Originally written on College Chalktalk  |  Last updated 11/16/14
Around one out of every three shot attempts for the Wichita State Shockers has been a three point attempt during the 2012-13 season.  In Saturday night’s 76-70 upset of 1-seed Georgetown, one out of every two three-point shots hit net; thus, Wichita State marches on with a Sweet 16 date with LaSalle in the surprising top of the West Regional bracket set for Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Saturday night. “I’ve always said, if we shoot the ball well, we’re hard to beat, and tonight we shot it well,” said Wichita state coach Gregg Marshall, who has his Shockers cresting at the right time, “It was one of those nights where it went in.  It was young players making big‑time plays, big‑time shots.” Wichita State is a team noted for it’s defense as the Shockers have held opponents to right around 39%  and 60 ppg. on the season.  Saturday night against Gonzaga, it was another excellent offensive effort by Cleanthony Early.  He had 21 points, four triples, and seven boards to follow up on a 16-and-7 performance in the opening win over Pitt.  Early’s athleticism was an obvious matchup issue for the Zags.  In the end, he was manifesting his overall offensive game which has been a major part of the Shockers’ scheme this season. “If we don’t add Cleanthony to the mix this year as a junior college transfer, we’re not sitting here at the NCAA Tournament,” noted Marshall, “He is supremely talented.  He wants to please.  He is more of an offensive player than a defensive player right now, but he’s tried.  He’s been very receptive to coaching.” Early had been sick two weeks ago in the MVC Tournament as the Shockers got to the finals in losing a 68-65 decision to Creighton.  For the first time all season and as a Shocker, Early had three consecutive single digit games in the MVC Tournament.  He just needed to get well and get his energy back so he could return to playing a major role in the scheme. “Every once in a while, he bristles at the directness of our coaching staff, but I think ultimately what is most exciting for him and for us is how much better he can become on that end of the floor – rebounding, defense, and there are some things offensively that he can improve upon as well,” commented Marshall, who sees the potential that Early has to achieve at a high level, “When that happens we’re going to have just a tremendous, tremendous basketball player.  He’s really good now!” Senior Carl Hall, Wichita State’s most major presence inside,  has latched onto Early and his versatility.  He discussed how the sophomore, who leads the team in scoring at 13.9 ppg., has become a key in the attack and made the jobs of the other Shockers much easier in his first year. “He stretches the defense because he can shoot the ball so well,” commented Hall, “He can drive it well and he kinda gives us an advantage on offense because he’s a 3‑man playing the 4‑spot, so it stretches the defense and it helps our offense out a lot.” Early will have a major presence in his matchup with the athleticism of LaSalle and Atlantic 10 leading scorer Ramon Galloway, who can score in waves.  Early is not the type of scorer, though, to get into a shootout situation inside of a game with an opponent.  He’s very unselfish and realizes that with a group of players that are generally newcomers, his play inside of Marshall’s framework and the chemistry is a major key if Wichita State is to win two more games and advance to the Final Four. “We definitely had an expectation that we could make it to the tournament and we had to play hard,” said Early, “It was a whole bunch of new guys coming in and everyone said it was a rebuilding year and they didn’t expect to us get this far and that for ourselves were higher than what people gave us.  We tried to play hard and work hard every single day to make that happen.” - Ken Cross       Related Posts:Stats Slant: Getting ready for a magical ride –…Five teams you don’t want to see when feeling…Five reasons the Oklahoma State Cowboys are riding highNCAA Picks, Day 3 – Round of 32Local freshman already helping Wright reorganize Wildcats
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Irving scores career-high 55, hits game winner

FCS star QB considering transferring to Oregon

Gronk on interest in his partying: 'I'm a baller'

Jim Harbaugh looking to flip No. 1 quarterback recruit

Colts' suspension of Richardson voids $3.1 million


Five players replacing the biggest names in Pac-12 for 2015

Report: Broncos hire Phillips as defensive coordinator

LeBron James misses Cavs-Blazers game due to wrist injury

Iceman: Thompson’s 37-point quarter doesn't break his record

Mayweather visited Pacquiao’s hotel room for private meeting

Seahawks GM: Russell Wilson's contract 'presents challenges'

Jimbo Fisher's extension could be worth $44 million

Morris twins investigated for possible assault

Padres are bringing back the brown pinstripes

Phil Jackson's old Knicks teams used to deflate balls

David Blatt: There should be more LeBron MVP talk

Richard Sherman, girlfriend expecting son during SB week

WATCH: Marshawn, Gronk play Mortal Kombat with Conan

Armstrong: I’d use PEDs again under same circumstances

Top five free agent quarterbacks

Report: NFL investigators to consult physicist on Deflategate

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Best prop bets about the Super Bowl broadcast

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Blatt wants more LeBron MVP talk

Best Super Bowl ads of all-time

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Ten worst teams to ever play in a SB

Six MLB teams going all-in on 2015

Patriots' keys to Super Bowl victory

Seahawks' keys to Super Bowl victory

DeflateGate ball could fetch $50K

Doug Baldwin ready for Revis Island

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

Barnes unhappy with NBA over fine

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.