2012 Intro: Conor Clifford

2012 center Conor Clifford helped make a name for himself after a very impressive performance at the Nike Extravaganza. Here's an intro to his game and recruitment.

Schools looking for a West Coast center late won't have many better options than 7-foot, 255-pound Huntington Beach (Calif.) Ocean View 2012 big man Conor Clifford.

After an impressive performance last weekend at the Nike Extravaganza, Scout.com national recruiting analyst Evan Daniels offered the following evaluation of Clifford:

A near 7-foot big man, Clifford dominated his space and scored at will on the block. Clifford has a nice set of hands that caught everything thrown his way. He can finish with both hands, but favors a jump hook over his left shoulder.

He's gotten serious about his game and spent time getting in shape, as he sliced 40 pounds off his frame. He's a prospect that top-level mid-majors should take a strong look at. He finished with 26 points on 13-for-22 shooting. He also snagged 13 rebounds.

According to Conor's father, Paul Clifford, the senior center holds five offers thus far.

"He has offers from U.C. Irvine, U.C. Riverside and U.C. Davis," Clifford said. "Cornell and Columbia don't give financial aid but they want him to go there. The other schools looking at him are Fresno State and Northern Arizona."

Schools interested in Clifford will have to check him out for his high school team, as it doesn't look like he'll be playing AAU this spring and summer.

"We've told everyone that we're not going to make a decision until after the season is over; I want him to concentrate on that," Paul Clifford said. "I think he wants to make a decision at the end of the season.

"I don't think he'll be playing AAU. He has schools that he's interested in that really want him. I think shortly after CIF he'll make a decision. We'll see what his opportunities are after CIF."

Sadly, Clifford has a sick mother, and while that could keep him closer to home, the family isn't asking him to stay local.

"His mother is very ill and he has that on his plate right now," Conor's father said. "She doesn't want him to make a decision based on that. The family wants him to make a decision based on what he wants to do, so there are no limitations from a geography standpoint.

"He's a good student and that's why the U.C. schools want him. He can pretty much get in anywhere; he has a decent SAT score and I think a 3.6 GPA. He can go anywhere he wants. "

That being said, there is one local school that the family hopes begins recruiting Conor.

"The school that would be a game changer is UCLA," Paul Clifford said. "His mother went to UCLA and that would definitely change things; he'd have to consider that with them being the family favorite."

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