Loose ends are so annoying:
Cleanthony Early was pleased with his performance at the Kevin Durant Nike Skills Academy in late June. He made a big impression on Cardell Dudley of Finest Magazine. Early played with and against Durant in pickup games. “I thought I did all right,” Early said. “I think I showed enough. I wasn’t even 100 percent. I sprained my ankle right before I went. My shoulder got beat up while I was there.” Because of those minor injuries, Early declined a chance to go to Las Vegas for the LeBron James Skills Academy last weekend. “This is summer time,” he said. “It’s time to take care of your body. I was banged up coming off (last season) and you never really get a rest.” Early played with and against Durant and I’ll have more on his experience in D.C. on Sunday. Former Shockers are again dotting NBA Summer League rosters. Toure Murry played one game for Houston, scoring five points, in Orlando. He is on the roster for the Knicks team in Las Vegas, a league that starts Friday. Garrett Stutz is on the Kings roster. Gal Mekel will play for Dallas. It will be fascinating to watch (for those who have NBA TV) Mekel play against NBA talent and see how his passing and ball-handling translates. When he departed WSU in 2008 after two seasons, I don’t think anybody expected him to end up in the NBA. Nobody takes basketball more seriously than Mekel, and that work paid off with a three-year deal with the Mavericks. He is already showing off those skills. I was on furlough when WSU announced the hiring of baseball coach Todd Butler. I did listen to his remarks at his news conference and it struck me as significant that not once did he mention “Missouri Valley Conference” in almost 30 minutes. He talked about Omaha and the College World Series. That is how most fans perceive WSU’s status and it appears Butler thinks the same way. WSU’s 2014 baseball schedule is tentative, but there are several intriguing possibilities, including series with Tulane and Fullerton and a game against Missouri at Kaufman Stadium. Butler likes the schedule and sees possibilities to play more SEC schools in the future. He will likely wait to consider playing Arkansas until players he helped recruit are gone. “There’s 13 teams in the top-100 RPI, and we need to make sure we’re playing good competition,” Butler said. Most of WSU’s volleyball players are working camps and working in the weight room. It is the second season the team has made summer workouts in Wichita a priority.