Player of Week: Clingan Powers UConn to Big East Title

Donovan Clingan Stats Showed An Impressive Double-Double vs Marquette

Donovan Clingan

Full Name:
Donovan John Clingan
Current Team:
UConn Huskies Huskies logo
Jersey Number:
32
Age:
20 years old (February 23, 2004)
Height:
2.18 m
Nationality:
American
Positions:
Center

Sophomore Center Clingan A Key Piece For Defending Champ UConn

The last thing that opponents of the UConn men’s basketball team needed to see this season is sophomore center Donovan Clingan becoming a dominant force inside.

The Donovan Clingan stats at first glance might not wow everybody, but his ability to score inside on a team full of talented perimeter players could spell trouble for teams running into UConn during the NCAA tournament.

Clingan is one of the reasons why the Huskies are favored to win a second straight national title and when it comes to the best college basketball players, he is a player worth watching in the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA tournament odds.

UConn is priced at +400 to win the national title and has even odds to be the team to come out of the East Region and advance to the Final Four. The odds to win March Madness were at +1600 for UConn going into the start of the season.

Clingan had perhaps the best game of his collegiate career in the Big East tournament final to earn college basketball Player of the Week honors.

Saving His Best For Last

When looking at the NCAA basketball scores, Clingan had 19 points and 12 rebounds in UConn’s first two games in the Big East tournament. Facing a nationally ranked Marquette team in the title game, the Donovan Clingan stats showed that the 7-foot-2 sophomore had 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 16 rebounds in a 73-57 win as the Huskies won the Big East tournament for the first time since 2011.

The Huskies are now tied with Georgetown with a record eight Big East tournament titles.

The 16 rebounds are a career-high for Clingan topping the 14 he had against Butler on Feb. 6. It was his first game at UConn with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

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Taking the Next Step

With Adama Sanogo around to handle much of the heavy lifting inside for UConn a season ago, Clingan was in a reserve role as a freshman.

After having 12 points and nine rebounds in the 2023 NCAA tournament opener against Iona, Clingan had 23 points and 21 rebounds in the other five games during UConn’s run to the national title.

The departures of Sanogo, Jordan Hawkins, and Andre Jackson to the NBA opened up playing time for UConn’s returning players.

Nobody capitalized more than Clingan. He went from averaging 6.9 points and 5.6 rebounds in 39 games, all coming off the bench, to putting up 12.5 points and 7.2 rebounds in 29 games. He also is averaging 2.3 blocked shots per game and has nearly twice as many assists as turnovers. His minutes per game jumped from 13.1 as a freshman to 22.0 as a sophomore.

After averaging 10.8 points and 6 rebounds in his first four games against ranked teams, Clingan has elevated his play when the lights are the brightest. He is averaging 15 points and 11.3 rebounds in the last four matchups against ranked opponents.

Living Up to the Hype

It’s been a while since a Connecticut player came to UConn with as much buzz as Clingan.

He was a top-100 recruit out of Bristol Central High School.
Boston College, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Rutgers, and Syracuse were among the other schools to offer a scholarship to Clingan.

He opted to stay home and play for head coach Dan Hurley at UConn.

Clingan scored in double figures in three of his first five games as a freshman. His two double-doubles in Big East play came against a ranked Marquette team and versus rival Providence during his first season as a Husky. That set the stage for a more impactful sophomore season.

After topping 20 minutes just twice as a freshman, Clingan has played at least 20 minutes a total of 18 times as a sophomore with the Huskies winning 16 of those games. A quick look at Donovan Clingan stats shows that he has posted four double-doubles this season despite missing five games due to injury.

As recently as late January, Clingan was priced at +8000 in the National Player of the Year odds.

What’s Next

UConn is the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament as the Huskies look to become the first team to win back-to-back NCAA Division I men’s basketball titles since Florida accomplished the feat in 2006 and 2007.

It begins on Friday with UConn favored by 26.5 points against Stetson in the first round of the East Region.

Florida Atlantic and Northwestern are possible second-round opponents with Auburn and San Diego State among the teams that could draw the Huskies in the Sweet 16.

Clingan is starting to show up as a potential first-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. There are games like the one in the Big East tournament final when he looks ready for the NBA and others when another year of college would seem to be the smartest option.

For March Madness basketball scores, betting odds, analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine


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