Wichita State Shockers vs. Southern Illinois Salukis - 2/11/14
Southern Illinois Salukis (10-15) at Wichita State Shockers (25-0)
College Basketball: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Charles Koch Arena)
The Line: Wichita State Shockers -19.5 -- Over/Under: TBA See the Latest Odds
The Wichita State Shockers look to remain perfect as they hit the hardwood for another MVC battle as they host the hot SIU Salukis on Tuesday night in Wichita, Kansas.
Wichita State remains at #2 in the USA Today Coach’s Poll after a fairly easy win at Northern Iowa on Saturday night. The Shockers hit the boards hard as they always do – outrebounding the Panthers by 16 and having one of their best shooting games of the season (54%). Junior high-flyer Tekele Cotton led 5 Shockers in double-figure scoring with 18 points. They shot 79% from the charity stripe, where they have been good lately when teams are trying to come back. Head coach Gregg Marshall takes every game in stride – even the ones where they are expected to cruise to victory. They are especially great in second halves of games, outscoring their opponents by 230 points. Cleanthony Early is the frontrunner for Valley POY at 16.3 ppg and 6.3 boards per game. Everyone on the floor does their part to box out and snag rebounds, as they don’t have 1 dominant space-eater that gets 10 boards a game. They also are a good ball-handling team, led by sophomore Fred VanVleet (130 assists and just 34 turnovers).
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Southern Illinois comes in having won 4 games in a row, and have been winning in pretty convincing fashion. They trounced Missouri State in front of the home fans 72-54, as they sizzled from 3-point land, hitting 9 of 17 long-range shots. They only led by 2 at the break, but pulled away with staunch defense and timely shooting. Desmar Jackson has been the most consistent player on the team this season with 19.7 points per game and is the assist leader and 2nd in rebounds. One Saluki on the rise is sophomore guard Anthony Beane, who was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week (2nd straight week). He averaged 23.0 points in wins over Drake and Missouri State. He was 15-of-26 from the field, 7-of-13 from 3-point and 9-of-9 from the FT line, as he led the Salukis to two wins by a combined 34-point margin. Fellow sophomore guard Jalen Pendleton rounds out the double-digit scorers, netting 10 per game. The Salukis are a decent rebounding team (+1.1) and struggle somewhat at the line (67.7%)Even with decent rebounding, this will be a game dominated by the Shockers on the glass.
The Shockers have failed to cover in their last 2 home games with the spread being about the same for both. And with the Salukis playing their best basketball of the year, I see a closer game – maybe still a double-digit win for WSU, but probably less than 15, as Barry Hinson’s squad plays hard no matter what the score.