Men’s basketball pleased with new additions after exhibition game win


Baswanth Naidu/The Sunflower

Sophomore gaurd Jaron Pierre Jr. drives down inside Charles Koch Arena on Nov. 2. Pierre had five points, two assists and two steals in a 83-52 win against Newman in an exhibiton game.

A common phrase circling around the men’s basketball team this season is “12 new faces.” Those 12 new faces got an opportunity to show fans at Charles Koch Arena how much of an impact they can have this season in an exhibition game win. 

“We’ve been waiting on it,” senior point guard Craig Porter Jr. said. “All of us since everybody got here. I mean everybody came here to play a huge role in getting this thing going, so I feel like everybody was prepared and coach did a good job at getting everybody ready.”

The Shockers beat Newman, an NCAA Division II school, 83-52 on Nov. 2. 

Head coach Isaac Brown went with an almost entirely new starting lineup. One of the players he chose to start was junior guard Jaykwon Walton. Walton transferred from junior college Shelton State. 

He didn’t rack up the box score in points but Brown said his presence on both sides of the ball, especially defense, is something that will help the Shockers win games this season. 

“He’s one of those guys that affects the game without scoring,” Brown said. He’s not thinking score, score; he’s thinking ‘I gotta defend.’” 

Walton said one of his goals this season is to be the defensive player of the year in the American Athletic Conference. Against Newman, he had five rebounds, two steals and six points. 

“I’m not going to lie, as soon as I see him switch on me [in practice,] I try to get the quickest screen I can get to him away,” Porter said. 

Another transfer player that impressed Brown against Newman was sophomore guard Shammah Scott who transferred from Northwest Florida State College. Scott announced his commitment to Wichita State toward the end of July. 

Scott filled in for Porter off the bench at point guard. He had six rebounds, five assists and five points in 14 minutes. 

Brown said Scott has worked hard to help fill in at point guard and knows how to be a smart basketball player.

“I thought he got everybody involved,” Brown said. “I talked to him about being an elite point guard at this level. Number one, you gotta value the basketball. You can’t turn it over. You gotta get other guys wide-open shots. You gotta make plays late in the shot clock, but you gotta defend.” 

The Shockers will open up the regular season at home against Central Arkansas on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and KEYN 103.7 FM.