WICHITA STATE vs. LIPSCOMB
Monday, Nov. 6 | 6:30 p.m. CT
Wichita, Kan. | Charles Koch Arena
TV: ESPN+ (Shane Dennis & Bob Hull)
Radio: KEYN 103.7 FM with Mike Kennedy & Dave Dahl
The Roundhouse Rally – Rally together for the first regular-season home game! Bring the energy and let’s show everyone what makes Charles Koch Arena one of the top environments in all of College Basketball!
Giveaway – Rally Towel presented by Golden Plains Credit Union (First 5,000)
• Wichita State officially opens its 117th men’s basketball season and year one of the Paul Mills era on college basketball’s opening night, Nov. 6, vs. Lipscomb in Charles Koch Arena.
• This is just the second all-time meeting between Wichita State and Lipscomb. The other came in the 2019 NIT semifinals in Madison Square Garden.
• Since 1992, Wichita State teams are 28-2 in season openers.
• The Shockers open at home for the 20th straight season. They’ve won 26 of their last 27 home openers with the lone loss coming in 2018 to Louisiana Tech. They’re 59-8 in the Roundhouse and 98-18 all-time in season openers.
• Wichita State won its exhibition tune-up last Sunday, Oct. 29 vs. Rogers State, 74-53.
• First-year head coach Paul Mills has only four returning letterwinners, and welcomes seven newcomers to the 2023-24 roster. Colby Rogers makes his long-awaited Shocker debut after sitting out last season due to the NCAA’s transfer rules. The sharpshooter was one of the top three-point shooters in the country at Siena in 2021-22.
• Kenny Pohto (8.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg) will be a focal point as the only returning starter from 2022-23, and the only Shocker that has been at Wichita State for more than two seasons. He and junior guard • Xavier Bell are the only returners to play in at least 30 games a season ago. Bell will see his role change this season into one of the team’s primary ball-handlers.
• Isaac Abidde and Quincy Ballard are two frontcourt players who should see extended roles in 2023-24. Ballard provides a shot-blocking presence down low after being limited to just 10 games last season due to lingering injuries.
• Transfers Dalen Ridgnal (Missouri State) and Jacob Germany (UTSA) are two more frontcourt additions who will log plenty of minutes. Harlond Beverly (Miami) will provide backcourt depth on the wing.
• Wichita State has 10 players on scholarship currently eligible to play and two walk-ons.
• KenPom ranks the Shockers 141st nationally in its preseason rankings and 93rd defensively.
• Wichita State was picked to finish 8th in the American Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.
• Wichita State returns only 20.3 percent of its scoring from a season ago, having lost its top four scorers. Pohto is the only returner to average more than 4.0 points per game. Craig Porter Jr., James Rojas, Gus Okafor and Isaiah Poor Bear-Chandler exhausted their eligibility, and four others exited via the transfer portal.
• Wichita State has only two true freshmen on the roster Joy Ighovodja (Nigeria) and Yanis Bamba (Canada).
• The 2022-23 Shockers ranked 230th in adjusted pace, but that will most certainly change under Mills’ leadership. His Oral Roberts squad was 40th in pace last season.
• Wichita State ranked near the very bottom in the NCAA when it came to 3-point shooting a season ago. Converting on just 30.9 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc, which ranked 324th nationally. Mills’ Oral Roberts squad on the other hand attempted nearly 400 more and shot 36.5 percent, which ranked 56th in the country.
• Oklahoma transfer, Bijan Cortes, had his NCAA waiver denied and will sit out at least the first semester. There is still a chance he could have a waiver approved for the second semester. In two seasons at Oklahoma, Cortes averaged 2.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He appeared in 59 career games with the Sooners and was a career 50 percent 3-point shooter. In his final season he posted career highs of 3.2 points, 2.0 assists and was 13-of-27 from beyond the arc.
• Wichita State has won 75 percent of its season openers all time (87-29, .750) and over 80 percent (63-15, .808) in the modern era.
• Wichita State is 19-1 in home openers since Charles Koch Arena’s 2003 renovation. The lone loss came in 2018 to Louisiana Tech.
• Wichita State is starting its 68th season at the Roundhouse (1955-Pr.). Shocker teams have lost just eight home openers during that span (59-8, .881).
• Wichita State is 0-1 all time on Nov. 6.
• 40 seasons ago (Dec. 1, 1972), Antoine Carr set the school record for most points by a freshman in his Shocker debut (19 points). He dunked five times in the first half of a 76-61 win over Northern Michigan.
• Wichita State’s highest-scoring varsity debut came Dec. 1, 1972 at Oregon State when Bobby Wilson put up 29 points. Wilson went on to play parts of four NBA seasons with the Bulls, Celtics and Pacers.
• Wichita State has won 10 straight games that happen to fall on a Monday. The Shockers were 2-0 on Mondays a season ago and haven’t lost on a Monday since Nov. 22, 2010 against UConn in the Maui Invitational.
• Before last season, Wichita State had not played on a Monday since November of 2017.
• The Shockers will look to make it 11 in a row in the season opener vs. Lipscomb, which happens to be their only game on a Monday in 2023-24.
• Lipscomb opens the 2023-24 campaign in year five of the Lennie Acuff era. Acuff has compiled a 65-60 record with the Bisons and is 620-385 in his 34th year overall as a head coach.
