Opponent: Richmond (2-1, 24-13 NCAA R32 in 2021)
All-Time: First Meeting
When and Where: ESPN+, Robins Center, 6:00 PM tip
The Line: Richmond -4.5
The Pick: Richmond -4.5
Both Richmond and Wichita State came into this season with high hopes and goals. Now each squad has reached a potential turning point just 3 games into their seasons.
The 92-90 overtime loss to Charleston was an unexpected setback for a Spiders team coming off a season which saw them win an NCAA Tournament game.
Meanwhile, the Shockers suffered an unbelievable and unexpected defeat at home against Alcorn State.
Isaac Brown’s Wichita State squad is rebounding from what they called a “terrible week of practice”. Meanwhile, Richmond will be without senior forward Matt Grace – a usual starter for the Spiders.
With both teams dealing with issues and badly needing a win, it’s hard to overstate how important this game will be for both programs.
Tyler Burton scored 38 points in Richmond’s overtime loss to Charleston on Monday. The Shockers will need to slow him down to have a shot in this one. Not only did he pour in points, he did it on efficient 13-20 shooting with 6 rebounds and 4 assists. How Burton plays will determine how this game goes for both sides.
Shooting (not making) Shockers
Wichita State is off to a horrendous 22% shooting start from behind the arc. This ranks in the bottom 40 of all of Division 1 to start the season. The Shockers haven’t had much trouble getting in the lane, but to be effective shooters will have to be ready to make open shots on the drive and dish. They struggled to make even wide open shots against Alcorn State, shooting just 2 of 15 on spot up triples and 4-24 on the game.
Rebounding Woes Continue
Brown’s squad once again struggled on the glass against an undersized Alcorn State, being outrebounded 34-32. The Spiders aren’t a strong team on the glass, but they do hold a large size advantage over the Shockers. Wichita State will need to show the hustle and willingness to fight that they have yet to show this season.
Florida State transfer Quincy Ballard played extremely well in the Shockers season opener against Central Arkansas. Against Alcorn State, he didn’t get much of an opportunity to follow up that strong game. Richmond is a much bigger team and Ballard has the perfect size and skill set to be effective against the Spiders. Look for him to get a bigger role in this one and potentially carve out a spot in the rotation.