Clanton Enjoying Chance to Show Skills

Aug. 30, 2010

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By Doug Richards

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Mismatches. UCF's post players must be hearing the word while they sleep. It seems like every time the big men are on the floor for individual workouts inside the UCF Practice Facility, the coaching staff is talking about creating mismatches before every single drill.

As a result, it is common to see UCF's bigs working on ball handling, passing and outside shooting. Of course head coach Donnie Jones expects his post players to score inside and rebound, but also knows the value of creating mismatches offensively.

That philosophy seems to fit the Knights well, especially sophomore Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.). Clanton, who was a Conference USA All-Freshman Team pick last year after averaging 9.7 points, certainly is not a traditional back to the basket player. Instead, the former Orlando Christian Prep star likes to take his defender off the dribble, or score from outside. Individual workouts began last week for the Knights, and Clanton has enjoyed his time on the floor with the coaching staff.

"We are doing more skill work," he said. "Instead of just staying in the post, we are showing the skills that we have. We can go out on the wing. I can do more of what I am good at. I can create mismatches on the court."

Jones, who was hired as UCF's head coach in late March, wanted Clanton to get stronger during the offseason and the sophomore followed suit. He gained 12 pounds during the summer and now weighs 245 pounds.

The Knights have about a month and a half until practice officially begins on Oct. 15. Clanton can't wait for that day to roll around.

"I wish it was here. I wish we could start practice and really get ready for the season. That is the most fun part of the year for us."