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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Basketball officially enters the Paul Mills era

Madeline Bell
WSU Athletics hosted a press conference to introduce the new head men’s basketball coach Paul Mills on March 23.

Wichita State basketball kicked off their season with their first practice at Charles Koch Arena on Wednesday. Following Isaac Brown’s departure last season, basketball is entering a new era with Head Coach Paul Mills. 

“It’s a new group for me, and there’s a lot of new guys,” Mills said at the first practice. 

He said the transition has been smooth; when he sits down with players to explain plays and training, he tries to be as clear as possible. 

“I tell them this often: it’s unkind to be unclear, so I try to be as kind as possible so that they understand what’s required of them in order to get on our good side right now,” Mills said.

Mills said he has been working on trying to figure out which players work well together. 

“You’re trying to find out your scoring unit, your execution unit, and so there’s so many different packages that you’re trying to figure out,” Mills said. 

Over the summer, the Shockers traveled to Greece to play in three exhibition matches.

“From what I saw in Greece …  I felt like we got along pretty well,” junior forward Kenny Pohto said. “The players, the coaching staff, everybody, I feel like we’re getting better every day chemistry-wise.”

Pohto said the biggest change he expects this season is winning games.

“We’re just ready to go,” Pohto said. “We go in every day now, going hard and just trying to prepare for the first game.”

Mills said Pohto has stood out as a leader on the team.

“I couldn’t be more impressed with Kenny as a coach,” Mills said.

Junior guard Xavier Bell said he feels like Pohto has attacked this season as he has every other season.

“I think just seeing that growth from him and then him being a lot more talkative too has been huge for him,” Bell said.

Bell said the biggest change he has seen by Mills is ball movement and team togetherness.

“I think we’re more of a team than anything, no one is really a standout,” Bell said. “I feel like coach has done a great job with us, kind of getting us all together in the right rooms and the right atmosphere, just making sure we’re all coming in wanting to work and creating the right atmosphere going into the season.” 

Wichita State basketball are 30 practices away from their first game on Nov. 6 at Charles Koch Arena against Lipscomb. More information about basketball can be found on goshocker.com

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About the Contributors
Melanie Rivera-Cortez, Sports Editor
Madeline Bell, Former photographer
Bell was a photographer for The Sunflower. Bell absolutely loves slasher films; she says the more blood, the better. A goal of hers is to travel and never stay idle. Bell uses she/her pronouns.

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