College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, March 1, 2014
Seldom achieved, perfection in any endeavor is always admirable, and that's what Wichita State completed Saturday with a 68-45 victory over Missouri State, closing out their regular season at 31-0, 18-0 in the Missouri Valley conference.
The unbeaten season was the first since St. Joseph's entered the post-season without a loss in 2004. That season, Xavier stopped St. Joseph's in the opening round of the Atlantic-10 tournament.
The Shockers are looking for much more, first hoping to capture the MVC title with a conference tournament win next week, then on to the NCAA's, where they reached the Final Four a season ago.
Should the Shockers make it all the way to winning the national championship - a tall order - it would be the first time a team went all the way unbeaten since Bobby Knight's Indiana Hoosiers did it in 1976.
In their win over the Bears, Wichita State relied on their heady defense and the usual exploits of senior forward, Cleanthony Early, who was the game's high-scorer with 19 points, going 5-for-7 from the field with two three-pointers and 7-for-9 from the foul line. Early snatched six rebounds and dished out two assists.
The team's leading scorer and rebounder, Early averaged 15.8 points and 5.9 rebounds.