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Letters to the Editor

Letter: WSU respect

January 25, 2014

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To the editor:

As the Wichita State University basketball team continues its winning streak, there is not much enthusiasm around the state for the Shockers. Nor was there much when they went to the finals last year. It seems as if it ends at the Sedgwick County line and can’t go any further, like a mime caught in a box he can’t escape from.

It’s understandable that the national media ignores WSU, but for places like Lawrence, Topeka or Kansas City to do likewise, that is troubling. After all, this is a Kansas team, and their efforts should be lauded. And yet, other than here in Wichita, everyone knows and understands that is not going to happen.

Mainly that is because the Kansas Jayhawks are the big draw when it comes to basketball. But this year they aren’t doing so well, and that was painfully clear in their game against Oklahoma State.

As the Shockers continue to win, things won’t change much, nor will attitudes. And should they win the national championship this year, will that even change things? No, probably not, but it should, for WSU and the Shockers basketball team and their coach deserve the respect that they are due.

Comments

Richard Heckler 11 months ago

Bring the Jayhawks and Shockers together for a game…… why not? Every season.

Abdu Omar 11 months ago

It all has to do with RPI. Who did the Shokers beat? Who did they play. KU, KSU and all around the Big 12, these teams are playing and beating the best competition in the country and the Shokers, as good as they are in their league, haven't played the right teams. As they move forward into the tournement, they will be tested and I hope they come out on top. They are a good team, no doubt, but they have to beat a better team.

John Graham 11 months ago

While WSU deserves credit for the undefeated year they are having let's not get carried away just yet. The statement that KU "is not doing so well" shows the writer's only superficial analysis of the situation. Since the teams don't play identical schedules one can not look simply at the overall record and make any meaningful statements. Strength of schedule shows KU has played the toughest schedule in all of Div I basketball. WSU the 74th toughest. The nonconference strength of schedule KU 1st, WSU 69th. Conference strength of schedule KU 3rd, WSU 129th. KU has played 8 games against top 25 teams (4-4), WSU has not played any top 25 teams. Against top 26-50 teams both KU and WSU are 4-0. If one looks at the RPI which takes into account the teams played as well as the outcomes, KU is ranked 1st and WSU is 9th. KU has 5 more games scheduled against current Top 25 teams, WSU none. WSU will not play a top 25 ranked team this entire season until the NCAA tournament.

So yes Wichita and the state of KS should be proud of the Shockers, but let's keep things in perspective before one starts talking about how great WSU is and how KU "is not doing so well". WSU is undefeated against a mediocre schedule. So be proud of that accomplishment but don't get carried away. KU has played the toughest schedule in college basketball and all 4 losses have come against teams in the top 20 RPI rankings. WSU has not played a top 25 RPI team. By the way, that game against Oklahoma State that showed how "painfully clear" KU "is not doing so well" showed KU beating a Top 10 team which is something that WSU has not done this season.

Leo Hawkins 11 months ago

As a native Wichitan, KU alumnus, and current Lawrence resident, I am extremely proud of Wichita State. I spent many a year attending Shockers games as a child in the late-70s and early 80s. During the Gene Smithson era. Those were great memories! The Shocker basketball program has a unique and great history of players, coaches, and administrators that may surprise some folks. With that said, WSU's current big time success is very recent. It will take years of sustained success at their current level before they gain a following that will rival KU in hoops. I think that WSU is getting the right amount of statewide/regional attention. They are now being covered on all of Kansas City's news stations -- which they weren't just year ago. Shocker fans, be patient and stay focused on your team.

The idea that WSU plays a mediocre schedule cannot be helped considering their conference. They were Final Four participants last year, and are undefeated this year after 20 games. 20-0 is strong, no matter who you play. They've played similar teams like that in the past and had losing records. So, it really doesn't matter. When the NCAA tourney rolls around, that is where true national success lies. KU teams of past vintage -- Big XII conference champion teams at that -- have suffered monumental losses in the NCAA tournament, and obviously, great success -- Final Fours, National Titles!

This native Wichitan will be rooting on the Shockers from my home in Lawrence. It really makes me proud to see how well they are doing what with the positive vibes it is giving to the Wichita community -- not to mention my Shocker family members. But, as a KU alumnus, it is Rock Chalk first in my household.

Kenneth Charles 11 months ago

I'm a Wichita State fan, as well as a KU and K-State fan. I like to see KU and K-State do well, but that's just because they are the only 2 other Div. I teams in Kansas, and the State of Kansas has a very rich basketball tradition. It's one of the biggest things that Kansans can openly have pride for the State they live in.

Other than that though, as a Wichita State fan, I'm getting tired of other Wichita State fans voicing their insecurities of the lack of respect they perceive that Wichita State is not getting. Who cares, or for what reasons is it worth it to care? Any respect Wichita State deserves from people outside the fan base, is respect that they've already gotten.

I don't want to hear people saying that Wichita State is the best team in the State because it does nothing for the team in terms of improving or sustaining, all it does is stroke the fragile egos of fans who care too much what people think about their team. I'm proud of Wichita State's recent success, because of the way they play the game, and the way in which they win. Shocker fans shouldn't need validation outside of their fan base to feel proud about their team.

Beator 11 months ago

I'd watch the Shockers if they were on TV.

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