There was one thing Wichita State forward Cleanthony Early wanted more than anything after Saturday’s 68-45 victory over Missouri State completed the Shockers’ 31-0 regular season.
“I’m dog-tired,” Early said. “A nap sounds like the best thing ever right now. It’s been a long day.”
That Early said it all with a smile on his face is a given at this point — he scored 19 points on senior day for himself, Nick Wiggins, Chadrack Lufile and Kadeem Coleby. Early also had two assists for the third straight game even though he’s only averaging 0.8 per game for the season.
“It was a good night for everybody,” Early said. “We’re moving on right away, though. Rest and go back to work.”
A sentiment echoed by his teammates, who had Sunday off before getting back to practice and school on Monday.
“There were a lot of emotions, a lot goosebumps being out there afterward,” Coleby said. “Everyone is telling you what a wonderful season you had it’s bound to get emotional, but you’ve gotta contain your feelings. That’s how we put this behind us already, we’re going to get a day of rest and then back to practice Monday, full force.”
One of few precious practices before the second-ranked Shockers begin Missouri Valley Conference Tournament play in St. Louis. WSU faces the winner of Thursday night’s game between No. 8 Drake and No. 9 Evansville on Friday at noon.
“I know this group is excited, but they’ll move on after they get (Sunday) off, and by the time they’re going back to class on Monday all they’ll be thinking about is what we’ve got in front of us in St. Louis,” WSU coach Gregg Marshall said. “Another challenge, another obstacle, another potential first.”
What the Shockers were focused on most of Sunday was the same as the rest of Wichita — staying warm. The players left Koch Arena in the early evening Saturday bundled up to face freezing temperatures and a snow storm. Sunday, temperatures dipped into the single digits as another snowstorm descended.
“All day ... Too Cold,” Early tweeted in a reply to one of his followers from his account, @Clearly_BallLyf.
Seemingly of the same mind, guard Ron Baker tweeted out the same sentiment from his account, @RDB_sh31ox, if not more succinctly: