Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Van Vleet's burgeoning role
By Matt Giles
When Fred Van Vleet committed to Wichita State, Gregg Marshall and his staff were praised by the recruiting community. Van Vleet was regarded as a undervalued prospect on the recruiting trail, and expectations were high for the guard in his inaugural season. However, Van Vleet has essentially undergone a redshirt this season, backing up Malcolm Armstead under the assumption the then-sophomore will lead the team in 2013-14.
However, it is worth noting that in recent games, Van Vleet has excelled in his limited minutes. In the past three home games -- wins over Missouri State, Drake and Detroit -- Van Vleet is averaging 11.3 points and has converted 50 percent of his shots within the arc. Even more impressive are his assist totals -- 16 during that time span with only three turnovers.
Armstead will continue to see extensive minutes during Wichita State's final regular season games and postseason play; the senior has been electric from deep, connecting on 50 percent of his threes in the month of February. But if Van Vleet continues to excel directing WSU's offense, and draw defensive attention, his minutes should increase and might lessen the chances that the Shockers rush back Ron Baker, a guard who is still healing from a foot injury.