Both Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall and perhaps especially Dayton coach Archie Miller will be speculated about for the vacant IN job. The 38-year-old has been the head coach of the University of Dayton’s men’s basketball team since 2011.
Bearcats beat writer Tom Groeschen and columnist Paul Dehner Jr. look ahead to UC’s first-round game against Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament. That’s impressive, but so are Miller’s stats as a former player. Defensively, Wichita State is averaging at least 62.4 points against the opposing teams.
WSU advanced to its meeting with United Kingdom by out-grinding Dayton 64-58 Friday night in the round of 64 in the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
That opponent was the Dayton Flyers, who were a tricky seven-seed in the tournament.
Just as important, a long, rangy defensive lineup with Shamet, Brown, Rashard Kelly, Markis McDuffie and Rauno Nurger shut down the Flyers late in the second half.
WSU point guard Fred VanVleet had a three-pointer in the air at the buzzer that would have won the game.
The 10th-seeded Shockers won their 16th in a row – the second-longest streak in school history – by clamping down on defense and swatting away shots down the stretch in a 64-58 victory over Dayton. At the other end of the court the Flyers are limiting foes to 41 percent field-goal shooting. Pollards leads in rebounds with 5.1 while Smith leads in assists with 4.5 per game. There were even signs pointing to a good year of seeding – low seeds advancing usually means the committee got thing right – yet the lack of true upsets has dimmed the spark usually igniting March Madness.
Instead, SMU has elected to play a “positionless” game, which has been popularized in recent years by the Golden State Warriors. But those were played in November, and the Shockers are a far different team than they were four months ago. “He can slide his feet and really play defense”.
The unorthodox small-ball style has worked for the Mustangs.
SMU’s star player is junior forward Semi Ojeleye, who transferred from Duke following the 2014-15 season. The Shockers grabbed 13 offensive rebounds to score 19 second-chance points.
Speaking of great first-round games, this one should be a battle.
Meanwhile, the Kentucky Wildcats, assuming they take care of business in their first tourney game against No. 15 seed Northern Kentucky Norse, can’t be too excited about their second-round matchup.