Four-star big man Donovan Clingan has been on the radar of Syracuse fans for a while now. He recently sat down with 247sports.com to discuss his final eight schools, and what he thinks about each of them.
“They were the first school to offer so that is always going to mean something. They believed in me and trusted me from the beginning, they have a Hall of Fame coach and they produce good players.”
Seems solid, but as we’ll see from the following bits, this rings very similar to what Clingan said about other programs (There’s no telling if Eric Bossi, who spoke with Clingan, edited these for clarity). However, the “first offer” refrain is something that sticks with people. That effort to reach out and show confidence in a prospect’s ability sticks with them for a long time. Is it enough? We’ll see…
“People think that UConn is already my decision because they are close to home but that doesn’t mean they are. Coach Hurley and his staff have done a really good job of building the program back up and recruiting me.”
Good sign here. This was the common thought a couple of weeks ago. The close proximity to Bristol (Clingan’s hometown) and UConn’s rise in the recruiting world had many believing that he would stay close to home. The fact that Clingan went out of the way to dispel these rumors means he’s keeping his options open.
“Juwan Howard was a great big man and Michigan is a great school and a great program that is doing really good things. Also, look at what they are doing with Hunter Dickinson.
Michigan is the other threat to nab Clingan. Hunter Dickinson just declared for the NBA draft, and word on the street is incoming top-15 freshman center Moussa Diabate won’t stay more than one year in Ann Arbor. Michigan’s quietly produced plenty of good NBA players, most of whom have stayed in school for two or three years, which the expected career arc for Clingan.
“I mean it is Patrick Ewing, he’s a Hall of Fame big man. It is also a good school and I can’t wait to go visit.”
“Coach Holtmann and Coach Diebler I talk to them a lot. They are a real good school. I mean it’s Ohio State and the Big Ten.”
“Mike Brey and and his staff are great. I’ve stayed in decent contact with them through all of this traveling. Hopefully I’ll get out there and visit.”
“Coach Pikell has done a lot for that program. He’s brought them from the dirt into the NCAA Tournament this year. He can coach, he produces good players and I like the school.”
“Coach Cooley, he was one of the first coaches to offer me, trust me and believe in me from the beginning. He’s a real cool coach, really an even better person than he is a coach. They have a really nice staff over there.”
The other five schools are great options for a recruit, but at this point are thought to just be window dressing unless the leaders pick up a different big man.