Kentucky freshman guard Terrence Clarke has returned to practice and is now scrimmaging with the team leading up to the SEC Tournament.
According to UK head coach John Calipari, the team doctors approved Clarke to move forward with practice last week, and they’ve been ramping things up with the 6-foot-7 guard ever since.
“I’ll let everybody know, the training staff and medical staff came to me about Terrence last week and I said, “If he can get through individual work, two days, without limping… And if he’s limping, I don’t care what you tell me, he’s not playing,”‘ Calipari said. “So he did and I said, “Okay, now we’re going to throw him into some of the scrimmaging. Does he pick us up or take us back? If he takes us back, he can’t be in right now.” So, he’s had a couple good days.”
As for his chances to play when the Wildcats take the floor in Nashville starting tomorrow, Calipari hinted that Clarke will be available, but it’s not a guarantee he gets minutes. He won’t change the rotation just to get the freshman guard back in the swing of things, but if they need him on the floor, they’ll give it a shot.
“The great thing for us and for him, one, he’s the first one on the floor, first one on the bus. He wants to do this for the team,” Calipari added. “He understands that he may not play a game. Maybe he does, but maybe he doesn’t. He wants to do it for the team. He understands he’s not going to make up — he hasn’t played since Christmas. He’s not going to make everything up. But if he gives us one more body, one more opportunity with a player. Say you go in and just look awful, well maybe it’s not your day? Let somebody else play. It’s all about advancing.”
No matter the case, Clarke is ready to help the team however he can, on or off the floor.
“It’s all about team for him. He said, “Whatever this team needs from me, I’m here. If I don’t play, I’m fine. If you want to put me in, fine, I’m ready to go,”‘ the UK head coach said. “Now, I’m not going to change the rotation of what we’re doing, but there may be a point that I say, “Let’s give him a shot. Let’s see how he’s doing.”‘
In seven games this season, Clarke has averaged 10.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 31.3 minutes per contest.