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IOWA HAWKEYES PLAYER PREVIEWS: ANTHONY CLEMMONS

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The Lansing native developed into Iowa's best perimeter defender in his junior year, but can he become something more in his last year as a Hawkeye?

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Clemmons

Bio: Senior, 6'2", 200 lbs. (Lansing, MI)

Last season: 19.9 minutes per game, 4.8 points per game, 1.9 assists/game, 38.8% 3-point percentage

What we saw last season:

In his junior year, Clemmons grew into a reliable role player. After two seasons marred by chronic turnover problems – he turned the ball over on almost 31% of possessions his sophomore year – Clemmons finally got his turnovers down to a reasonable level: a 19.7% turnover percentage. That's still not great, but it at least made Clemmons a playable part of the rotation. His minutes went up along with his dependability: he averaged nearly 20 minutes per game and as the season wore on became Fran's preferred choice as a substitute guard.

Why did Fran like him? For one, he was the team's best perimeter defender and a huge improvement over Peter Jok in that area. For two, he developed a reliable three-point shot (38.8% on threes) and occasionally made successful forays to the basket. He developed a nice chemistry playing along Mike Gesell, and the two of them often finished games together, with Gesell running the point and Clemmons at the two. And that might just be Clemmons ideal spot: as a defensive-minded, undersized two guard who can occasionally do point guard-y things.

What we need to see this season:

Depending on whether Clemmons starts or comes off the bench, his role could change dramatically. As a starter alongside Gesell, he can serve as effectively a defensive two guard. His job will be to hound the opposing back court and take open threes, while Gesell does most of the ball handling. If he comes off the bench, however, he will need to function more as a pure point, and that has never been his strong suit. Most likely he will fill some combination of the two roles, and very well may finish games alongside Gesell even if he doesn't start. McCaffery has developed a level of trust with Clemmons, and it will take a special performance by a newcomer to displace him.

Best case scenario:

Clemmons puts it all together and develops into a confident scorer and facilitator off the dribble. He has shown occasional glimpses of this potential in the past, and he has the physical tools to do it, but it's never quite clicked. If he could make a leap in his senior year, McCaffery would be able to give him the reins on the second unit and let Mike Gesell get some much needed rest. Iowa could be somewhat offensively challenged when Jarrod Uthoff and Peter Jok leave the game, and having Clemmons as a useful scorer would be a huge benefit.

Most likely scenario:

Clemmons plays a lot like he did down the stretch last year: He's reliable, he makes a three every now and then, and he plays great defense. He runs the second unit, but still has his occasional difficulties with turnovers. No matter whether he starts or comes off the bench, he is on the court in crunch time.