Despite some losses from a season ago, Wichita State and head coach Gregg Marshall have seemingly not missed a beat in 2012-13.
Marshall once again has the Shockers destined for the NCAA Tournament as they prepare for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as the league’s second overall seed. Wichita State lost the regular season title over the weekend on the road at Creighton when MVC Player of the Year Doug McDermott went off for a game-high 41 points.
With the Shockers set to re-adjust following back-to-back losses to end the regular season, Wichita State will return to their basics in order to make a run at a conference tournament crown. That potential of course starts with first-year forward, Cleanthony Early.
A JUCO transfer by way of Sullivan County Community College, Early has simply adjusted to perfection in Marshall’s system in his first year at the Division I level. Early is averaging a team-high 14.5 points in addition to 5.2 rebounds per game. His stellar numbers and overall production this season recently earned him a first-team All-MVC nod.
Early has scored in double-figures in all but four games this season, continuously providing Marshall and the Shockers with a leader on the offensive end. Back on Jan. 9, Early went off, tallying 39 points in a six point victory against Southern Illinois.
Early’s instant adjustments to the Division I have benefited Wichita State to the fullest this season and it’s guys like him that have helped the Shockers remain focused despite their losses from a season ago.
Wichita State will look to make a run as the No. 2 seed within the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament when they hit on the court on Friday, Mar. 8.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS