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April 14, 2002Clemson head coach Larry Shyatt (right) added two small forward/swingmen in the spring signing period to complete the Tigers recruiting for the upcoming 2002-03 season.
Lamar Rice, a 6-7, 215-pound small forward from Flint, MI, who spent the past two years at Flint's Mott Community College, and Julian Betko, a 6-5, 190-pound wing player from Slovakia who this season played at Sharon High School in Sharon, PA, inked with the ACC school during the first week of the National Letter of Intent's spring signing period.
Rice averaged 16 points and seven rebounds per game at Mott Community College for Coach Steve Schmidt's team this past season. He also shot 57 percent from the field and blocked 1.3 shots per game.
He helped Mott Community College to a 65-8 record over two seasons, including a number-one ranking in the final NJCAA Division II national poll in 2001-02. Rice was an all-conference, all-region and all-state selection and was named to the National Junior College All-Tournament team each of the last two years.
He attended Flint Southwestern Academy High School prior to his junior college career. Other schools who were recruiting Rice include Purdue, Xavier, Texas Christian, Houston, Iowa State and Wake Forest.
Betko averaged 22.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game a senior for Jim Hoy's Sharon High School team. He made 58 percent of his three-point shots and shot 91 percent from the foul line.
Rice and Shetko join Raleigh, NC, Leesvile High School 6-2 point guard Shawan Robinson and Brunswick, CT, High School's 6-9 power forward Akin Akingbala in Clemson's four player class. Robinson and Akingbala signed with the Tigers durung the Fall 2001 signing period.
In the Born2Run All-Star Game at LaRoche College in the Pittsburgh, PA, suburbs last Sunday, Akingbala scored 23 points and was named the Most Valuable Player for Team USA in its 105-83 victory over Team Pennsylvania. Betko scored 12 points for Team USA.
Earlier, Clemson announced it was losing two players, both sophomores. Tony Stockman, a 6-1, 165 pound guard from Medina, OH, and Dwon Clifton, a 6-5, 195 pound swingman from High Point, NC, were released from their scholarships and intend to transfer to schools closer to their homes. Earlier, Shyatt and Clemson agreed to extend his contract through the 2004-05 season. The Tigers posted a 13-17 (4-12 ACC) record in 2001-02.
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