AAC Basketball Player Preview: Central Florida's Tristan Spurlock

By Chris Sax
Tristan Spurlock
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

When someone is having trouble sleeping, there are a lot of different reasons that may contribute to it. Some people’s neighborhoods are too noisy. Some had too much caffeine. Some are afraid of the monster hiding in their closet. Tristan Spurlock isn’t losing sleep for any of these reasons. He’s just excited for the Central Florida basketball season to start, according to Doug Richards of UCFKinghts.com.

For a team that is moving to a new conference and trying to win over 20 games for the fourth straight season with only four returning seniors, this is exactly the type of attitude they would want out of one of their leaders.

Spurlock, one of the returning seniors and starting forward for the Knights, emerged as a leader of the team both in performance and in attitude last season. He returns this year as one of three UCF players to average double-digits in scoring, and will be vital in their hopes of making noise in the newly formed AAC.

Spurlock averaged 11.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in the 2012-13 campaign and led the team in free throw shooting. He’s a player that can do a little bit of everything. He showed his offensive prowess last year by shooting 39 percent from 3-point territory, and established his defensive presence by being second on the team in blocks with 23 total.

The leader in blocks last season with 63, Keith Clanton, has since graduated. With him goes 14.8 points and 8.5 rebound per game as well. While Spurlock plays the small forward position rather than the power forward position like Clanton, it will be up to the senior to make up most of the work in the wake of Clanton’s absence.

UCF has a seasoned JUCO transfer in Eugene McCory poised as Clanton’s replacement, but it will be difficult to tell if he will be up to the task. McCory may be able to fill Clanton’s spot, but it might have to be Spurlock who compensates for Clanton’s lost production.

Time will only tell if Spurlock’s growth from last season carries into this one. For now, fans are fine with Spurlock losing sleep over the excitement for the season to start, just as long as he isn’t losing sleep from bad performances once it does.

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