Clanton Taking Advantage of Summer at Home

June 19, 2012

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By Doug Richards

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - This past year, Keith Clanton became only the second Knight to earn a spot on the All-Conference USA First Team. The power forward was also selected to the C-USA All-Defensive Team and the NABC All-District 11 Team.

Clanton averaged 14.5 points and 8.1 rebounds and during the campaign, became UCF's all-time leader in blocked shots and also joined the program's 1,000-point club for his career.

The Orlando native was a big reason why the Knights won 22 contests, posted some historic victories and participated in the postseason NIT for the first time. Despite the individual and team achievements, Clanton is not satisfied.

So as he enters his senior campaign, Clanton is utilizing the summer to get better.

"I feel like I have a lot to improve on," he said. "I missed a lot of free throws, I missed a lot of layups. Those could have changed the outcomes of games. This year, I just want to come in and play my best. This is the last chance that I will have."

Clanton has already secured a spot as one of the better players in school history, but he clearly wants more. He is hoping that daily weight sessions with strength and conditioning coach Ben O'Donnell will help improve his athleticism. The former Orlando Christian Prep star is also spending 2-3 hours each day working on his shooting and ball handling, and playing pickup games each afternoon with teammates.

The daily schedule - filled with opportunities for improvement - is a big reason why Clanton has stayed at home this offseason. Last summer he played in China as part of a team of American college players, and then returned to Orlando to prepare for UCF's late-summer tour of Canada.

"I had an offer to go to China again, but I wanted to spend time working on my game. I didn't want to focus on preparing for other teams. I really want to focus on myself," Clanton said.

Clanton hopes that the focus translates into a successful 2012-13 campaign for the Knights, and he can conclude his UCF career with more victories.

"It is my senior year. I am trying to give it my all. This is the last chance that I have. I can't come back. I am just trying to give it everything I've got."