As Hurricane Irene churned along the East Coast, flight after flight got canceled and Cleanthony Early remembers thinking to himself, "I'm stuck in Kansas."

The talented forward from upstate New York was on a recruiting visit to Wichita State at the time. The first two days had gone well, though, and he was starting to think that he might someday play for the Shockers.

Then he wound up stuck there for three more days, and he came away convinced.

The rangy 6-foot-8 forward with the versatile inside-outside game spurned overtures from Baylor, Alabama and Missouri to commit to coach Gregg Marshall's rapidly improving program.

The gamble paid off and now Early will be playing in a national semifinal Saturday night when the Shockers take on Louisville.