Keith Clanton and Marcus Jordan entering free agency?
The most interesting part about the ruling involving Central Florida has nothing to do with the news today that the NCAA was handing down a one-year postseason ban for hoops.
Well, that’s not completely accurate.
The way the NCAA currently handles postseason bans is that any player that will be unable to compete in the postseason for the remainder of his eligibility is allowed to transfer without having to sit out a season. That’s why it is currently open season on Penn State players. It is also why Alex Oriakhi will be anchoring the interior for Missouri next season.
Which brings me back to Central Florida.
Keith Clanton and Marcus Jordan are both currently on the UCF roster. Both are talented enough to be an all-league player in just about every conference in the country. And, most importantly, both are rising seniors, which means that both are free to transfer anywhere in the country, penalty free.
Can you say free agency?
The loss of Jordan probably won’t hurt all that much. He’s been somewhat of a headache over the last couple of years, and there was quite a bit of speculation that he wouldn’t be returning to the team next season regardless of their postseason standing.
Losing Clanton, however, would hurt. Quite a bit. He averaged 14.5 points, 8.1 boards and 1.8 blocks as a junior and has an outside shot of getting drafted next June. Putting up those numbers at a school in a bigger conference that can play in the NCAA tournament would likely help that cause.
According to his ESPN recruiting profile, South Carolina, Miami and South Florida were all in Clanton’s top five when he decided to go to UCF. All three of those teams certainly could use a player of his talent, particularly Miami. The Hurricanes already have a talented back court, and Clanton would be combining with Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson to give Jim Larranaga one of the best front courts in the conference.
Perhaps the most interesting landing spot, however, is Butler. The Bulldogs were after him coming out of high school, and with the amount of talent that Butler has coming back this season, he could make Butler even more of a contender on a national scale.
It’s all speculation to this point, however.
It will be interesting to see who starts pursuing Clanton.
Classes start in less than a month.