After star Rakim Sanders and potential star Brady Heslip decided to transfer from Boston College when they heard Steve Donahue would be coming to Boston, Eagles fans had a tough time staying optimistic about their future. With the great recruits Duke and North Carolina landed this season, Donahue decided to look to the future for help. His first recruit, 6-11 center Dennis Clifford who attends Milton Acedemy in Massachusetts, accepted Donahue’s offer nearly instantly. Although BC does not have any recruits in its 2010 class, this is a great start for 2011.
The inside-outside threat is ranked the fourth best player in Massachusetts according to ESPN, and he continues to improve his game. With all of the great players coming out of New England, the addition of Clifford could help attract many other big name local players.
Dime: First off, before you were contacted by Steve Donahue, what other schools were interested in you?
Dennis Clifford: Providence, Sienna, Northeastern, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell, UMass, and other Ivy League schools and mid-majors.
Dime: What was it about BC that made you want to commit right after you got the offer? Was Donahue’s big NCAA Tournament run a big factor?
DC: Well, because of his run, I know he is a great coach and he knows how to develop and use his players. I also love everything else about BC from the people on campus to the academics to the athletics.
Dime: Speaking of development, what were some factors that helped you improve so much once you got to Milton Academy and while you were there?
DC: My coach Lamar Reddicks (ex-Harvard and BU assistant coach) did everything for me, he developed my game in everyway possible way and I have a great weightlifting atmosphere here at Milton.
Dime: What types of drills did you and coach Reddicks work on?
DC: Explosive drills around the basket, ball handling, shooting, and defense. I also got a lot of help from U15 BABC assistant coach Jason Green who is a coach at Milton too.
Dime: What players influence your game? Do you compare yourself to any noteable guys?
DC: No, not really, I am just trying to get better at everything.
Dime: Really? What are some goals you have this summer?
DC: I want to gain a lot of muscle mass. I’m preparing for whatever Coach Donahue wants me to do so that I can help the team instantly.
Dime: Who would you say was the toughest guy you had to guard this past season?
DC: I had alot of trouble with St. Marks, it was mostly Georgetown commit Nate Lubick, but I had a really tough time when all their bigs were in, including Melsahn Besabe, Kaleb Tarczewski and Alex Murphy.
Dime: Last but not least, what is some advice you would give to other high school big men looking to improve their post game?
DC: Work on perfecting one or two post moves, and work on touch around the basket, and explosiveness. Plus, don’t forget to work hard.
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