The Next Henderson?

Ole Miss is expected to soon land a commitment from Northwest Kansas Technical College shooting guard Gian Louis Clavell, his head coach, Jase Herl, said today.


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Andy Kennedy and staff were expected to arrive in Goodland via private plane to visit with Clavell today. However, snow could prevent Ole Miss from meeting with the 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard, so a commitment could come at a later date.

Regardless, Ole Miss is on the verge of landing the talented Clavell, who averaged 19.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and four assists per game last season. He made 39 percent of his some 200 3-point attempts. He'll sign with Ole Miss in November and enroll for the 2014-15 season.

"David Huertas went to school at Ole Miss, and Gian is very close to David and his family," Herl said. "He's very comfortable with (Ole Miss assistant) Coach (Sergio) Rouco and Coach Kennedy, but the biggest attraction for him is their style of play.

"He saw how they used Marshall (Henderson) and how Coach Kennedy let his guys play and do what they need to do on offense. They play hard on defense, too, and play in the SEC. And it doesn't hurt that Ole Miss will get him a little bit closer to Miami."

In his first season at Ole Miss, Henderson led the Southeastern Conference in scoring, set the NCAA single-season record for 3-point attempts (394) and also set the SEC mark for 3s made in a season with 141.

Henderson made a name for himself as much for his over-the-top antics as his abilities as a scorer. A passionate player, Henderson relished the opportunity to engage opposing players and fans.

Clavell, Herl said, is a similar player. And if all goes as planned, Clavell will step in for Henderson after next season. Henderson is entering his senior year.

"He just does everything very well," Herl said. "I hate to compare him to Marshall Henderson, because that's going to put a lot of pressure on him, but Ole Miss wants him to take over that role.

"He can cut you up and shoot it from mid-range. He can catch and shoot better than anyone in the country. He's just a tough player. He doesn't back down from anyone, and he makes all the big shots like a Marshall Henderson. I didn't get to see Marshall play in junior college, but I did get to see him play a lot this year. (Clavell) has a lot of the same qualities. He plays with the same kind of excitement and emotion. That's what I love about him."

The Mavericks finished 16-14 last season, winning 10 of their final 12 games. In those games, Northwest Tech averaged 90 points per game, including 28 points per game from Clavell, who shot over 54 percent from 3.

"First of all, he has elite ability to catch and shoot," Herl said. "He has a tremendous, quick release. There's no range to his game. But most of all, there's no one that loves to compete, or plays with such a fire, as Gian plays with. It doesn't matter if it's practice or a pick-up game, he's always competing harder than anyone on the floor. If I had to model a basketball player as an example of how I want all my players to be like, it'd be Gian."

Clavell made his way to Northwest Tech from Hialeah Gardens High School in Miami, Fla. Herl found out about Clavell through a mutual friend, Art Alvarez, who was Clavell's AAU coach and is a friend of Rouco. Rouco and Herl have been friends since Rouco coached at FIU. Alvarez coached Huertas.

"He's a tremendous driver on the court," Herl said of Clavell. "He loves to take it to the rim. Obviously, he's a great shooter. There's nowhere on the floor where he can't make a shot. I'd say over 25 percent of his shots came from at least 25 feet. But what separates him from the rest of the two-guards is his rebounding skills. He's an elite rebounder. He can really get up and get a rebound, and he's got elite ball-handling skills, which allows him to get into the open floor and make things happen. The other thing you'll see about Gian is his passing skills. He can see the floor better than most, and he loves to get his teammates involved. He's not one to hog to the ball."


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