There are not too many positives for No. 11 Wichita State to take from its 91-83 loss to No. 17 Oklahoma on Saturday, but the play of Darral Willis Jr. was one of them. The Shockers hope the senior forward stays in the zone and helps them bounce back from a worse-than-it-looks setback when they host Arkansas State on Tuesday at Koch Arena.
“I was really in the moment,” Willis told reporters after recording 20 points and 12 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench for his third double-double of the season. Wichita State, which fell from No. 3 in the rankings, trailed by as many as 18 in the second half and shot 42.9 percent from the field - dropping their season number to 49.3 - in the home game played at downtown Intrust Bank Arena. The Shockers must also become beasts on the boards again as Oklahoma matched them in rebounds 43-43 after Wichita State entered the game leading the nation in rebounding margin at plus-14.3. The Red Wolves are 1-6 on the road this season after a 64-63 victory Saturday at Florida Atlantic on senior guard Rashad Lindsey’s buzzer-beater.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN3
ABOUT ARKANSAS STATE (4-7): Senior guard Deven Simms (team highs of 16.8 points and 6.2 rebounds) recorded his third career double-double and second this season with 22 points and 11 rebounds Saturday. Junior guard Ty Cockfield (14.9 points) is the only other double-figure scorer, raising his field-goal percentage to 50.8 percent after scoring 54 points and going 24-for-41 from the floor - 2-for-11 from 3-point range - in the last three games. Senior forward Tamas Bruce (9.5 points, 4.9 rebounds) is a high-percentage shooter (54.9), but has fouled out four times this season and finished with four fouls in three games.
ABOUT WICHITA STATE (8-2): Sophomore guard Landry Shamet averages team bests of 16.4 points and 4.4 assists after recording 17 and five versus Oklahoma, but was 1-for-6 from 3-point range as the Shockers were 6-for-24 from beyond the arc Saturday. Senior guard Conner Frankamp (12.0 points), who is averaging 15.3 points over his last four games, was 1-for-5 from deep against Oklahoma after going 10-for-18 in his previous three contests. Senior center Shaquille Morris (13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds) scored only 13 points over his last two games after totaling 35 in his previous pair of contests.
1. The Shockers are 89-2 under coach Gregg Marshall when scoring 80 or more points.
2. Arkansas State shot 7-for-17 from the free-throw line Saturday, lowering its season percentage to 70.6.
3. Wichita State has won 43 straight non-conference games at Koch Arena.
PREDICTION: Wichita State 80, Arkansas State 58