Wichita State has historically rated favorably in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings and that will once again be the case to begin the 2017-18 season.
Pomeroy, a popular college basketball analyst, released his preseason rankings over the weekend and Wichita State was ranked No. 4 in the country, one spot above Kansas and seven spots ahead of its new American foe, Cincinnati. Villanova was rated as the No. 1 team, joined by Kentucky, Arizona, Wichita State, and Kansas to round out the top-five.
Pomeroy has crafted a detailed formula to measure a team’s offensive and defensive efficiency, which helps him arrive on a team’s final rating. Wichita State has finished in the Top-20 in Pomeroy’s rankings every season since 2011-12. If you’re curious, here’s the Shockers’ recent finishes: 8th in 2016-17, 13th in 2015-16, 13th in 2014-15, 6th in 2013-14, 17th in 2012-13, and 11th in 2011-12.
According to Pomeroy, Wichita State is projected to finish with a 23-5 record and a 15-3 mark in the American Athletic Conference (the second and third games of the Maui Invitational are not included). Although his system has Wichita State favored in all but one game (at Cincinnati on Feb. 18), Pomeroy points out the five losses are based on the cumulative probabilities of WSU winning each game.
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Pomeroy gives the Shockers a 0.3 percent chance of finishing the regular season unbeaten and a 1.3 percent chance of winning every game against American competition.
There are only four games on the schedule where Pomeroy puts Wichita State’s probability of winning less than 70 percent: at Baylor (53 percent), at Oklahoma State (68 percent), at Cincinnati (46 percent), and at SMU (54 percent).
Here are the games Pomeroy’s algorithm has predicted will be decided by less than 10 points: at Baylor (72-71 win), at Oklahoma State (80-74 win), vs. Oklahoma (79-71 win), at Connecticut (75-68 win), vs. SMU (76-68 win), at Houston (78-71 win), at Temple (77-70 win), at SMU (73-71 win), at Central Florida (75-69 win), and vs. Cincinnati (73-68 win).
The American is rated at the seventh-best conference in the country behind the Big 12, Big East, SEC, ACC, Big Ten, and Pac 12. The Missouri Valley is rated as the 10th-best conference.
The American includes eight teams in the Top 100 in Pomeroy’s preseason rankings: Wichita State (4), Cincinnati (11), SMU (24), Central Florida (60), Houston (64), Temple (67), Connecticut (69), and Tulsa (82).
Wichita State will play at least 19 games against Pomeroy’s preseason Top 100, as the Shockers will face College of Charleston (74), Baylor (19), Oklahoma State (50), and Oklahoma (21) in their non-conference slate. Wichita State will also either play Marquette (49) or VCU (83) in Maui and could potentially play Notre Dame (22) or Michigan (32) on the third day.
Wichita State’s strength of schedule should receive a significant bump compared to its days in the Missouri Valley, where there are only three teams — Illinois State (87), Loyola-Chicago (93), and Missouri State (99) — in Pomeroy’s preseason Top 100.
More love for the Shockers — It appears as if Wichita State will be on the cover of USA Today’s college basketball preview, as the men’s basketball Twitter posted a picture on Monday of Gregg Marshall, Landry Shamet, Conner Frankamp, Markis McDuffie, and Shaquille Morris on the cover with the question: “Can Wichita State become the nation’s next powerhouse?”
ESPN college basketball analyst John Gasaway also penned a piece laying out the case for why Wichita State should be ranked No. 1 in the country. The link to the article is below.
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WSU volleyball moving up — In the NCAA’s latest RPI report, Wichita State (18-3) moved up two spots to No. 18 in the country. The Shockers are on a 10-match winning streak, as they have opened up American play undefeated and are on top of the conference.
The Shockers were ranked No. 21 in the country for the second straight week in the latest AVCA poll released on Monday.
Wichita State will play at Central Florida on Friday, then travel to South Florida on Sunday this week.
Some Shockers answer the question "What is something people would be surprised to learn about you," during media day at Koch Arena Tuesday. (Video by Fernando Salazar/The Wichita Eagle) McClatchyfsalazar@wichitaeagle.com