One of the few potential threats to Wichita State in the Valley no longer looks as dangerous thanks to a ill-timed injury to its leading scorer.
Sophomore guard Marcus Marshall, the Valley's freshman of the year last season, will undergo surgery Wednesday and be out indefinitely after tearing the meniscus in his right knee late in Saturday's loss to Wichita State. Missouri State led by 18 points in the second half of that game, but the Shockers rallied to force overtime and preserve their undefeated record.
It will be extremely hard for Missouri State (12-4, 2-2) to stay in the Valley title race in Marshall's absence.
He was averaging 14.3 points and 2.7 rebounds this season and had scored in double figures in all but one game since returning from a previous minor knee injury last month. Missouri State is also without senior guard Keith Pickens for at least two more weeks as a result of a stress fracture in his right shin.
"It's unfortunate because [Marshall] was just starting to get into a rhythm after his earlier injury, and it has been a very fragmented season for him," Missouri State coach Paul Lusk said in a statement. "Obviously Marcus is a big part of our program and our future, and it's unfortunate when these things happen. But we will push forward as a team, and continue preparing for the two big road games we have ahead of us this week."
The schedule won't do Missouri State any favors either. Though the Bears won't see Wichita State again until the final game of the Valley regular season on March 1, their next two games are at Indiana State and Northern Iowa, both of whom have a combined 7-1 league record and are considered the primary challengers to the Shockers along with Missouri State.