Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise when former coach Mark Turgeon left for Texas A&M. The Shockers ended up hiring Gregg Marshall, the man who led Winthrop to an impressive seven NCAA Tournaments in just nine years on the job. Marshall will have to prove his coaching mettle once again, taking over a program in flux:
CHN) Based on what you've been able to see from last year, what's the biggest improvement your team needs to get to the next level?
Gregg Marshall) I have seen some videotape from last year, but I was not here last year, obviously. I think we need more toughness, both physical and mental, from what I have gathered from our fall workouts.
CHN) Are you settled with your starting lineup? Expect any particular battles for the open spots?
GM) Absolutely not. Every position is open. I would hope that our five veterans who have competed at this level previously would assert themselves and become our top tier performers.
CHN) It might be hard to pick out one, but who is the most talented player you've ever coached?
GM) It would have to be a tie between Torrell Martin and Craig Bradshaw, two seniors I had at Winthrop last year.
CHN) Talk about one or two guys that stand out as being underrated components to the team's success?
GM) We have to get something from our two biggest post players who are not normally at the 5 position, Phillip Thomasson and J. T. Durley.
CHN) What do you think will be the hardest game on this year's schedule?
GM) It would have to be the game at Southern Illinois or at Creighton. They are two of the top Missouri Valley teams on the road.
CHN) Realistically, what should Wichita State fans and media expect from your team this year?
GM) Quite frankly, I have no idea at this point. Until we get on the court and start putting in our system and seeing these players play five on five, I would be hesitant to venture a guess on this.