’s one of the best players in the league and one of the most-talented guys at going to the rim. He can really score. He’s had some big games.”

Tomorrow afternoon’s matchup is set for 2 p.m. on ESPNU at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. The conference tournament is single elimination—If the Shockers lose, their season will be over. 

“I don’t think anybody is going on that bus to play one game,” Etienne said. “I told the guys before we started practice today; you didn’t come here for a day. We didn’t come here for two days. We came back to bring it all the way back to Wichita.”