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Wichita State gets to Final 4 with strong JUCO ties

By Brad Winton, JuCo Recruiting, 03/31/13, 1:00PM EDT


The Wichita State basketball team has made the Final Four, and they have done it with some of the strongest JUCO ties of any team in the country. Wichita is now 30-8 after beating Ohio State in the Elite Eight.

Wichita has six players on their roster who are junior college transfers and all three of their assistants have spent time coaching at the JC level.

Coaches with JUCO ties

Chris Jans, the Associate Head Coach at Wichita St., was a head coach at three different junior colleges before landing his first D1 assistant job. Jans was the head coach at Chipola College (FL) where he led them to a 32-5 record and its first Panhandle Conference Championship in 10 years to go along with a NJCAA National Tournament appearance. Prior to Chipola, Jans spent two years as the head coach at Howard College in Texas. He led Howard to an overall record of 29-4 in 2003. During the 1998-99 season, he was the head coach at Independence Community College where he led them to a   22-10 record. Jans’ first head coaching job was at Kirkwood Community College, an NJCAA D2 school in Iowa.

When Jans left Chipola, current Wichita assistant Greg Heiar took over for him and spent five years as the head coach. In his final season at Chiplola, Heiar led Chipola to a 35-2 record and  a third place finish in the NJCAA D1 National Tournament. Heiar played junior college basketball for Associate Head Coach, Chris Jans.

Assistant Coach, K.T. Turner spent three years as a JUCO assistant. He spent two years at Hutchinson CC in Kansas and one year at Cowley CC.

Players who played at a JC

Wichita State has six players who transferred in from a junior college, including their three leading scorers.

Cleanthony Early, who transferred in from Sullivan County CC (NJCAA D3/NY), was the number two ranked player in the 2012 Top 100 player rankings. He is averaging 13.7 points per game this season. He was named NJCAA D3 National Player of the Year in 2012 at Sullivan County CC.

Carl Hall, a transfer from NW Florida State, averages 12.7 points per game and leads the Shockers in rebounding with 7 per game. Hall was a First-Team NJCAA All-American at NW Florida State where he averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds.

Malcolm Armstead played two years at Chipola College and then transferred to Oregon. After playing one season at Oregon, Armstead transferred to Wichita State. Armstead averages 10 points per game and leads the Shockers in assists, dishing out four per game. At Chipola he averaged 7 points and 5 assists per game.

Nick Wiggins, who is the older brother of Andrew Wiggins (#1 high school player in the country), averages 5 points per game  for Wichita State. He transferred in from Wabash Valley CC in Illinois. At Wabash he averaged 17 points and 4 rebounds per game and was named an NJCAA Second Team All-American.

Ehimen Orukpe, a transfer from Three Rivers CC, averages 2.5 points per game for Wichita.

Chadrack Lufile, a junior at Wichita State, played at Coffeyville CC where he averaged 11 points and 8 rebounds per game.