Spring 2006

Instant Energy

Reserve guard Karon Bradley earns a spot on the MVC's all-newcomer team in his
first years as a Shocker.

Given the star power in Wichita State’s starting backcourt — heartthrob Matt Braeuer at the point and smooth-shooting Sean Ogirri at No. 2 — it would be easy to overlook the contributions of reserve guard Karon Bradley.

Easy, but a mistake, because Bradley developed into a player who routinely made an impact off the bench — offensively and defensively — during the Shockers’ memorable march to the MVC regular season championship.

To be sure, Bradley gained some recognition, earning a spot on the MVC’s all-newcomer team by averaging nearly eight points a game in his first year at WSU after transferring from Marquette. “My job,” Bradley says, “is to bring instant energy off the bench.”

The 5-foot-11 junior from Houston did that well enough to earn the respect of the coaching staff — evidenced by the fact that associate head coach Tad Boyle describes Bradley’s regular season as “tremendous.”

Still, Braeuer makes the teenage girls swoon — and he also hit one of the biggest shots in recent Shocker history when he swished a 3-pointer to beat Creighton 62-61 on Feb. 14. And Ogirri is a gifted athlete who led the Shocks with 73 three-pointers and paced the team in scoring in seven games. So they get much of the pub.

Lest Shocker fans forget, though: Bradley drained a big 3-pointer of his own that kept WSU in position to claim its first MVC title since 1983. With WSU trailing 58-55 and less than a minute to go at Drake on Feb. 22, Bradley tied the game with a tough shot over a defender, setting up Paul Miller’s game-winning tip. “Everybody remembers Matt Braeuer’s shot,” Boyle says. “Karon’s shot was big, too.”

During the regular season, Bradley enjoyed some productive games — 19 points against Bradley and 17 against George Mason — but he shot just 42 percent from the field and 29 percent from three-point range. Boyle predicts that Bradley, once he improves his shot selection, will develop into an offensive force.

“He was an explosive scorer in high school — I remember watching him play,” he says. “It’s not like he lost it. He just hasn’t shown the consistency he would like or we would like. But  he has some big offensive days ahead of him.”

On defense, though, Bradley was a difference-maker all season. In fact, some WSU observers were surprised he didn’t earn a spot on the Valley’s all-defensive team. Because of his “phenomenal athletic ability,” Bradley is disruptive and creates many turnovers, Boyle says. “Karon’s strength and just his God-given ability allowed him to really wreak havoc on opposing teams. He’s so quick and he guards the ball so well, he just wears down other guards.”



WSU finds a way to win, at last.

Instant Energy

Given the star power in Wichita State’s starting backcourt, it would be easy to overlook the contributions of reserve guard Karon Bradley.

Two-Way Shocker

Damon Sublett blew hitters away as a freshman, so he naturally earned a certain amount of notoriety as a pitcher.