Welcome back for our third edition of the basketball MVP draft. As we said before, we’re not doing this for every game, so we skipped Wednesday’s match-up against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. We return now for Wichita State, which no offense to the Golden Lions, is a much more interesting game.
First off, let’s introduce the rules of the game: Each participant will pick ONE PLAYER from EACH TEAM they think will perform the best. They will then pick a third player from either team as their wild card pick. Each correct pick is worth one point. We will tally the points throughout the season.
Before we get to the Shockers, let’s tally up our points from last week’s Tulsa draft.
Tyler: 1 point(s)
Jawun Evans | Tulsa: Junior Etou | Wild Card: Jeffrey Carroll (OSU)
Sam: 1 point(s)
Jeffrey Carroll | Tulsa: Jaleel Wheeler | Wild Card: Phil Forte (OSU)
Sumer: 1 points(s)
OSU: Brandon Averette | Tulsa:
Pat Birt | Wild Card: Sterling Taplin (Tulsa)
Opponent: (Kelly Hines of the Tulsa World): 0 point(s)
Jawun Evans | Tulsa: Junior Etou | Wild Card: Pat Birt (Tulsa)
Oklahoma State: Evans was a late scratch with a shoulder injury last Saturday. Freshman point guard Brandon Averette got the start in his absence and did not disappoint. He led the team with 17 points and added three rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Plus he played his arse off on defense. Point Averette.
Tulsa: Wheeler was second in the team in points with 15 and a perfect 3-3 from beyond the arch. He added two rebounds and an assist. He did have six turnovers, but the other two options didn’t come close to his productivity, despite both playing more minutes than Wheeler.
Wild Card: This was close. It came down to Carroll versus Taplin. They had similar impacts on the stat sheets: Carroll with 13 points, 8 rebounds and one assist, Taplin with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. He also had three turnovers. I’m going with Carroll because Oklahoma State won.
Opponent - 3
Sumer - 2
Sam - 2
Tyler - 1
Turning our attention to this week; the Cowboys are in Wichita, Kansas to face the Gregg Marshall and the Shockers today.
This week we welcome Dustin Kuhn, who covers Wichita State on the Talk Angry Podcast, to pick for the opponent.
OSU: Jeffrey Carroll | WSU: Zach Brown | Wild Card: Daishon Smith (WSU)
Oklahoma State: He has only had one game this season where he didn't score double digits in points (UNC). I'm not sure if Jawun Evans is 100% or not, despite what Coach Underwood may say, and shoulder injuries tend to be nagging. OSUPD needs to put out a missing persons report for Phil Forte, who looks nothing like he used to so far this year. Carroll is having a career season, and to win in Wichita, he is gonna have to step up to the plate again.
Wichita State: The top 3 scorers for the Shockers are separated by .5 points per game. So no obvious choice there. Gotta dive deeper. Brown averages only 3.5 rpg, and only 1.7 apg. So why Brown? Because he is shooting 50% from the floor, and 42% from behind the arc in his 10 ppg. He also takes care of the ball, with only 8 total turnovers on the season. Plus, as a forward, he may be able to take advantage of OSU's less-than-stellar interior D.
Wild Card: For the first time this season, I picked two opponents. There's good reasoning for this though. Smith is another knock-down shooter, shooting 44% from the field and 50% from behind the arc. The dude is almost automatic from the free throw line as well, shooting 91%. Add in 3 rpg and 3.1 apg, and you have a good all around player. He leads the team in turnovers though, and Oklahoma State needs to make sure he can’t take care of the ball down low.
OSU: Brandon Averette | WSU: Zach Brown | Wild Card: Shaquille Morris (WSU)
Oklahoma State: I really like Evans in this game (and every game), but Wichita State rotates a lot of guards, and will focus most of their attention on Evans, so for that reason I am going with freshman guard Brandon Averette. He is coming off a 17 point game against Tulsa, and is shooting 50% from behind the arc on the season. I think the Shockers will overplay Jawun Evans and create opportunities for Averette to have his 4th double-figure scoring game of the season.
Wichita State: Wichita State graduated the duo of Fred Van Fleet and Ron Baker, meaning this team is without a clear identity on offense. The Shockers have 10 guys that play 13-22 minutes a game, and no one averages more than 10 points a game. I’m going with Houston native Zach Brown. He is a good sized kid at 6’6 215 lb, and is one of the more well-rounded players for Wichita State. Brown is 3rd on the team in scoring, averaging 10 points and 3 boards a game. He’s also shooting an impressive 50% from the field and 42% from the behind the arc.
Wild Card: 6’8 265 lb center for the Shockers, undersized in height but makes up for it in strength and effort. Morris had 10 points against a much taller and longer Louisville team, and has scored in double figures in three games this season. Wichita State is a balanced scoring team, but Morris plays a big role with his experience and strength on both ends of the court.
OSU: Lindy Waters | WSU: Daishon Smith | Wild Card: Jeffrey Carroll (OSU)
Oklahoma State: He seems to be progressing as each game goes on. With our injury depleted roster, the true freshman is getting more and more looks.
Wichita State: I went through at least 3 players before I settled on Smith. He's averaging 1.5 steals per game, which makes him ninth in the Missouri Valley Conference. I'm sure in the MVC they'll just hand the ball to you, but still. Decently solid free throw shooter. He's bringing an average of 7 PPG to the table. He was a big help in their win over Oklahoma.
Wild Card: Carroll continues to be a big help offensively, despite being a below average 3pt shooter. His career continues to make a statement in the Big XII. But he needs to chill on the turnovers.
Opponent: Dustin Kuhn
OSU: Jawun Evans | WSU: Darral Willis Jr. | Wild Card: Markis McDuffie (WSU)
Oklahoma State: Even though sophomore PG Jawun Evans only scored 5 points in 22 minutes in his return to the court against Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Wednesday, the Shockers have a bend but don’t break defense from their guards and are coming off giving up 28 points to Oklahoma senior guard Jordan Woodard last Saturday in Oklahoma City. I think Evans will have had time to fully recover by Saturday’s game in Wichita and will be up for what should be a fantastic atmosphere in downtown Wichita.
Wichita State: The 6’9” junior forward Willis is second on the team in scoring at 10.2 PPG. The Shockers are one of the toughest teams to predict on who will lead them in scoring as they have had eight different leading scorers in just 11 games this season. The JUCO transfer Willis has been one of the team’s most consistent post players on offense and is not afraid to shoot the basketball. I look for him to have a big game against an OSU team that is better known for its guard play than its interior defense.
Wild Card: The 6’8” sophomore wing player McDuffie was the Freshman of the Year in the Missouri Valley Conference last season and was a first team all-conference selection this season. He is the team’s leading scorer at 10.5 PPG but has not had a game yet this season that has quite lived up to his preseason projections. He was just 2-10 from the field in the team’s 76-73 win over the Sooners last Saturday and missed several close shots around the basket. To be fair, he was slowed by meniscus surgery right before the season, so with a week off to get healthy and a little bit of Gregg Marshall’s coaching, I expect a big performance from McDuffie this Saturday.