Remember when Wendy’s used to give away hamburgers when the Shockers hit 100 points? That was a Gene Smithson-era promotion, and fans loved it.
In Smithson’s first season, WSU reached 100 three times. From 1980-81 to 1982-83, the Shockers did it three times each season. After that, the pace slowed. WSU hasn’t scored 100 since the 2006-07 season, when it defeated Maryland-Eastern Shore 102-46, one of three 100-point games in the Turgeon era.
The Shockers should have a chance to do it tonight. Chicago State gave up 102 to Notre Dame, 109 to BYU and 121 to Saint Mary’s. WSU coach Gregg Marshall usually shows no interest in running up the score, so we’ll see how that plays into it. With a game Saturday, I expect WSU’s rotation players to rest as much as possible.
Speaking of Saint Mary’s, the Gaels face No. 17 San Diego State tonight. The Aztecs are WSU’s next opponent, so that’s a score to watch.
If the Valley is going to right itself this month, good things need to start tonight. The MVC-MWC Challenge begins wtih Drake at Colorado State, New Mexico at UNI, BYU at Creighton and UNLV at Illinois State. Also, Iowa State is at UNI.
Around the Valley
BYU’s Jimmer Fredette will occupy several pages on the scouting report for Creighton. SIU’s John Freeman is doing a little of everything. Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich says UNLV is the best team he has faced in four seasons. Iowa State wants to score and Northern Iowa wants to slow the tempo. Missouri State’s Arkansans are eager to play tonight against a home team. Some insider talk – Drake SID Mike Mahon resigned. Mahon is a pro at his job. More than once, he’s went out of his way to help me when covering Drak and he always stuck around until the story was filed to make sure everything worked and you had directions – old-school SID hospitality. He deserves a tip of the hat.