The Big East’s top 2024 NBA Draft prospects

There exists a significant possibility that Donovan Clingan could have been selected in the first round of last year’s NBA draft had he chosen to declare. The 7-foot-2 center displayed exceptional efficiency during his freshman season, despite playing a limited role behind Adama Sanogo. Clingan’s remarkable block percentage, offensive rebounding percentage, and field goal percentage hinted at his immense potential.


Rather than opting for the professional route, Clingan decided to return to his home state university, ready to assume a more prominent role in their quest to defend the national championship. While scouts will be closely monitoring his performance with an expanded role, there is considerable untapped potential in Clingan’s game.


For those familiar with Clingan’s high school career, two aspects stood out during his freshman year at UConn.


Firstly, and perhaps most crucially, was the evident improvement in his conditioning. Transitioning from a visibly out-of-shape high school senior with mobility concerns, Clingan transformed his physique before the commencement of UConn’s season. Surprisingly agile for his size, he became an asset in terms of mobility and rim-running.


The second revelation was his unexplored offensive skill set. Statistically, he appeared to be a non-scoring threat away from the basket, with a 52% free-throw shooting record, a solitary attempted three-pointer in 39 games, and a turnover count exceeding his assists. However, those who witnessed Clingan’s high school performances observed a soft touch facing the basket and genuine floor-spacing potential that required consistency in mechanics. Moreover, clear passing abilities from the block and high post were evident. If these skills begin to manifest in the upcoming season, coupled with his ability to protect the rim, excel defensively in drop coverage, contribute as a vertical spacer offensively, and secure a high volume of rebounds, Clingan stands a chance to elevate his draft stock and potentially secure a spot in the NBA lottery.

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Written by Solomon Mensah

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