Wichita State Shockers sophomore guard Fred Van Vleet nearly doubled his season average in points, scoring 22 on 7-of-10 shooting, to go with seven rebounds and three assists, en route to leading his team to a 72-50 victory over the Bradley Braves on Tuesday night.
Van Vleet was the best player on the court on either team, and impressed the fans at Charles Koch Arena to quite the shooting performance.
The only other player in double-figures for the Shockers was Darius Carter, who put up 11 points off the bench.
As a team, Wichita State led in field-goal percentage, rebounding, assists, steals, blocks and committed less turnovers. In other words, they were in complete control.
Indiana State seems to be the only viable threat to Wichita State’s undefeated regular season dream. Sitting at 4-0 in the conference and 13-3 overall, the Sycamores will take on the Shockers in Kansas on Jan. 18 and host them on Feb. 5.
Only one other team, Northern Iowa, is above .500 in the Missouri Valley Conference, and they’re sitting at 9-8 overall.
It really will be Wichita State’s perfect season to lose. Having faced no ranked teams this season, and most certainly not facing one leading up to the NCAA Tournament, I’m very skeptical about how far this team can go, especially after seeing Missouri State take them into overtime last week.
Moving toward the end of the season, I’d like to see this team find a consistent go-to guy. Senior Cleanthony Early has been expected to be that guy, but I’m not sure he has the makeup to be “the guy.” He is, however, most likely their best option in a clutch moment.
The Shockers continue their quest for perfection on Jan. 18 against Indiana State at 4:00 p.m. EST.
Dan Karpuc is a college basketball writer for RantSports.com.