One of the best big men in the 2022 class was in Ann Arbor this past weekend, as four-star seven-footer Donovan Clingan went on an official visit to the University of Michigan.
During his visit, Juwan Howard showed Clingan a lot of Hunter Dickinson tape and alluded that Clingan could play in a similar role in Michigan’s offense.
“Juwan Howard is great, he’s real quiet,” Clingan said to Shawn McFarland of the Hartford Courant. “It’s Juwan Howard...he went through and showed me how he used Hunter in different places, and was thinking about how I would do there. ‘Watch what Hunter is doing, watch what other players are doing.’ You’re like, ‘Alright, how would I fit into this?’”
Clingan would fit into the Michigan offense pretty seamlessly based on his talent in the post, as he can also be a defensive anchor for the Wolverines.
When you watch high school highlights of post players over 6’10”, a lot of those big men have the same flaws. The dunks and easy buckets are fun but they often lack mobility and don’t really know how to use their body. They can also get pushed off their spot by stronger defenders.
Clingan is not a stiff by any means. He moves fluidly down the floor, as he has been the frequent receiver of lobs in transition.
He prefers to finish with his right hand, but he can finish with both hands thanks to a decent hook shot. He posts with confidence and has great awareness of where he is on the floor to finish in the paint.
I love how he doesn’t fade away from the basket on these moves: he always appears to be in control when he has the ball in the post.
He is not solely a post player, as he has developed a decent-looking outside shot, which would allow the Wolverines to stretch the floor with him.
He can make the right pass, as the sheer attention he draws in the post opens up teammates who cut to the basket.
He has been able to find those teammates effectively since he was a sophomore in high school, and it should be interesting to see how he continues to grow as a passer.
On the defensive side, he is obviously a menace for opposing drivers, as he has a good understanding of the help side and goes across the lane to get a lot of his blocks.
Guys were not afraid to go at him and try to finish at the rim, and while they do get finishes off in some of the clips above, the presence of Clingan does alter their drives.
I’m intrigued to see what he looks like once he adds muscle to be even more imposing on both ends.
I can see upperclassmen Big Ten posts trying to out-muscle him in his freshman season, but his length and high basketball I.Q. should help him survive as he gets stronger.
In terms of his fit with the Wolverines, having Clingan available in the dunker spot is a nice addition to the Michigan offense, and a pick-and-roll with him and 4-star commit Dug McDaniel should open up a lot of opportunities for the talented wings coming in.
Dickinson has been one of the most exciting big men that Michigan has had in a long time, and it feels like that he either stays in the draft this year or goes pro next year.
As much talent as Dickinson has shown, Clingan has the potential to do even more for the Wolverines if he commits, which gives Michigan basketball fans yet another reason to be excited about the future.