USC Upstate’s Tony Dukes to transfer to Clayton State men’s basketball
MORROW, Ga. – April 26, 2011 – The development of the Clayton State Laker men's basketball recruiting class for the upcoming season got off to a strong start on Tuesday as Laker head coach Gordon Gibbons announced that guard Tony Dukes is transferring from Division I USC Upstate and has signed with the Laker program.
Dukes becomes the second Division I transfer to join the Clayton State program for the upcoming 2011-12 season. Point guard Anthony Salter, a 5-foot-11 junior from Tallahassee, Fla., transferred to Clayton State from Hawaii and set out the second part of the season.
Clayton State is coming off a solid 19-10 record in the 2010-11 season, including 10-7 in the Peach Belt Conference. The addition of Dukes will give the Lakers more offensive firepower on the perimeter as they replace graduated All-Peach Belt Conference and Division II All-Southeast Region standouts Timmy Downs and Brandon Robinson.
"Tony has gained tremendous experience as a two-year college starter at different levels," said Gibbons, who is 190-109 in 10 seasons at Clayton State. "He will be a valuable addition to our backcourt as we replace the two All-Region seniors."
Dukes, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior from Ellenwood, Ga., saw action in 30 games with 18 starts this season at USC Upstate under head coach Eddie Payne. He averaged six points and two rebounds a game while shooting 31 percent from both the field and from 3-point range.
Some of his best games for the Spartans came against big-time competition. Dukes' best game was arguably against Virginia when he scored a season-high 19 points on a perfect 5-for-5 shooting from 3-point range. He also scored 13 points on four 3-point baskets against Auburn. Dukes' best games in Atlantic Sun Conference competition included 12 points in the season finale against Florida Gulf Coast and 11 points against Stetson.
Prior to signing with USC Upstate last spring, Dukes enjoyed a stellar freshman season at the junior college level at Atlanta Metro. Under head coach Robert Pritchett, he was the second-leading scorer in the region at 19 points a game, while shooting 77 percent from the free throw line. Dukes was selected NJCAA All-Region 17.
A local prep product out of neighboring Morrow High School, Dukes continues the strong pipeline of former Mustangs that have played collegiately at Clayton State. He follows Rod Venner, Trae Goss and Eric Wilson before him.
Dukes enjoyed a standout career at Morrow under head coach Jay Livingston, where he finished as the school's second all-time leading scorer with 985 points. He averaged 20 points a game his senior season and set the Morrow single-season record for 3-point baskets in a game with 69. Dukes also owns the Morrow career 3-point field mark with 139.
He was selected Clayton County Player of the Year for his senior season in 2008-09, and was an All-Region selection as well.