1. My good friend Don Povia reminded me of this article from last year, which stays relevant as Wichita State succeeds. I spoke with Rick Scarpulla, who trained Cleanthony Early and has worked with the West Point power lifting team.

CBT: How did you meet Cle?

Rick Scarpulla: Cle was just finishing up high school. Another athlete, who’s now a DI football player, brought him to me. He said “this guy can ball, but he’s got no body.” High school coaches are so focused on practicing with the ball in the hand; if they spend 30 minutes a day on basic athletic training kids stay stronger and are less injury-prone.

Every big man’s recruiting report says he needs to get stronger to compete in college. How do you do that?

My whole premise of training is built on becoming a better athlete. We work on speed, strength, flexibility, balance, optical recognition and reaction. You have to gain complete athleticism. It’s all about first-step speed and explosive power in any sport.

Defense takes endurance. How do you train a kid to be explosive out of that stance?

That’s all in the posterior chain. Focusing on that area during training allows someone to properly break down into a defensive basketball stance. You take the pressure off the knees and put it on the hamstrings and glutes, which are designed to raise and lower the body.

How much do you focus on a player’s mind while you’re training him?

The mind takes the body where it needs to go. I’ve told Cle a thousand times that this is his shot, and I believe he can play at the highest level. He has to believe he can do it.

If a kid without access to great facilities wants to get stronger, what can he do?

Jump training is one of the best things you can do, and you can do it anywhere. Jump high, low, long. Jump rope. Jump from a seated position, from a kneeling position, holding weights. A kid in his backyard can do all of the old-school things to get stronger.

What part of your workouts did Cleanthony hate most?

I would have to say burpees. We may do a few hundred in a session. Cle absolutely hated it. We had a few big guys who trained with Cle and he always joked “They can feel my pain. This ain’t for a tall man!” But I know I can’t school Cle in basketball, he’s got all those skills. What I did made him stronger, more explosive, able to jump higher. Simple concepts that translate onto the court for him. I’ve had cadets come back after crawling through caves in Afghanistan, and they did the same mental and physical training.

    My good friend Don Povia reminded me of this article from last year, which stays relevant as Wichita State succeeds. I spoke with Rick Scarpulla, who trained Cleanthony Early and has worked with the West Point power lifting team.

    CBT: How did you meet Cle?

    Rick Scarpulla: Cle was just finishing up high school. Another athlete, who’s now a DI football player, brought him to me. He said “this guy can ball, but he’s got no body.” High school coaches are so focused on practicing with the ball in the hand; if they spend 30 minutes a day on basic athletic training kids stay stronger and are less injury-prone.

    Every big man’s recruiting report says he needs to get stronger to compete in college. How do you do that?

    My whole premise of training is built on becoming a better athlete. We work on speed, strength, flexibility, balance, optical recognition and reaction. You have to gain complete athleticism. It’s all about first-step speed and explosive power in any sport.

    Defense takes endurance. How do you train a kid to be explosive out of that stance?

    That’s all in the posterior chain. Focusing on that area during training allows someone to properly break down into a defensive basketball stance. You take the pressure off the knees and put it on the hamstrings and glutes, which are designed to raise and lower the body.

    How much do you focus on a player’s mind while you’re training him?

    The mind takes the body where it needs to go. I’ve told Cle a thousand times that this is his shot, and I believe he can play at the highest level. He has to believe he can do it.

    If a kid without access to great facilities wants to get stronger, what can he do?

    Jump training is one of the best things you can do, and you can do it anywhere. Jump high, low, long. Jump rope. Jump from a seated position, from a kneeling position, holding weights. A kid in his backyard can do all of the old-school things to get stronger.

    What part of your workouts did Cleanthony hate most?

    I would have to say burpees. We may do a few hundred in a session. Cle absolutely hated it. We had a few big guys who trained with Cle and he always joked “They can feel my pain. This ain’t for a tall man!” But I know I can’t school Cle in basketball, he’s got all those skills. What I did made him stronger, more explosive, able to jump higher. Simple concepts that translate onto the court for him. I’ve had cadets come back after crawling through caves in Afghanistan, and they did the same mental and physical training.

  2. #PantslessGriffin vs. #Shocker should be a battle for the ages

  3. Wichita State’s Lufile hopes to think less, play moreCoaching is a tricky business. Striking the proper balance between training players’ bodies and…View Post

    Wichita State’s Lufile hopes to think less, play more

    Coaching is a tricky business. Striking the proper balance between training players’ bodies and…

    View Post

  4. Bring back Mizzou/Kansas!!!!

    "Kansas vs. Missouri: Let’s just file this under an annual request. One of the greatest rivalries in college basketball ought to be played this year, next year and every year. We don’t care who left what conference. We don’t care who’s angry. This is like two divorcing parents sparring over the china with the kids stuck in the middle. Here the two schools’ fan bases and fans of the game in general are the kids. So hire a good mediator, work this out and play ball."

