After losing all four of last season’s leading scorers, many understood that Wichita State basketball would take a little bit of time to get up to speed. In their first matchup against Central Arkansas, things were looking up after the Shockers cruised to a 79-55 victory.
After Saturday’s game, it looks like the Shockers may be in an even rougher spot than expected. Coming into the game as 15.5-point favorites, Wichita State basketball lost to Alcorn State at home, 66-57. Wichita State held a three-point lead at the half and extended the lead to six with 18:05 remaining.
From there on, it was all Alcorn State, as they outscored Wichita State, 36-21, to secure the massive upset. With a tough Richmond team on deck next Thursday, the Shockers don’t have much time to figure out where things went wrong.
Wichita State Basketball Upset by Alcorn State, 66-57
Shockers Struggle From Deep
Three-point shooting woes are not a new issue for Wichita State basketball. Last season, the Shockers ranked 300th in Division I in three-point shooting percentage, at just 31.2%. Against Alcorn State, it got much worse for the Shockers. Wichita State hit four of 24 attempts (16.7%) and just two of 19 attempts (10.5%) from players outside of Gus Okafor.
In this era of basketball, teams need to be able to shoot the deep ball to have a chance to win ball games. While most teams would look at such a performance as an anomaly, it may not be that far from the average for Wichita State. Even if they shot their average last year, Wichita State still would have only made three more attempts.
Although they lost by nine points, a team like Wichita State shouldn’t need to play an “average” game to beat Alcorn State at home. If they continue to struggle from deep this season, there will be plenty more head-scratching results in store for them this year.
Shockers Need a Leader
Wichita State was put in a tough position with how many players they lost this offseason. In times of turmoil, usually, one or two players step up and take the reigns. With Wichita State basketball, it seems like they are still figuring out who will be “the guy.”
Stability is so important in a college team as it often stops massive momentum shifts as they can take over for small periods of time by themselves. On Saturday, nobody seemed to want to take over for the Shockers. Forward Kenny Pohto took just nine shots even while shooting 55% from the field. Senior Craig Porter Jr. and Georgia transfer Jaykwon Walton seemed more interested in getting their own shot than getting their teammates involved.
If Wichita State can’t get someone to step up or have consistent production from the team as a whole, they will struggle once again this season.