Ryan Claflin is a lot of things. He’s a paint force, a source of interior talent that provides no area for defenders to have an edge physically or skill-wise.
He’s a jump shooter, and positionless because of it.
He’s an athlete, a 6’6” catchers mitt robbing passing lanes and a volatile dunk threat when he has his bearings under the hoop.
The senior out of Southern Door is an elastic prospect, versatile with skills and consistent as a player. Green Bay, Hillsdale, Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan have bought into that playstyle, offering him scholarships prior to his senior season.
“I think that I’m a pretty versatile player. I’m not outstanding at one thing but I do everything well. I can defend multiple positions, shoot the three, go to the rim and handle the ball,” Claflin said.
I could pound my chest and drill you on his versatile skillset, but stats represent that smooth slate of abilities in a better light. As a junior last season, he was an overly-talented second-fiddle to Kyle Daoust, Southern Door’s leading scorer. Claflin mustered up 15.5 points a night, weaving in 5.5 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and 1.7 steals into a brimming stat sheet.
That flawless stat line begs the question: If there was really an improvement to be made, where would it be? Where does Claflin think it is? Well, he named a few different areas, surprisingly.
“My overall strength, quickness and a three-point shot,” Claflin said of his improvements next year. Athletically, there are steps to take before he’s division one caliber in that respect. He’s not quite up to the 6’7” or 6’8” range, so his best avenue forward is into the small-forward skillset. If he adds lighter, fast-firing feet and spunk on the perimeter, he could add another gear to tap into at the next level.
Luckily, Claflin’s passion and work ethic should be ample fuel as he grinds through his senior year. “What drives me is wanting to be the best player I can be,” Claflin explained. “I’m going to work as hard as I can to get there.”
Anticipate another subtle yet major season from the guard who looks to take the reins of his team and widdle down an intriguing recruitment.