Thursday, November 12, 2009
Hannah ready to lead Shockers
By BARRY BURLESON
A former Holly Springs Hawk will lead Wichita State into its season opener this weekend on ESPNU.
Clevin Hannah, who helped Holly High win state titles in 2004 and 2005, is the senior point guard for the Shockers. They tip off the season versus Fairleigh Dickinson Sunday, Nov. 15, at 3 p.m. in the O’Reilly Auto Parts College Basketball Experience (CBE) Classic.
Last season Hannah averaged a team-leading 11.2 points and shot a team-leading 40.5 percent from three-point range. He handed out 146 assists to 87 turnovers, a 1.7 ratio that ranked fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Coach Gregg Marshall said Hannah, who is in his second season at WSU after transferring from Chipola (Fla.) Community College, is ready to be the team leader. He said he is running the offense more confidently, and he is about 20 pounds heavier, which helps his defense.
“He’s much stronger,” Marshall said. “Last year, at this point, he had no idea what it was like to defend an athlete at this level. He’s got that experience in his back pocket.”
The Shockers got off to a slow start last year. They were 0-6 in the conference after a loss to Missouri State and then won their next three and seven of nine to save the season.
“I think it’s my job this year to make sure we don’t go through that again, that we know to compete every night,” Hannah said.
His biggest improvement last season came when he learned to trust the offense and let it produce good shots. He learned to be patient.
“When I learned the system, I found that if I just ran the system and scored when I needed to, I was going to get open shots,” Hannah said. “The shots are going to come – just play within the plays.”
Lindy’s magazine, in rating the Missouri Valley Conference, has tabbed Hannah, 5’11” and 164 lbs., the top playmaker and the best passer in the league.
The MVC has picked Wichita State to finish the 2009-10 season in fifth place with the help of preseason all-conference team honorable mention players Hannah and Toure’ Murry.
The Shockers will also be on TV from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., on November 23-24. They will face Pittsburgh Monday, Nov. 23, at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2. They will play again on Tuesday, Nov. 24, versus Iowa or Texas on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. They will be either the first or second game of a doubleheader that starts at 6:45 p.m.
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