Keith Clanton was, briefly, the hottest topic in college basketball.
You see, Clanton is a senior this year at Central Florida. But back in late July, Central Florida was ruled ineligible for this year’s postseason thanks to their affiliation with a runner named Ken Caldwell. The NCAA has rule that allows a player to transfer if the remainder of his eligibility is to be played under a postseason ban. It’s why Alex Oriakhi is currently at Missouri, not UConn.
Many expected Clanton to transfer as well, especially considering that he was getting looked at by the likes of Kentucky, Ohio State and Florida State, but Clanton surprised the nation by deciding to play out his final collegiate season without the possibility of a trip to the NCAA tournament.
Clanton wasn’t the only rising senior that had a chance to transfer, however.
Last year, UNC-Wilmington’s Keith Rendlemen was one of the most productive players in the CAA. He averaged 15.3 points, 10.0 boards, 1.3 blocks and 1.1 steals. But, with UNCW failing to reach the necessary APR standards, Rendlemen’s senior season with the Seahawks will be played under a postseason ban.
Instead of transferring, however, Rendlemen decided not only to remain at UNCW, but to play instead of redshirting. He told Brian Mull of the Star News Online why:
“I just made this my home. I love all the fans here, everyone treats me well,” he said. “The coaching staff, they look out for me just as much as anybody. They care about me. Also, my teammates, I have a great relationship with them, this coming up team is closer than it’s ever been in any of the years I’ve been here.
“I felt like I have a pretty good thing going here, rather than going somewhere else, and having to get treated differently.”
“He knew I wanted to play,” Rendleman said. “And he wanted me out there. Even though we can’t go to the postseason, we can still go win a regular season conference championship. That’s the way I look at it.”
There’s something to be said for that kind of loyalty. The 6-foot-7 Rendlemen could have been a valuable addition to just about any program in the country. He could have made the leap to a high-major program with a chance to play in the NCAA tournament.
In this day and age, where more than 500 players transfer during one offseason, Rendlemen is a breath of fresh air.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.