Shockers blow out LSU in first game of Battle 4 Atlantis
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) — Landry Shamet is healthy again, and that's only making Wichita State's balanced offense even deeper.
The redshirt freshman scored 12 points in the Shockers' 82-47 win against LSU on Wednesday in the opening game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. That came three days after he scored 16 points in a high-scoring blowout against Maryland Eastern Shore, part of a strong start to the season after playing just three games last season due to a foot injury.
“It was a lot of mental stuff as well as physically trying to get myself back,” Shamet said, “just working really hard in the offseason to get back to where I was.”
Markis McDuffie scored 15 points to lead the Shockers (5-0), who dominated from the tip and scored the game's first nine points to quickly turn this into a rout. And they did it much like their first four lopsided wins, with a balanced and deep offense with seemingly no shortage of scoring options.
The development of Shamet, a 6-foot-4 guard from Kansas City, Missouri, will only help after he spent last season observing and learning from departed program mainstays Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet.
“He's very cerebral,” Shockers coach Gregg Marshall said. “He watched those guys, he learned from them and that's what we talked about: become a better player by watching.”
Coming off a 116-point outing, 12 Shockers scored while the team made 9 of 19 from 3-point range (47 percent), shot 46 percent overall and dominated the glass.
Antonio Blakeney scored 12 points for the Tigers (3-1), who never recovered from that awful start. LSU didn't manage its first point until the 14:32 mark, didn't manage a basket until nearly 6 minutes in and shot 28 percent for the game.
“They did a great job of punching first,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said, “and we didn't do a great job of responding there in the first half.”
LSU: This was hardly the start the fifth-year coach wanted in Atlantis. Picked to finish 12th in the Southeastern Conference, the Tigers were trying for their first 4-0 start since the 2012-13 season but managed little resistance as the Shockers sprinted out to the big lead.
“They got out to a quick start and just never looked back,” junior guard Jalyn Patterson said.
Wichita State: Oddly enough, the Shockers are thriving in their first five games without Baker and VanVleet. Their wins have come by an average margin of 36 points and they're averaging 91 points so far.
FRANKAMP'S FLOOR GAME
Wichita State junior Conner Frankamp finished with eight points and seven assists while committing no turnovers.
“He's running our team first, and then looking to score, which is the way to do it,” Marshall said.
TALK DEFENSE, PLEASE
Marshall wasn't as interested in his team's strong offensive play as he was in holding LSU to 28 percent shooting, eventually interjecting during the postgame news conference to ask whether anyone wanted to ask about his team's defensive play.
“Everybody wants to talk about offense,” Marshall said. “Talk about defense.”
LSU: The Tigers will play the Louisville-Old Dominion loser Thursday on Day 2 of the three-day tournament.
Wichita State: The Shockers advanced to the winner's bracket semifinals to face the Louisville-Old Dominion winner Thursday.