    While we’re at it, we need to get Kansas and K-State playing Wichita State every year.

  5. Transfer Watson academically ineligible at Wichita StateFollowing a surprise Final Four run, there’s little doubt that Gregg Marshall and Wichita State are…View Post

    Transfer Watson academically ineligible at Wichita State

    Following a surprise Final Four run, there’s little doubt that Gregg Marshall and Wichita State are…

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  6. "In college, Bob Long was a basketball player first.

The then 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard was on scholarship for the University of Wichita Wheat Shockers (now Wichita State Shockers) in the early 1960s, and Long only played football for fun with his buddies.

During one intramural football game, Long’s athleticism and soft hands caught the attention of the Wichita football team’s coaching staff. After playing three years of varsity basketball, Long still had one semester of collegiate eligibility remaining.

That’s all the coaching staff needed to know to recruit Long to the gridiron.

"They said, ‘We need a wide receiver,’" Long said. "And I had good hands, basketball hands. The coaches talked me into playing football."

In his one season with the Shockers football team, Long acquitted himself well, setting the school’s single-season touchdown reception record with nine. He was named All-Missouri Valley Conference and honorable mention All-American.

His play caught the eye of Pat Peppler, the personnel director of the Green Bay Packers, who drafted him in the fourth round (44th overall) in the 1964 NFL draft.”

    "In college, Bob Long was a basketball player first.

    The then 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard was on scholarship for the University of Wichita Wheat Shockers (now Wichita State Shockers) in the early 1960s, and Long only played football for fun with his buddies.

    During one intramural football game, Long’s athleticism and soft hands caught the attention of the Wichita football team’s coaching staff. After playing three years of varsity basketball, Long still had one semester of collegiate eligibility remaining.

    That’s all the coaching staff needed to know to recruit Long to the gridiron.

    "They said, ‘We need a wide receiver,’" Long said. "And I had good hands, basketball hands. The coaches talked me into playing football."

    In his one season with the Shockers football team, Long acquitted himself well, setting the school’s single-season touchdown reception record with nine. He was named All-Missouri Valley Conference and honorable mention All-American.

    His play caught the eye of Pat Peppler, the personnel director of the Green Bay Packers, who drafted him in the fourth round (44th overall) in the 1964 NFL draft.”

  7. "This could be an exciting trend. National mega-chain Pizza Hut had humble beginnings in Wichita, Kansas – imagine what they could have done if the Shockers had won two more games last season? Menacing Wushock on a limited-edition whole-wheat crust, topped with beef and cheese from locally-raised cows. Mmmmm. Eat Angry."

    Papa John’s honors Cards with pizza box | CollegeBasketballTalk

  8. Wichita State’s Wushock

    Wichita State’s Wushock

  9. “So the SEC brought in former NCAA tournament czar Greg Shaheen to try and solve this problem, and it seems as if he’s gotten is message across.
And that’s good news for more than just the potential bubble-dwellers in the SEC. There are going to be some good mid-major programs that benefit as well. Enter Wichita State, who just added a home-and-home series with Alabama to one that they had already scheduled with Tennessee.
“We’ve entertained several calls since the SEC meeting broke up,” senior associate athletic director Darren Boatright told Kansas.com.
Wichita State-Alabama won’t exactly be a circle-your-calendar kind of game, but it will be more entertaining than seeing, say, Alabama play Alabama State and Wichita State play UMKC.”
(via Wichita State taking advantage of SEC’s tougher scheduling | CollegeBasketballTalk)

    So the SEC brought in former NCAA tournament czar Greg Shaheen to try and solve this problem, and it seems as if he’s gotten is message across.

    And that’s good news for more than just the potential bubble-dwellers in the SEC. There are going to be some good mid-major programs that benefit as well. Enter Wichita State, who just added a home-and-home series with Alabama to one that they had already scheduled with Tennessee.

    “We’ve entertained several calls since the SEC meeting broke up,” senior associate athletic director Darren Boatright told Kansas.com.

    Wichita State-Alabama won’t exactly be a circle-your-calendar kind of game, but it will be more entertaining than seeing, say, Alabama play Alabama State and Wichita State play UMKC.”

    (via Wichita State taking advantage of SEC’s tougher scheduling | CollegeBasketballTalk)

  10. (via Men’s Basketball - News - GoShockers.com—Official Web Site of Wichita State Athletics)