Preview: No. 4 Wichita State vs. Indiana State

Wichita State guard Ron Baker (31) shoots under pressure from Illinois State guard Zach Lofton (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Redbird Arena, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Normal, Ill. (AP Photo/ Stephen Haas)

Wichita State’s true regular season test will start tonight and continue on Saturday with back-to-back road games against Indiana State and Northern Iowa, the second and third ranked teams respectively in the Missouri Valley Conference.

The Shockers will face an additional challenge in their game against Indiana State tonight after a delayed start to their trip. They were supposed to leave yesterday as is customary for away games to give the team a chance to rest in place of traveling on game day. Because of the inclement weather that hit Wichita, the Shockers didn’t get a flight to Indiana until this morning.

While this delay can seem minor, it has been known to affect teams in the past. A prime example was the sub-par performance from North Carolina Central University earlier this season when they spent 24 hours waiting in airports to get to Wichita. Granted the Shockers played well but many athletes speculate that changing routine can throw them out of rhythm for a game.

Nevertheless, Wichita State will take the floor tonight in Terre Haute, Indiana at Hulman Center. The first time the two teams met, the Shockers easily handled the Sycamores and coasted to a 68-48 win. Since then Indiana State is 3-1 and has an overall record of 17-5 and 8-2 in the MVC.

The Sycamores top player, senior guard Jake Odum, will be the Shockers main focus as he is the floor general and team leader in points, assists and rebounds. In the recent 87-81 win over Northern Illinois, Odum put together a solid performance of 17 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds.

The Shockers have been on and off at portions of their last two games but have came away with double-digit victories each time. However, win number 24 may require a cleaner game overall and a balanced team effort that the Shockers have become so known for when playing their best basketball this season.

Currently Wichita State has three players averaging over 12 points per game but has been able to get momentum boosts from a number of players including the high-flying Tekele Cotton as of late who is known for his tremendous defense but has also been throwing down some highlight reel dunks.

Coming away with a victory tonight will help the Shockers breathe a little easier during their turnaround to travel to Northern Iowa Saturday.

Tip off at Indiana State tonight is scheduled for 7:05 Central Time. Check back after the game for the post game recap.

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