Phil Kornblut

Gamecocks make move on seven footer

At his season ending press conference Wednesday, USC basketball coach Frank Martin revealed one of his goals in recruiting this spring is to locate and sign an shot blocker. The Gamecocks did average four blocks per game this season, sixth best in the SEC, but Martin believes a rim guarder will only elevate his team defensively.

With that in mind, Martin has offered 7-0, 270 center Conor Clifford of Saddleback JC in Mission Viejo, CA. The offer was first reported by Brad Winton of

Clifford is a native of Huntington Beach, CA and he signed with UC Irvine after graduating from Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach, CA. He spent the 2012-13 season with the Anteaters before deciding to transfer. He sat out the next season as a redshirt and played this past season for Saddleback.

This season Clifford averaged 16 points, 6 rebounds and 1 block per game. Clifford shot 63% from the floor and 71% from the line in helping his team to a 33-2 record and the California junior college state championship. He scored 36 points in the two games in the state finals and he was named the Southern California MVP.

Clifford also was offered by Washington State and he plans to visit both the Gamecocks and the Cougars.