Clifton earns USA South Rookie of the Week behind 11.5 rebounds per game average

Clifton earns USA South Rookie of the Week behind 11.5 rebounds per game average

Maryville College's Nick Clifton was tabbed the USA South Rookie of the Week, as the freshman was a forced on the boards for the Scots.

The Sylvania, Ga. native led Maryville to a 2-0 week in conference play, as he amassed 11.5 rebounds per game for the Scots.

"We felt like we needed more rebounding, and we began to play him more and more," Head Coach Randy Lambert stated. "He started the last two games. He's only played in a handful of games, but he's already elevated himself to fourth on the team in total rebounds. That's just how hard he goes at it, and he's had double-digit rebounds in the last two games. He's very deserving of this award."

Clifton – a 6-foot-4, 175-pound forward – has amassed 30 total rebounds in just nine games played this year. He averages 3.3 per contest, trailing only Dante Hoppa, Emier Bowman and Colt Nokes in boards per game.

The first-year Scot record his first collegiate starts this past week, leading Maryville to a pair of wins over Piedmont College and Averett University.

While compiling a 2-0 record, Clifton managed 4.0 points, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks to go along with his 11.5 rebounds per game.

In a 78-66 win over the Lions, this Screven County High product had career highs in rebounds, points, assists and steals. He had 12 boards, six points, three assists and a pair of steals, while throwing in a block against Piedmont.

During his second collegiate start – a 68-51 win over Averett – he again totaled double-digit rebounds with 11, as he added two points, one assists and one block.

Lambert said his rebounding has been impressive, but it was his work ethic and discipline that has earned him a starting role.

"Nick, obviously, is a freshman in our program, and he is a very interesting young man," Lambert said. "He is probably the most disciplined freshman I have ever coached. He comes to practice every day ready to work. He has the added responsibility of being a Bonner Scholar in our program, which means he has to put 10 hours of work a week as a volunteer service. He handles that very well along with his basketball. He's just an outstanding young man, and I'm very happy for him."

On the season, Clifton has 18 points and 30 rebounds for the Scots. He's added five assists, four blocks and a pair of steals in 88 minutes this season.