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Donovan Clingan Builds His Case for First Overall Pick with Elite 8

Published March 31, 2024 at 12:08
BY KEVIN BARREAU
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Arriving at the Elite Eight clash against Illinois on Saturday night, the reigning titleholders, the UConn Huskies, entered the fray as commanding 8.5-point favorites. While this margin might have seemed ample for such a pivotal stage, it swiftly proved insufficient as the Huskies dismantled Illinois by a resounding 25-point margin.

Steering the charge for UConn was sophomore sensation Donovan Clingan, who notched an impressive 22-point haul on 9-of-13 shooting from the field while also securing 10 rebounds. Yet, it was his defensive prowess that truly underscored his impact, anchoring UConn's defense with five blocked shots and three steals in just 22 minutes of play. His towering presence stifled Illinois' offensive juggernaut, leaving star player Terrence Shannon Jr. struggling to find his footing in Clingan's domain.

Standing tall at 7-foot-2 with an imposing 7-foot-7 wingspan, Clingan's shot-contesting abilities paint him as a standout prospect in the 2024 NBA Draft, particularly on the defensive end. His rim protection skills are unmatched within the draft class, hinting at the potential for him to evolve into an elite NBA defender. Amidst discussions surrounding top draft prospects like Alexander Sarr, Ron Holland, and Zachary Rissacher, Clingan's name rightfully enters the conversation as a premier talent.

Having initially made waves as a breakout performer in last year's tournament, Clingan now assumes the role of UConn's linchpin. With a showdown against Alabama looming next Saturday, Clingan and the Huskies are poised to continue their pursuit of a second consecutive National Championship appearance.


Source Sports Illustrated: Donovan Clingan Makes First Overall Pick Case In Elite Eight Victory
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Donovan Clingan Builds His Case for First Overall Pick with Elite 8

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