Wichita State's Cleanthony Early said he stood only 5 feet 7 when he began high school and did not play organized basketball until he was in the 11th grade.
But the 6-8 junior could be the key for Wichita State when the Shockers play Ohio State in the NCAA West Regional final Saturday at Staples Center.
Early, a New York native who averages a team-best 13.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, arrived in Wichita after a year at Mt. Zion Academy in North Carolina and two seasons at Sullivan County Community College in New York.
On Friday, Early fondly recalled seeing the girls and recreational pool during a recruiting trip to San Diego State, but chose Wichita State instead after spending an inordinate amount of time on the Shockers' campus.