Photo Credit: Wichita Eagle
We recently had the opportunity to interview Wichita State Shockers’ forward Markis McDuffie. McDuffie, 19, is a 6’8″, 212-pound sophomore from Paterson, New Jersey.
McDuffie played in all 36 of the team’s games this past season and averaged 25.5 minutes per game, 11.5 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game, 1.7 assists per game, 0.3 blocks per game, and 1.2 steals per game. He shot 45.8% from the field, 35.5% from 3-point range, and 81.9% from the free throw line. His points, rebounds, and steals per game averages as well as his free throw percentage all led the Shockers.
Over his 2-year NCAA basketball career thus far, McDuffie has played in 70 games and averaged 22.1 minutes per game, 9.5 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game, 1.2 assists per game, 0.3 blocks per game, and 1.0 steal per game. His career shooting percentages are 44.5% from the field, 33.7% from 3-point range, and 78.3% from the free throw line.
The Missouri Valley Conference tournament champion Shockers advanced to the Round of 32 this past season in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament before being eliminated by the Kentucky Wildcats by a score of 65-62.
Here is the Q&A we were able to conduct with McDuffie.
How did you decide on Wichita State?
I broke down the pros and cons of each school I was interested in and visited and Wichita State just simply won.
What has been your biggest highlight in your NCAA basketball career?
My biggest highlight of my NCAA basketball career was when Fred (VanVleet) threw me a crazy lob in transition and somehow I caught it and went crazy and the crowd was the loudest I ever heard.
What has been your biggest disappointment in your NCAA basketball career?
My biggest disappointment was the committee giving us a 10 seed this year in the tournament. But it’s all good lol.
What basketball players/teams were you a fan of growing up?
I’m a huge (New York) Knicks fan. Despite our history and our problems, I enjoyed growing up watching players like Jamal Crawford, Stephon Marbury, David Lee, Linsanity, Melo. The Knicks are a fun team to watch then they’re winning and everything is going well. The Garden will forever be special. But yeah I grew up watching everyone in the NBA. I’m a fan of every player; I respect every player in the league.
Is your goal to make it to the NBA? If not, what is your career goal?
Yes, that’s my goal, just like mostly every player who loves the game of basketball. I definitely have a backup goal too. I want to stay in basketball management, whether it’s coaching, mentoring, analyst, etc. I feel like I know a lot about the game of basketball, so I can help players to be the best they can be.
Do you feel that your team as a mid-major school gets the respect it deserves as really an elite team?
I think this season showed that we deserve that respect. Fred (VanVleet) and Ron (Baker) left, so everyone thought we were going to fall off as a program. We ended up going 31-5 and losing to Kentucky in the second round by a basket. But when your program has been doing impressive things for a consecutive amount of years, you are bound to start focusing on them and looking for that next step as a program.
What do you enjoy besides basketball?
I enjoy chilling with my friends, playing video games, listening to music, and I also enjoy dancing. I got new moves each day lol.
Last but not least, who are you pulling for in Phoenix this weekend?
I wish we were in Phoenix right now, but I’m definitely pulling for them (South Carolina) Gamecocks. You just love that feeling when no one believes in you and your team and you prove them wrong by going to your first Final Four. Such an amazing feeling.