By Demario Phipps-Smith @DemarioPSmith on June 25, 2014
As the premiere mid-major, the Wichita State Shockers will enter the upcoming season with a target on their backs. This is a talented team that will answer the challenge from naysayers but the 2014-15 season will be an interesting one for WSU and here's why.
The Valley has been a tough conference to win in consistently. Even though WSU is debunking this theory, the MVC is a prideful conference and I can’t imagine its members handing over the title to the Shockers. As the second-oldest conference in college basketball, these traditional programs will power one of these challengers to knock off WSU in the Valley Tournament.
Defenders are once again receiving love in the NBA. It’s not like Cotton is devoid of offense, but his strength lies in his ability to defend, particularly on the perimeter. The Shockers will go on another NCAA tournament run next year where his stellar skill set will be a spectacle for fans.
Obviously, I’m pretty high on Baker and he isn’t the best player on the team-- Fred Van Vleet is. But teams will crowd the sensational point guard Van Vleet, making him the focal point of defenses. Baker is a well-rounded player who will take whatever is given to him and he’s fearless. He will have the best stats on the team because he will do what is needed for this team to be successful. He’s also the Shockers' best shooter.
There will be a hole where Cleanthony Early used to fill for this team in the upcoming season. As a freshman, Brown will have an opportunity to contribute and develop early. Gregg Marshall is an excellent coach and he will receive all that Brown has to offer in his initial collegiate season.
With so many good seniors leaving the conference, it is safe to assume that the returning Shockers will form the best team. Next season, the Shockers will have a more difficult time proving that it is the mid majors’ flagship program than it will winning its conference.
DeMario Phipps-Smith is the writer of mid-major NCAA basketball content for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @demariopsmith and add him to your network on Google.
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