Wichita — Steve Woodberry remembers Wichita State's glory years in basketball, the early 1980s.
"I didn't go to the arena much, but I used to watch 'em on TV. They had Antoine Carr, Cliff Levingston and Xavier McDaniel," said Woodberry, Kansas' sophomore point guard, who grew up in Wichita.
Shocker teams of the 1980s made for good TV viewing. Gene Smithson's club, in fact, opened the '80s with five straight seasons of 18 or more wins.
That success has diminished of late. WSU this year, for example, takes a 2-6 record into tonight's game against 10-0 Kansas.
Tipoff is 7:38 at Levitt Arena with a live telecast available on Channel 13.
"I WISH THEY'D win more, but I'm here playing for KU. I'm thinking about us now," Woodberry said.
Woodberry was not recruited by Wichita State his senior year at Wichita South High.
"When Eddie Fogler was there, I got letters. After he left, I got nothing. No phone calls or letters," Woodberry said.
Fogler left WSU for Vanderbilt following the 1988-89 season, and his lead assistant, Mike Cohen, has run the show the past three seasons.
"When Eddie Fogler was there, I considered them, not after that," Woodberry said.
The 6-4 soph said Wichita provided him many basketball opportunities while growing up.
"I played in parks, gymnasiums. The talent is pretty good, not like some other places," Woodberry said. "I've been playing a long time.''
WOODBERRY played against Shocker sophomore Tony Johnson in high school. Johnson, a 6-4 forward, played for Wichita North. Another Wichita connection is KU senior David Johanning, who went to Wichita Carroll.
"I just want the whole team to play a good game. It's like any other road game," Woodberry said. "The crowd gets loud when they're doing well."
Woodberry, averaging 6.2 points a game, has had a good season, coach Roy Williams said.
"I'd say at this point, Steve is second on our defensive list on the entire squad. Alonzo is first, Steve second," Williams said. "Like with Alonzo, Steve gives us flexibility. He's played the one, two, three (positions) every game. He's 19-3 (assists to turnovers) the past few games. He's giving the ball up, not turning it over. To me, he's a lot better than he was last year."
"Defensvely I'm happy," Woodberry said. "But my offensive play, I'm not pleased. I'm struggling some on offense right now."
WSU's Michael Wiggins has a broken nose and is questionable for tonight's game. The 6-7 sophomore averages 11.6 points a game.
Coach Cohen is recovering from the torn knee tendon that had him on crutches during WSU's 84-50 loss to KU on Jan. 23 at Allen Fieldhouse. ``If I had to play, I probably still would be out. I still hobble around a bit, but I'm well enough to get out on the floor and demonstrate during practices,'' Cohen said.