www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Tigers travel to face Lopers -10/31/2014, 11:10 AM

Tiger women's soccer rallies for win at UNK -10/31/2014, 10:05 AM

Closing stretch will be crowded at the top for Big 12 -10/31/2014, 11:07 AM

Hays High heads for Wamego -10/31/2014, 11:08 AM

Norton runs by TMP, now 9-0 -10/31/2014, 11:09 AM

Area prep football roundup, Oct. 30 -10/31/2014, 10:05 AM

Area high school football scores, Oct. 30 -10/30/2014, 9:26 PM

MVP Bumgarner steps up -10/30/2014, 10:43 AM

District up in the air for HHS -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Area prep football district standings, scenarios -10/30/2014, 2:28 PM

A look at the area's state volleyball qualifiers in 1A Division I & II -10/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Dream season ends for K.C. -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

TMP turns it around, headed to state -10/30/2014, 10:33 AM

Tiger volleyball falls to UNK -10/29/2014, 3:28 PM

Monarchs rally for regional win -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

One win away for K.C. -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Kansas State No. 9 in first football playoff rankings -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Hays High soccer sees season end -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

Tigers look to finish strong -10/29/2014, 10:10 AM

1989 WSU baseball champs reunite -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

KC's Yost still confident -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Romo hurt as Redskins upend Cowboys in OT -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Big second half leads to HHS win -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

CFB notes: TCU and WVU ready to take center stage -10/28/2014, 10:21 AM

Royals down, not out -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Earnhardt wins at Martinsville -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Romo showing smarts, backbone as Redskins visit -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Chiefs defense hammers Rams -10/27/2014, 10:57 AM

Tiger men draw, women win Sunday -10/27/2014, 10:48 AM

Hays High rallies for district win -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Tigers fall to No. 10 Bearcats -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

XC roundup -- Hays High boys, girls qualify -10/26/2014, 10:57 AM

Friday's area prep football roundup -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

K-State shuts out Texas -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

Volleyball roundup -- TMP headed to state -10/26/2014, 8:35 PM

HHS, TMP begin regional play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Phillipsburg remains unbeaten in district play -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Hays High volleyball sees season end -10/26/2014, 8:26 PM

Russell nabs second win, beats Monarchs -10/26/2014, 1:00 AM

Area prep FB scores, Oct. 24 -10/24/2014, 10:45 PM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
Early hopes Shocker preparation viewed as plus by NBA teams

[var top_story_head]

Early hopes Shocker preparation viewed as plus by NBA teams

Published on -6/24/2014, 9:56 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

By Paul Suellentrop

McClatchy-Tribune

A prominent NBA general manager took Cleanthony Early to dinner as part of Early's workout with the team. Early raved about Wichita State, so much so the GM said he felt compelled to leave coach Gregg Marshall a voicemail message.

The GM, whom Marshall didn't feel comfortable naming, relayed Early's strong feelings about the basketball atmosphere and the family feeling he experienced at WSU.

"He was big-time impressed with Cle and things Cle had to say about his time here," Marshall said. "That really made me feel good."

That is a good look for WSU. It is also a good look for Early, who is almost to the end of a four-month interview for his NBA future. By Thursday's draft, he will have worked out for at least 14 teams, trying to impress with his basketball skills, personality and work ethic. Most are teams with picks in the late teens and down, such as Utah, Toronto, Boston, Phoenix, Oklahoma City and San Antonio.

"It's pretty much like a job interview," Early said. "I've got good vibes from all of them. It's hard to have a bad workout. They want to see your skills. They want to see your competitiveness."

Early, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward, is on track to become the first WSU basketball player drafted since 1987, when the Los Angeles Clippers took Henry Carr in the seventh round. Many projections have Early going late in the first round, a status last bestowed on a Shocker in 1985, when Seattle grabbed Xavier McDaniel with the fourth pick.

The first-round consists of 30 picks and athletes in those slots receive a guaranteed two-year contract. Rookie scale is around $900,000 for the No. 30 pick. The 31st pick starts the second round and no money is guaranteed.

"It's a mutually beneficial situation," Marshall said. "The higher he goes, the better it reflects on us. And our program helps him with the success we've had. I love the fact that he's come so far."

Marshall said he talked to around a dozen teams in recent weeks. The NBA scouts ask about Early's work ethic and personality.

Marshall gives him high marks for listening to coaches. When he came to WSU out of junior college, he needed work on his defense and controlling his emotions. While it wasn't always easy, Early steadily improved. Marshall talked to him from the beginning about progressing from unknown to All-Missouri Valley Conference to All-America to NBA prospect.

Two years later, Early is on the edge of fulfilling all those goals.

"My point to these (NBA) guys is, if he embraced our program and the way we do our business, you will have no problems with him," Marshall said. "He's held accountable here. Our expectations are really high for these young men, on and off the court, and he dealt with that."

Shocker fans who watched Early for two seasons know his strengths. NBA scouts see him as a player with the potential to help a team soon, because he is 23. His outside shooting ability is his strongest skill and his 6-foot-11 wingspan and athletic ability are solid for an NBA small forward. He averaged 19.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in seven NCAA Tournament games, highlighted by strong performances against Louisville in 2013 and Kentucky in 2014.

For those reasons, he may appeal to teams such as Oklahoma City, Houston and Miami, who are contending and looking for a rotation player already physically mature.

"He shoots the ball well enough," Phoenix Suns general manager Ryan McDonough told reporters after Early's workout. "He's long. He's athletic enough. I think that will be a fairly easy transition for him."

His passing and dribbling must improve -- in two seasons at WSU he totaled 40 assists and 131 turnovers. Most of his offense came from three-pointers, around the basket or on fast breaks. His ability to score off the dribble using fakes, mid-range shots and drives to the basket is in question. He improved his defensive focus late in the season for WSU.

"To occupy the three-spot at the next level, Early needs to beef up his off-the-dribble dimension," wrote Adam Ganeles of NBADraft.net. "Ball handling and willingness to attack are on the incline, but he's far from secure ... He avoids dribbling into tight quarters and creativity is lacking."

Early hears the questions, which can be summed in his potential to adjust from playing the power forward in college to the small forward in the NBA. Early performed many small-forward duties at WSU, shooting from the outside and guarding smaller opponents. In the NBA, he rarely will be able to overpower smaller defenders in the post. At 6-8, his fighting the label of "tweener."

"The team is going to pick you on your potential to adjust and grow," Early said. "Different teams play different offenses. Whatever it is, you adjust to that playing style."

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News