Senior forward Keith Clanton of the UCF men’s basketball team earned a major honor Thursday when he was named the Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year by the league’s head coaches. Clanton is the first Knight to earn C-USA Preseason Player of the Year honors since UCF joined the league in 2005.
An Orlando native, Clanton also earned a spot on the preseason all-conference first team. One of the premier post players in the nation, he averaged 14.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game a year ago. Clanton was named to the 2011-12 All-C-USA First Team and the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District 11 Team.
“This is a great honor for Keith and it is great that he is getting recognized,” UCF head coach Donnie Jones said. “Keith has done a great job serving as a leader for our team and is very excited for his senior season. He knows that it is wonderful to receive the preseason praise, but how you lead your team during the season is what really matters.”
Clanton begins his senior campaign 11th all-time at UCF in scoring with 1,260 career points, third in rebounds (737) and first in blocks (164). Last year, he scored in double figures 28 times and paced the team in points on 17 occasions.
UCF will open the season on Nov. 10 at cross-state rival USF. On Nov. 13, the Knights will make their season debut at the UCF Arena when they host Alabama State. UCF will play a school-record 20 home games this season, including high-profile contests against Miami, USF and Memphis.
The UCF Athletics Ticket Office is currently accepting season-ticket orders. Season-ticket pricing for 2012-13 offers a greater per-game savings than last season. To renew your season tickets from last season, call (407) UCF-1000. To purchase new season tickets, call (407) UCF-1000.
2012-13 PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- Keith Clanton, UCF, F, 6-8, 250, Sr., Orlando, Fla.
2012-13 PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM
- Miguel Paul, East Carolina, G, 6-1, 170, Sr., Winter Haven, Fla.
- DeAndre Kane, Marshall, G, 6-4, 200, Jr., Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Tarik Black, Memphis, F, 6-9, 243, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.
- Ricky Tarrant, Tulane, G, 6-2, 190, So., Pleasant Grove, Ala.
- Keith Clanton, UCF, F, 6-8, 245, Sr., Orlando, Fla.
2012-13 PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE SECOND TEAM
- Dennis Tinnon, Marshall, F, 6-8, 225, Sr., Green Bay, Wis.
- Chris Crawford, Memphis, G, 604, 212, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.
- Joe Jackson, Memphis, G, 6-1, 164, Jr., Memphis, Tenn.
- Adonis Thomas, Memphis, F/G, 6-6, 222, So., Memphis, Tenn.
- Neil Watson, Southern Miss, G, 5-11, 160, Jr., Kansas City, Kan.