Bringing in an athletic big man who can block shots, is capable of running the floor, and put the ball in the basket is a priority for USF coach Stan Heath for 2009, and the Bulls may have found their man in Orlando Christian's Keith Clanton, who is getting ready to start practicing for his senior season next week.
"I've just been playing a lot of basketball," said Clanton. "Our first practice is Nov. 3rd, and I can't wait."
Last season, Clanton averaged 21 points, 13.9 rebounds and 3.1 blocks leading Orlando Christian to a 27-2 record and its first state championship last season. During the playoff run, Clanton had 12 blocks and a triple-double in the semi-final, and was the championship game MVP after scoring 23 points with14 rebounds.
"I'm real excited for the season to start. I think we should win the whole thing."
On the recruiting front, Clanton has narrowed his list of schools down to three schools, South Florida, UCF, and South Carolina, and has already taken visits to all three, and knows what he's looking for in a program.
"Things I'm looking at are education, a good coaching staff and if I bond with the players, said Clanton. "All of the schools have great qualities, good academics and I like the players and the coaches at all three."
The 6-foot-8, 210-pound power forward says all three are very good schools and had something to say about each of his finalists.
"South Carolina, I like how big their arena is and how many people go to their games."
"South Florida, I like the fact that they play in the Big East which is one of biggest and best conferences and they were the first one to offer me"
"Central Florida –What I like about them is that they're right around the corner and real close to home and they've been recruiting me for awhile."
The highly coveted big man said there were also several other factors he is weighing on his choice.
"Playing time is very important, and how the coach can develop me as a player and make me better is very important. I watched how they do the individual work-outs and how they train."
Clanton also had something to say about the different styles of coaching at the three schools.
"Coaching at S. Carolina is very energetic, coaching at South Florida is more disciplined, and UCF is also more disciplined." Clanton also added "All three schools have a similar style of play with a four man and I like that. They also try to look for match-up problems."
Clanton also said that playing time is important and he's fully aware of each team's depth charts.
"South Carolina has two big men at my position, USF has two, and actually all three have two at my position. I think they are all equal."
With all visits completed what is the deciding factor that will decide where Clanton spends his college years?
"Right now I'm just trying to figure out what would be the best for me, my mom and my family. And if they really want me to stay close to home."
If the Orlando Christian prep big Man decides to stay close to home is USF considered close enough?
"Yeah, I consider South Florida close also, it only takes about two hours to get there."
Clanton is getting close the end of his recruitment, and will be announcing his decision very soon.
"I should know by the end of this month," said Clanton. "I'll probably set a press conference to announce it after that."
Stay tuned with USFNation.com, as we keep you updated on which schools get the services of the athletic big man.
Decision Time for Clanton
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