3-point shot: UCF's Clanton will be coveted

August, 1, 2012
8/01/12
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1. Keith Clanton will be the most coveted men’s basketball transfer if he wants to leave Central Florida in time for the fall semester after the NCAA handed down a postseason ban for 2013. The senior power forward is a legit, highly-skilled power player who would immediately help a team make an NCAA tournament run. If Clanton were to leave, a number of sources assume (maybe wrongly) that he would stay in state. Florida sounds like a natural fit, but would Gators coach Billy Donovan take a player off his former assistant’s team and crush Donnie Jones’ chances of at least being a contender for a regular-season C-USA title? Florida State sounds good, too. But the school that would make the most sense is South Florida. The Bulls recruited Clanton hard out of Orlando Christian Prep. The Bulls made the NCAA tournament last season, beating Cal in the First Four in Dayton, then Temple before losing to upstart Ohio in the third round in Nashville. USF has one of the top guards in the Big East in Anthony Collins. Coach Stan Heath has a power player in Toarlyn Fitzpatrick and a small forward in Victor Rudd Jr. But the depth upfront is lacking and the Bulls definitely have a scholarship available. Clanton would come in and immediately bolster this unit and give it a reliable scoring pop for an offensively challenged crew. Heath has depth at guard with Shaun Noriega and Jawanza Poland along with JC transfer Javontae Hawkins. But if the Bulls could land Clanton then he would be a game changer for USF in the Big East. Oh, and the Bulls -- in anticipation of UCF joining the Big East in 2013 -- scheduled an in-season home-and-home with UCF, including the season opener Nov. 10 at the Bulls’ renovated new Sun Dome.

2. The strength of the Duke and Syracuse staffs was on display last week at ESPN’s Wide of World Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., at an AAU tournament. Seeing Syracuse’s Gerry McNamara and Duke’s Jeff Capel, a former head coach at Oklahoma, was yet another reminder how the Olympic commitment for Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim has no negative impact on recruiting. Both schools continued to get top commitments during their Olympic coaching experience, and when they’re gone they have recognizable faces on the road representing them and their schools.

3. Georgia State left Tuesday for South Africa as coach Ron Hunter embarked on delivering shoes to impoverished children on behalf of Samaritan’s Feet. Hunter is making his sixth trip and his first with Georgia State after five sojourns with his former school, IUPUI. A number of schools are going on foreign trips next month to play games. Georgia State isn’t picking up a basketball. The 10-day trip is all about doing what is good, pure and right. Once again, Hunter deserves praise for acting instead of reacting, actually doing rather than pontificating, and being hands on with a tangible deed in lieu of simply sending financial assistance.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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