You ask Ron Baker if this is what he expected the Sweet 16, the glitz of Los Angeles, the mayor of his tiny Kansas hometown declaring Thursday Ron Baker Day and he offers up this story, from about two years back:
Somewhere along Highway 56, during the three-hours-and-change drive back west to Scott City, Kan., Ron was on the return leg of his official visit to Wichita State. And he was pensive.
You know, son, Neil Baker told his son, Wichita State is a very good program.
Full disclosure: Neil was (and is) a baseball coach and a fan of Danny & The Miracles, the 1988 Kansas national championship team that defined the program for a generation, especially within state borders.
But he remembered coach Gene Smithsons Shockers being holy hell on wheels back then, too. With stars such as Antoine Carr and Xavier The X-Man McDaniel, the Shox tore up the Missouri Valley Conference. Wichita State had even knocked off the Jayhawks in the 1981 NCAA Tourney to clinch a berth in the Elite...