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Men's College Basketball
Preview
Loyola Marymount vs Wichita St.
When: 11:00 PM ET, Monday, December 22, 2014
Where: Stan Sheriff Center, Honolulu, Hawaii

Wichita State should be considered the favorite to win the Diamond Head Classic when the No. 11 Shockers open the tournament Monday against Loyola Marymount in Honolulu. Wichita State is the only ranked participant in the eight-team tournament, which concludes with the championship game on Christmas Day. The Shockers don’t have anyone taller than 6-7 in their starting lineup, but rather rely on pressure defense to generate easy points on the other end.

Ron Baker leads Wichita State at 18 points and game and the 6-3, 222-pound shooting guard has been remarkably consistent, making at least three 3-pointers in the last seven games. The Lions have a pure shooter as well in guard Evan Payne, who’s averaging 21.7 points. Loyola Marymount’s two starting forwards are also 6-9 and 6-11, so the Lions could hurt the Shockers if they can get set up in the half court.

TV: 11 p.m. ET, ESPNU

ABOUT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT (3-6): The Lions have a worthy floor general in freshman point guard Simon Krajcovic, who has combined for 18 assists and five turnovers in the last four games. He’s the only other player besides Payne to lead Loyola Marymount in scoring this season, having done so twice. The Lions also have legitimate shot blocking abilities, ranking first in the West Coast Conference with an average of 4.3 per game.

ABOUT WICHITA STATE (8-1): The Shockers have two others who average double figures in scoring and one more who recently fell outside that range. Darius Cousins is the team’s second-leading scorer (12.7) and top rebounder (5.8) and Fred VanVleet is the third-leading scorer (12.6) and leads in assists (5.2). Tekele Cotton averages 9.5 points and is looking to bounce back after missing all six of his field-goal attempts and going scoreless in Tuesday’s one-point win against Alabama.

TIP-INS

1. Wichita State is trying to win its third in-season tournament in the last three seasons.

2. The Shockers are 129-25 since the start of the 2010-11 season, which represents the best winning percentage in Division I in that span (.838).

3, Wichita State has beaten four 2014 NCAA Tournament teams by an average of 20.3 points this season.

PREDICTION: Wichita State 80, Loyola Marymount 55
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Loyola Marymount 3-6 L4 3-2 0-4 0-0 2-2 1-4 0-0
Wichita St. 8-1 W4 6-0 1-1 1-0 5-0 3-1 0-0
Last Meeting
Loyola Marymount Wichita St.
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Loyola Marymount N/A
Wichita St. N/A
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Loyola Marymount N/A
Wichita St. N/A
Assists Player  
Loyola Marymount N/A
Wichita St. N/A
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Loyola Marymount E. Payne 195 48.5 51
Wichita St. R. Baker 162 50.0 23
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Loyola Marymount G. Okonji 50 22 28
Wichita St. D. Carter 52 20 32
Assists Player  
Loyola Marymount S. Krajcovic 26
Wichita St. F. VanVleet 47
Quickchart Matchup
Loyola Marymount Off vs  Wichita St. Defense
64.4 Points For
59.3 Points Against
42.5 FG%
43.2 FG%
31.5 Reb
27.5 Reb
Wichita St. Off vs  Loyola Marymount Defense
71.6 Points For
71.0 Points Against
45.1 FG%
44.8 FG%
27.5 Reb
31.0 Reb