Wichita State University, or WSU, is home to the Shockers basketball team. The Shockers have a long and storied history of success and just last year made it to the NCAA Final Four. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this team so special.
The WSU basketball program was founded in 1906 and has seen its fair share of ups and downs. From the 1940s until the 1980s, the Shockers had difficulty competing against more established programs like Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech. In 1981, however, things changed when head coach Gene Smithson took over. During his 11-year tenure as head coach, Smithson led the Shockers to four 20-win seasons and two NCAA tournament appearances. He also laid the groundwork for future success by recruiting talented players such as Xavier McDaniel, Antoine Carr, Cliff Levingston and Aubrey Sherrod who would go on to win championships with other teams in both college and professional leagues.
After a brief lull in the late 80s and early 90s, current Head Coach Gregg Marshall took over in 2007 and transformed the program into one of college basketball’s most successful teams. He has since led them to seven NCAA Tournament appearances (including last year’s run to the Final Four), six conference championships (three Missouri Valley Conference championships prior to joining The American Athletic Conference), three NIT appearances (all resulting in wins), an NIT championship title in 2011, and a College Basketball Invitational championship title in 2013. Under Coach Marshall’s tutelage, WSU has become a perennial powerhouse that consistently contends for both conference titles as well as national recognition each season.
As any fan of college sports knows, no team is complete without its passionate fanbase. And for Wichita State fans there are few places better than Charles Koch Arena (formerly known as Levitt Arena). Since its opening in 2003 it has quickly become one of college basketball’s premier venues due to its state-of-the-art facilities paired with an electric atmosphere created by some of college sports’ most devoted fans. In fact, during March Madness 2014 CBS Sports referred to Charles Koch Arena as “one of the toughest places for opponents to play on campus.” It’s no wonder why WSU’s home court advantage has been dubbed “The Octagon of Doom.”
The Wichita State Shockers are one of college basketball’s most successful programs thanks to their storied history dating back over 100 years as well as their recent successes under Head Coach Gregg Marshall who has led them to seven NCAA Tournament appearances including last year’s run all the way to the Final Four! With passionate fans creating an electric atmosphere at Charles Koch Arena game nights are always filled with high energy making it one of college basketball’s premier venues! So if you’re ever looking for something fun to do on a night out be sure check out what’s happening down at The Octagon of Doom! You won’t regret it!
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