College Basketball Picks: Illinois State Vs. Wichita State

Joe Catalano

Sunday, January 4, 2015 5:28 PM GMT

Wichita State Shockers look to keep the ball rolling with their mistake-free play as they host an Illinois State. The Shockers are a 15 point favorite and this game has blow out written all over it. See who we like in this matchup.

Tip-off is set for 5:30 pm ET tonight at the Charles Koch Arena in Wichita, Kansas. This game can be seen on ESPN U. As previously stated, the Shockers are a 15 point college basketball betting odds favorite and the total for the game is listed at a mere 128.5, courtesy of 5 Dimes Sportsbook.

If the Redbirds can't defeat a team such as the 5-8 Indiana State Sycamores, I find it far-fetched for them to have any chance in this game. The only thing that I can say in the Redbirds favor is that Wichita State hasn't had the most difficult schedule.

 

Ron Baker
The Shockers can expect a major contribution from their star guard, Ron Baker. Baker has a football like body with a basketball player's mentality.

At 6 foot 3, 222 pounds, this enables Baker to help the bigs on the boards while being the main point producer on this team. Baker basically does it all as he's equally solid on the defensive end. After coming off of a 23 point performance against Drake, Baker is averaging 17.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. He also has the ability to knock down the 3-ball at 40% and that is key as he is the go to guy on this Shockers squad.

Once you get past Baker, Darius Carter (11.3 ppg. ,6.3 rpg) and Fred VanVleet (11.3 ppg., 5.2 apg, 4.2 rpg.), there are no legitimate go to guys and just a bunch of role players as the Shockers go about 10 players deep, but this is what keeps this team fresh on the defensive end and thus far they've fared well. This afternoon could be a cakewalk, but as their schedule becomes more difficult, lack of starpower can be an issue on this Wichita State squad.

Where the point spread is concerned, the key to this game for Illinois State is will there be a lingering effect from their upset at the hands of Indiana State? If not, the Redbirds, have a legitimate shot at making this a game while covering the spread in the process.

 

Bounce Back Performance
Without 2nd leading scorer and rebounder, DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell playing, senior Daishon Knight will need a bounce back performance against the rotten performance that he put up against Indiana State, which basically cost the Redbirds the game. In the loss, he managed just 5 points on 1 of 8 from the field with 4 turnovers.

Although he's not a superstar, Knight has the capabilities of lighting a team up for 26 points like he did against Murray State. He doesn't do anything exceptionaly welll, but is a solid defender and the best offensive option on a team with no major stars. I expect him to play well this afternoon. A game against Wichita State will be a game that the Redbirds either rise to the occasion or collapse. I expect the Redbirds to put forth their best effort possible, Take Illinois State as your College Basketball pick.

Free College Basketball Pick: Illinois State +15 at 5Dimes