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Return to the 2005-06 Top 144 Preview List

 

#96 Wichita State Shockers

Missouri Valley Conference

 

2004-05: 22-10, 12-6, 2nd

2004-05 postseason: NIT

By Joel Welser

The young backcourt and the loss of the top two scorers and four starters from a year ago knock Wichita State down the MVC ladder in the preseason. But don’t be mistaken, this is an athletic, talented squad that, by the time it matters, could come together and compete with anybody in the conference. They just have to prove they can do it first.

Who’s Out: Jamar Howard, Randy Burns, Rob Kampman and Adam Liberty all started at least 29 games in 2004-2005. Burns led the team with 12.1 points, Howard led in the rebounding category with 5.8 and Liberty was the assists leader averaging 2.9 per contest. Liberty opted to transfer, as did Kurt Bangle and Calvin Walls, neither of whom played last year. That is tons of experience heading out of Shocker country. Adding to the list is 6-10 center Zach Green, who is ending his career after his third knee surgery. Green didn’t see much action last year battling through those injuries, but if healthy, he could have made an impact this year.

Who’s In: Karon Bradley didn’t play much for Marquette before transferring to WSU. The hope is the change of scenery will help Karon reach his full potential. The 5-11 guard averaged 2.9 points two years ago with the Golden Eagles and will battle for a starting gig in Wichita. Junior college transfers Ryan Martin and Jared Young are a couple of wing players with plenty of potential, but will most likely see minutes as undersized power forwards. Ryan Bradley, a 6-10 center, will be backing up returning starter Paul Miller. Rounding out the group is verbal recruit Wendell Preadom. The 6-1 combo guard has plenty of experience playing with D1 quality players coming out of Westbury Christian in Texas and will battle for some quality minutes off the bench.

Who to Watch: The backcourt may be young and inexperienced, but the frontcourt duo of Paul Miller and Kyle Wilson will provide a sturdy threat under the basket. Miller, a 6-10, 248 pound senior center, will be the big man on campus on multiple levels. Last year he averaged 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest, the leading returning player in both categories. He stays out of foul trouble relatively well for a big fella and when he gets to the line himself, knocks them down with ease shooting 76.5% last year.

Projected Conference Rank: Sean Ogirri, P.J. Couisnard and Matt Braeuer showed flashes of things to come during their freshman campaigns. Now the backcourt trio will have to step up and prove that they can do more than come off the bench. If they do, the MVC is wide open enough for the Shockers to compete for the top spot, otherwise a 5th place finish is more likely.

Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:

Sean Ogirri, Sophomore, Guard, 7.5 points per game

Karon Bradley, Junior, Guard, DNP last season

P.J.Couisnard, Sophomore, Guard, 6.2 points per game

Kyle Wilson, Junior, Forward, 9.8 points per game

Paul Miller, Senior, Center, 10.9 points per game

 

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