WICHITA, Kan. — Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall would prefer his best big men dominate inside.
But when senior posts Darral Willis, Shaquille Morris and Rauno Nurger combined for four 3-pointers in the first 7 minutes of Friday night’s opener against Missouri-Kansas City.
Marshall was not complaining.
“They make them in practice, so I guess it’s good,” Marshall said. “It certainly opens the floor, and we were getting great looks.”
The seventh-ranked Shockers took full advantage, pummeling Missouri-Kansas City 109-57 on 60.9 percent shooting.
Willis had a game-high 19 points. Landry Shamet scored 17 points, Morris had 16 and Conner Frankamp added 11 to give the Shockers (1-0) four starters in double figures.
Wichita State reserves Samaje Haynes-Jones and Nurger each scored 11 points.
Isaiah Ross led Missouri-Kansas City (0-1) with 12 points. Broderick Robinson scored 11 points, and Aleer Leek added 10 for the Kangaroos.
The Shockers were 13 of 23 from the 3-point line, making six of their first seven. Wichita State outrebounded UMKC 51-26 and had 11 blocked shots.
The biggest news for Wichita State might have been the health of Shamet, a preseason All-American Athletic Conference selection. Shamet had offseason surgery for a stress fracture in his right foot, missing practice time and an exhibition. Shamet looked completely recovered while playing 17 minutes.
“When I injured my foot, I wasn’t sure if I would be back in time for Maui,” Shamet said, referring to the Maui Invitational that starts Nov. 20. “So it just felt good to be back already and playing well.”
Missouri-Kansas City finished 18 of 65 from the field.
Wichita State led 62-23 at halftime on 21-of-34 shooting. The Shockers outrebounded the Kangaroos 27-9 in the first half.
Wichita State had 26 assists, a high in Marshall’s 11 seasons. Frankamp led that effort with nine assists to one turnover.
“Guys were just knocking down shots,” Frankamp said, “and that’s a great feeling.”
It felt odd for Frankamp, the team’s best outside shooter, to be the only Shocker to miss a 3-pointer in the first 7 minutes. Willis hit two of them — after going 0 of 1 on 3-point attempts last season.
The hot shooting gave the Shockers a 26-11 lead.
“Those big guys do work on 3s every single day,” Frankamp said.
Leek made his first start after averaging 1.8 points last season. He scored five points in the first 2 minutes, half his total for the game.
Missouri-Kansas City: Of the first 11 Kangaroos to see the court, only five played for the team last season. Koch Arena is a difficult place to break in so many newcomers.
Wichita State: Still without Markis McDuffie, who led the team in scoring last season and is recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot, the Shockers showed plenty of offensive firepower. McDuffie is scheduled to return next month.
Missouri-Kansas City: The Kangaroos will try build positive vibes when hosting Haskell, an NAIA team from Kansas, on Sunday before traveling to Kansas State on Tuesday.
Wichita State: The Shockers host College of Charleston on Monday night, their final tuneup before the Maui Invitational.