People still don’t believe in the Shockers

Sports Column

The Final Four, Cleanthony Early, an excellent recruiting class and some outstanding transfer students still isn’t enough.

Last year’s team was superb. They had everything a Cinderella story needed and a team could ever ask for: a great motto (Play Angry), hashtag (#WATCHUS), outstanding players and a passionate coach.

These parts all led to an unbelievable Final Four run that took the nation by storm.

The fans at Wichita State want more.

They want their Shockers to be a regular in the Final Four just like their in-state foe, the Kansas University Jayhawks.

The thing that I don’t get is how, after such a groundbreaking year, ESPN and other polls gave us a ranking of No. 16. Did they forget that we made a Final Four for the first time in 48 years? That means this team has something special.

The fans in Koch Arena believe we are worth a lot more than the 16 spot. In the past four years, every team coming off a Final Four received at least a top 10 ranking in the polls.

The critics argue that we graduated starters Carl Hall and Malcolm Armstead, and they have a point.

Look at this stat though: in the last three years Gregg Marshall has graduated 14 athletes, and we still made NCAA tournaments runs each of those three years.

The biggest thing that sticks out to me is that six teams stand between us and a top 10 ranking. That means they weren’t even close.

That should be considered an insult to Shocker fans across the nation. Wichita State has put itself on the map now. The fans are ready, the players are ready, and Coach Marshall has said in his press conferences that he is ready.

I predict that the Shockers will win the Missouri Valley Conference Title, go to the NCAA Tournament as four or five seed, and then make it to the Elite Eight to “SHOCK” the country again. Only this time, they should have seen it coming.