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Wichita State’s Early may miss Saturday’s exhibition

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, at 3:23 p.m.

A concussion may cause Wichita State forward Cleanthony Early to miss Saturday’s exhibition game against Oklahoma Baptist, according to coach Gregg Marshall.

Early suffered a concussion during WSU’s closed scrimmage last week against Baylor, Marshall said during Friday’s basketball luncheon at Koch Arena, and has not practiced since Saturday. Early, Marshall said, twice banged his head after taking charges in the scrimmage.

Marshall said Early will be a game-time decision on Saturday.

“We’re going to work him in (practices) a little today and we’ll see what happens (Saturday),” he said.

Early is WSU’s top returner scorer (13.9 points) and was named Missouri Valley Conference preseason Player of the Year on Wednesday.

Marshall said sophomore guards Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet will start. The remaining spots will be decided on Saturday, with Early’s health a big part of the picture.

“Fred’s going to be in there; Ron’s going to be in there,” Marshall said. “Other than that, I’m not sure, with (Early’s situation). He would have been the third guy.”

Freshman Zach Bush, who redshirted last season, is also likely out with a concussion. Marshall said he expects to play everyone else. While he plans on redshirting one or two players, he will not make the decision until later. Players can play in the exhibition without forfeiting their redshirt year.

“First dress rehearsal in front of the fans — I want us to understand how we play, figure out how hard you have to play and that you have to play both ends,” Marshall said.

Texas visitor — With three oral commitments in hand, a fourth from a big man would fit perfectly for the Shockers.

Marshall hinted that a fourth commitment could be near during the luncheon. According to Brad Winton of jucorecruiting.com, Kilgore (Texas) College center Tom Wamukota visited earlier this week and is deciding between WSU and Saint Louis. Wamukota (6-foot-11, 215 pounds) is from Bungoma, Kenya.

WSU holds non-binding commitments from Episcopal School of Dallas guard Corey Henderson Jr., Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy forward Rashard Kelly and Sunrise Christian Academy forward Zach Brown. Recruits can sign beginning Nov. 13. WSU coaches cannot comment on recruits until they sign.

Reach Paul Suellentrop at 316-269-6760 or psuellentrop@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @paulsuellentrop.

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