Florida big man nearing decision

Recruiting an athletic big man that's capable of running the floor, blocking shots, and has good touch around the basket has been a priority for South Carolina coach Darrin Horn and staff during the 2009 recruiting cycle, and the Gamecocks may have found their man. Read inside as GamecockAnthem.com shares the latest on an elite Sunshine State power forward that's nearing a decision.

All Team Breakdown did this summer was win and win some more. Now the AAU players look to make college decisions, and recruiters are working tirelessly in an effort to try and pull these Florida recruits out of the state.

One such recruit is Orlanda, FL 3-star power forward Keith Clanton, who recently narrowed his list of schools and is ready to take two more official visits that followed up his recent South Carolina visit.

"He's down to three schools right now — Central Florida, South Florida and South Carolina," said Orlando Christian Prep coach Reggie Kohn, who also played for four years at South Florida. "He's going to take his (official) visits and go from there."

Playing with the infamous Team Breakdown, the AAU team naturally drew attention this summer, but Clanton has stuck with these three schools. According to Clanton, he officially visited South Carolina earlier this month and will visit South Florida on Oct. 2. and Central Florida on Oct. 9. He wants to make his decision some time in October after he takes all of his visits.

The 6-foot-9 post player received interest and offers from other SEC schools and some ACC schools, but all three of his finalists extended offers before the summer began.

"Central Florida and South Florida (showed interest) before the summer, and South Carolina was right before the summer," Clanton said.

When asked of his trip to South Carolina, he replied, "It went well. I played basketball and met the players. It was a good trip."

One aspect that really stuck out and impressed Clanton was attendance for the Gamecocks — not only for the football game that he attended, but for the basketball team as well — and other environments that he would see in the SEC.

"They showed me how many kids show up for their games, it's a lot more fans than I expected."

When asked about what he's looking for in a program, Clanton replied: "Education, a good coaching staff and if I bond with the players."

Most players tend to bond with an unselfish big man like Clanton.

"I think with Keith you have a very gifted big guy that can handle the ball and see the court," Kohn said. "He's very versatile. He creates mismatches, and the biggest thing with Keith is he can do a lot of things that guards do — he can pass the ball or push it himself on a break. He can shoot the ball, and he can face up."

According to Kohn, Clanton averaged just over 21 points, 13 rebounds and 3 blocks a game last season.

"I think I can bring versatility," Clanton said. "Most coaches that talk to me tell me that I can bring the ball up the court, and I can shoot for a big man. So I can do things that most big men can't do."

Even though Clanton is a big man with the skill set of a wing, he wants to play power forward in college.

Stay tuned to GamecockAnthem.com and Scout.com for all the latest on Clanton's recruitment.

To discuss this article, visit GamecockAnthem's premium forum - The Golden Spur.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories