Thursday, January 31, 2013

Time to Shut Down Clifford

Dennis Clifford was supposed to play a big part in BC's success this year.  He played very well during the team's summer trip to Spain, excelled in the off-season strength and conditioning program, and was starting to look like the dominant big man Donahue thought he could be when he recruited him.  Damage to the tissue under Clifford's kneecap knocked him out for several out of conference games, and his ability to contribute minutes has been extremely limited since then.  Against UNC, Clifford contributed just four minutes with one block and zero points.  He showed noticeable weakness in the paint on offense and had difficulties guarding the perimeter on defense.

BC has said that Clifford's knee can only be healed with rest and physical therapy.  Theoretically, the longer he continues to play these sporadic minutes, the further we push back his off season conditioning schedule.  With little left to play for this season, I wonder whether it's worth sacrificing Clifford's ability to work out in the off season for a few minutes of shaky play down the stretch.  I would rather see BC shut him down, get him healthy as soon as possible, and gear him up for next year.

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