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NCAAB · 6 months ago

Transfer Portal Profiles: Walter Clayton Jr., Florida

David Connelly - SportsGrid

David Connelly - SportsGrid

Transfer Portal Profiles: Walter Clayton Jr., Florida

Florida’s a program that has lacked stars in its backcourt for some time, and Iona transfer Walter Clayton Jr. is one of the biggest names the Gators have pulled in recent years.

He’s back in his native state, and we’re breaking down what to expect from him in orange and blue next season in this edition of Transfer Portal Profiles.

Career at Iona

Clayton spent two years at Iona, becoming a solid bench contributor in his freshman campaign. He averaged just over seven points per contest and carved out a level of trust with head coach Rick Pitino. The potential was there, and it wasn’t long before he took over the Gaels’ offensive reins.

Clayton made a massive leap his sophomore season in New Rochelle, doubling his scoring output and becoming the team’s offensive focal point. He averaged 16.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game as an all-around contributor for the Gaels. He was a steady presence for head coach Pitino down the stretch last season, scoring at least 15 points in 13 of their final 15 games.

Scouting Report

The rising junior will not impress you with any specific facet of his game, but it’s difficult to pinpoint an area where Clayton struggles. He is coming off a scorching 43 percent season from beyond the arc while knocking down 95 percent of his free throws. Clayton’s as pure of a shooter as you’ll find in the country, and that isn’t from a small sample size. He gets over five triples up per game and can knock them down from a pass or off the dribble. He’s also known to be a tenacious defender, forcing 1.8 steals per contest in 2022-23.

The Fit

Going back to his days at San Francisco, head coach Todd Golden has always loved strong guard play. Clayton should shine in this system and bring some explosiveness to a Florida backcourt that was missing some a season ago.

There should be some concern about the leap from the MAAC to the SEC for Clayton, as it’s one of the more significant talent gaps among conferences. He’ll be up against a different level of defenders and offensive prowess at this level, and it may take some time for him to get used to the challenge.

Check out some of our other Transfer Portal Profiles: Kerr Kriisa, West Virginia | LJ Cryer, Houston

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