Hoops: WSU in the mix for touted JUCO center

HE’S A 6-11, 270-POUND post player who has a boatload of offers. Indeed, Saddleback Junior College’s Conor Clifford has become quite the prospect this season. He was also at WSU last week for an official visit, his coach tells Cougfan.com. And with a decision coming soon, could Clifford end up wearing crimson?

Decision time could be coming soon for Clifford. On Friday evening, his JUCO coach Andy Ground informed CF.C that the talented post player is looking to make his decision by the end of the month. And one school that’ still on his list is Washington State.

“He went to WSU last weekend for an official visit,” Ground said. “He told me it went well for him.”

WSU was the first official visit for the 270-pounder. It won’t be his last, though. Ground said that Clifford will also be taking an official visit to South Carolina on April 10. No other official visits are currently scheduled, Ground added.

AT SADDLEBACK THIS SEASON, Clifford was a force in the paint, averaging nearly 15 points and six rebounds per game. His play helped the Gauchos capture the California JC state championship.

It also helped him land plenty of D-I recruiting attention.

“The list goes on and on,” Ground said. “Schools that have offered are Portland, Loyola Marymount, UTEP, Pacific, Idaho, West Virginia, Missouri, WSU, South Carolina and more. There’s so many of them. It’s all over the map.”

So what do colleges like about his game?

“He’s a legit five-man in the low post,” Ground said. “He can score down on the block with either his left hook or right hook. He can step out to 15-17 feet and hit open jumpers as well.

“He needs to make some improvements defensively, but he’s a big guy and he’s hard to score over.”

BEFORE ARRIVING TO SADDLEBACK, Clifford attened UC Irvine in 2012-13 and redshirted the following season.

He attended Ocean View High, where he averaged 16 points a game and was a McDonald's All-America nominee his senior season in 2012. Clifford has two years of eligibility remaining.

The Cougs, who have two scholarships open for the class of 2015, landed a verbal commitment from Washington’s 4A Player of the Year Viont’e Daniels earlier this week. Will Clifford join him in announcing for the Cougs? We should find out by the end of the month.

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