• Members of the ASUN, Lipscomb went 20-13 a season ago and 11-7 in conference play. The Bisons’ season came to an end in the ASUN semifinals to Kennesaw State, who went on to win the ASUN Championship, earning the league’s NCAA Tournament auto bid.
• The Bisons’ 20-win season was the program’s first since 2018-19 when they went 29-8 and made it to the NIT Championship, falling in the title game to Texas, 81-66.
• Lipscomb was picked to finish third in the ASUN Preseason Media Poll and fifth in the Preseason Coaches Poll.
• The Bisons are searching for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2017-18.
• Lipscomb returns its top four scorers from 2022-23, including leading scorer and ASUN First Team All-Conference selection Jacob Ognacevic. Ognacevic averaged 17.7 points and 4.4 rebounds on 60.7 percent shooting.
• His 60.7 percent field goal percentage topped the ASUN and ranked Top 25 nationally.
• Ognacevic was a unanimous selection for the 2023-24 Preseason All-ASUN Team.
• Derrin Boyd 10.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists, while shooting 39.4 percent from beyond the arc. Boyd was one of two Bisons to start all 33 games.
• Will Pruitt cashed in 41.4 percent of his 3-point attempts to go with 9.9 points and 2.9 assists. His 36 steals led Lipscomb.
• The team’s sixth man, AJ McGinnis, led the team in 3-point attempts with 145, converting 36.6 percent of those attempts. He will most likely step into a starting role in 2023-24.
• Lipscomb averaged 76.4 points as a team in 2022-23 on 47.6 percent shooting and 35.6 percent from long range.
ALL-TIME SERIES VS. LIPSCOMB
• Wichita State is 0-1 against Lipscomb with the only previous matchup coming in the 2019 NIT semifinals in Madison Square Garden. Lipscomb climbed back from an 11-point deficit with 8:08 remaining in the second half to defeat the Shockers, 71-64.
• Lipscomb finished the game on a 14-0 run and held the Shockers to just three points over the final 8:08.
• Lipscomb advanced to the NIT Championship where they met No. 1 seed Texas. Texas won going away, 81-66.
• Wichita State connected on only 5-of-23 from three-point range and shot 35.3 percent overall.
• Dexter Dennis scored a team-high 13 points, followed by Markis McDuffie and Samajae Haynes-Jones with 12 and 11, respectively.
• Garrison Mathews torched the Shockers, scoring 34 of Lipscomb’s 71 points. He was 9-of-22 from the field and 11-of-12 from the free throw line. Rob Marberry added 14 for the Bisons.
• Kenny Cooper dished out 10 assists and Eli Pepper grabbed 15 rebounds for Lipscomb.
• Wichita State could potentially face three first-time foes in the non-conference slate, all three are in the Myrtle Beach Invitational field (Coastal Carolina, Liberty and Vermont).
• Liberty (CUSA), College of Charleston (CAA), South Dakota State (Summit League) and Kansas (Big 12) were all picked to win their respective leagues. Norfolk State (MEAC) and Western Kentucky (CUSA) were picked second and third in each of their preseason polls.
• The Shockers’ will play three road or neutral site games against teams that finished inside the Top 50 of last year’s NCAA NET Rankings (at Missouri – 47, vs. K-State – 19 and vs. Kansas – 9).
• Wichita State has won eight of its last nine non-conference true road games, dating back to the 2019 NIT run. The Shockers only loss came a year ago in Manhattan vs. Kansas State. • Wichita State’s non-conference slate sends the Shockers to Columbia on Dec. 3 to face Missouri.
• Three of Wichita State’s 14 players on the roster this season hail from international countries. That ties for the second-most on a season roster in school history. Only the 2012-13 team had more (4 – Chadrack Lufile, Nick Wiggins, Kadeem Coleby, Ehimen Orukpe).
• Yanis Bamba (Canada), Joy Ighovodja (Nigeria) and Kenny Pohto (Sweden) are the foreign Shockers on the team.
• Colby Rogers is just 115 points away from 1,000 for his career. He scored 490 in two seasons at Cal Poly and 395 in his lone season at Siena.
• Jacob Germany needs only 39 points to reach 1,300 career points.
CR4 – CERTIFIED SNIPER
• Shockers fans have been chomping at the bit to see Colby Rogers in action since he arrived on campus in 2022. During his sophomore campaign at Siena, Rogers attempted 170 three-pointers and converted on 42.9 percent of those attempts. That percentage was top 70 in the country.
• During that 2021-22 season at Siena, Rogers played in 28 games and made multiple three-pointers in 22 of those contests. He finished the season with multiple triples in each of the last 13 games.
A SHOCKER WIN WOULD…
… Make them 1-0 for the fifth straight season.
… Be Paul Mills‘ first win as Wichita State head coach.
… Make them 29-2 in season openers over the last three decades
… Give them wins in 27 of their last 28 home openers.
… Make them 1-1 vs. Lipscomb all the time.
A SHOCKER LOSS WOULD…
… Make them 0-1 for the first time since 2018-19 and just the third time in the last three decades.
… Make Paul Mills 0-1 as Wichita State head coach.
… Make them 0-2 all-time vs. Lipscomb.
UP NEXT: WESTERN KENTUCKY
Thursday, Nov. 9 | 6:30 p.m. CT
Wichita, Kan. | Charles Koch Arena
ESPN+ | KEYN 103.7 FM