Hayes, Clifford leaving Gauchos

Gauchos guard Maleke Haynes (#11) drives to basket at the California Community College 2015 Championship semifinals at Cerritos College in March. (Photographer Dominic D. Ebel)

Gauchos guard Maleke Haynes (#11) drives to basket at the California Community College’s Athletic Association semi-finals at Cerritos College in March (Dominic D. Ebel)

Saddleback loses another two players to major colleges

Two more Saddleback College men’s basketball players signed to go to Division I colleges this past week.

Sophomore Conor Clifford and freshman Maleke Haynes are moving on to Washington State University and Pacific University, respectively.

Clifford, who was named Orange Empire Conference player-of-the-year, transferred to Saddleback last fall after spending a year playing basketball for the University of California, Irvine.

He averaged 14.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and was Saddleback most valable player.

Gaucho's 7-foot center Conor Clifford gets a jump shot during round 2 of the playoffs against the Pierce College Brahmas on Saturday. (Dominic Ebel)

Gaucho’s 7-foot center Conor Clifford (#42) gets a jump shot during the second round of the playoffs against the Pierce College Brahmas. (Dominic Ebel)

Clifford also had offers from the University of South Carolina, University of Utah, University of Portland, and Cal State Northridge.

Haynes was one of the Gauchos starting guards for the entire season. He averaged 7.3 points, 4.2 assists, and 1.5 steals per game in his only season as a Gaucho. Haynes is the only freshman on the team to sign on for a four-year school this season.

Clifford and Haynes will join sophomore Dusty Baker as recent Gaucho signees. Baker gave a verbal commitment to go to Weber State University earlier this spring.

Baker averaged 11.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game and was named the California Community College Athletic Association state tournament most valuable player. Baker also was awarded state athlete-of-the-month for March.

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