NBA projection: Early gave scouts something to think about with his 31-point effort against Kentucky’s collection of future NBA players in the third round of the NCAA tournament, where he averaged 27 points, seven rebounds and shot 50 percent from 3 in two games. Some draft analysts think he’s a first-round pick, while others have him projected in the second round.
Early earned second-team All-American honors from the USBW, and was also chosen first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference after helping lead the Shockers to a 35-0 record before they were finally beaten by Kentucky in the third round of the NCAA tournament. Early led the Shockers in scoring and rebounding.
Key statistics: 16.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.9 tpg, 27.4 mpg, .486 FG, .375 3PT, .844 FT
Cool statistic: In the parlance of advanced statistics guru Ken Pomeroy, Early was a “major contributor” in 2013-14, taking shots on 26.8 percent of Wichita State’s possessions.
Reminds me of: Cliff Robinson
What Insiders Say
Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall
“He's just a great talent. He flies around. mean, he athletically can play anywhere in the country.”
What Outsiders Say
Bowling Green coach (and former Wichita State assistant) Chris Jans
“He’s not a three man, or a stationary two at the next level. But he’s a weapon. He can shoot it, and he can shoot it with range, and he can get it off. He can stretch the D with his shooting, but at the same time, he’s a big-time athlete that can run, jump and rebound.”
David Aldridge's Big Board 2014: Small Forwards | Rank: No. 9
TNT Analyst David Aldridge breaks down the top prospects at each position
Wichita State was undefeated all season until losing in the third round of the NCAAs, with senior forward Cleanthony Early leading the way. Early, who led the Shockers in scoring, was a Wooden Award finalist, earning second team all-American honors from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and being named first-team all Missouri Valley Conference.
Anthony will have to show he's more than, as one scout put it, "a four trying to be a three." He shot 48.6 percent this season, including 37 percent on threes. His likely role in the pros would be as a rotation guy off the bench. More>>