Cameron Payne visited Wichita State in August and Shocker coaches called on freshman guard Fred VanVleet to serve as tour guide.
Makes sense, because if Payne commits to WSU, he and VanVleet will need to mesh. Payne, a senior at Memphis Lausanne Collegiate School, is a combo guard who averaged 22 points and made 42 percent of his three-pointers as a junior.
He spent a lot of time with Fred VanVleet, Lausanne coach Kenneth White said. Those two could form a formidable duo in the years to come.
Payne (6-foot-1, 166 pounds) said he will make his decision early this week from a list that includes WSU, Ohio, Murray State, High Point and the College of Charleston. He said all five are equal. White, while not calling WSU a leader, likes its position.
He loved everything about Wichita, White said. I think theres a good chance he could possibly end up there.
Payne wants to play quickly, play in the NCAA Tournament and find a good academic fit.
I really like Coach (Gregg) Marshall, he said. He has a great reputation of winning games.
Payne can play point guard or shooting guard. He was one of three finalists for Mr. Tennessee Basketball in Division 2-A last season. ESPN.com ranks him No. 37 among all point guards in the class of 2013 and No. 8 among all players in Tennessee.
When hes playing (point), hes comfortable getting the ball to scorers in their spots, White said. One thing that was particularly appealing to him is Coach Marshall hes able to maximize the potential of his guards.
Strong No. 6 WSUs mens golf returns its top five from last seasons NCAA regional team. Coach Grier Jones wont be surprised if newcomer Chandler Rusk breaks into that group later this fall.
Rusk, a junior transfer from Texas Tech, showed why in last weeks Shocker Classic. Playing as individual, he shot a 1-under-par 212 to finish in a five-way tie for 11th. WSU won the team title by 16 shots over Kansas State, with three Shockers finishing ahead of Rusk.
Sometime this year, hes going to play, Jones said. And hes really going to help us next year. He hadnt played, really competitively, for six, seven months. Hes just kind of getting back into it.
Rusk, from Edmond, Okla., finished sixth in qualifying for WSU. He spent most of the summer working at his home course and played a few tournaments.
I was glad to get out there and play some decent golf, and some not-so-great, he said. Confidence really hasnt been there, so the main thing is to try and build on that and just keep getting better.
Rusk departed Texas Tech under less-than-desirable circumstances and is happy to get a second chance at WSU. He also considered Oklahoma State and Oklahoma City. He said Jones called first.
I got into a little bit of trouble that I shouldnt have gotten into, he said. I got into the wrong crowd a little bit, and made some poor decisions, and had to deal with it this summer, looking at other schools.
Just call it WSU Senior libero Jackie Church made an all-tournament team for the first time at the Northern Illinois Invitational. She will remember that weekend, and owns a plaque to prove it. She will also remember the plaque for a long time, because it reads Witchata State.
Church, and junior Elizabeth Field, recently received the plaques in the mail.
I was like Yes, Church said, laughing. Then I looked down and I was like Ohhh. I was happy that I got the award. Its really nice. And a plaque is something I would want to keep and hang up. I wanted to represent my school, not a fictional school.
Both athletes took the mistake with good humor. One of their teammates took a picture of Churchs award and sent it out on Twitter. Churchs mom suggested covering the incorrect spelling with the right one.
Maybe I could Sharpie it on, she said.