Terrence Clarke is going to be a very good two-guard in Kentucky’s backcourt this season, his only season in Lexington, we can assume. We got a glimpse of Clarke’s capabilities in Wednesday night’s Game 1 when he reached double-figure scoring for the first of many times this year. With that length and athleticism, he is high on NBA draft boards and considered one of the best shooting guards in the entire country.
Until that day comes, Clarke is committed to doing whatever it takes to win in Lexington. Against Morehead State, that included sliding over and playing a little point guard for the Wildcats. Will there be more of that to come? Clarke will be ready if asked, he says.
“(I’ll do it) as much as the team needs me to do it,” Clarke said of any future point guard responsibilities. “I think we have a great point guard in Devin Askew, and Davion Mintz is our backup point guard too, but I’ve been playing the two here and whenever the team needs me to play the one, I’ll be as comfortable and confident as I need to be. I’ve had reps in practice too, so today I went out there and had some reps at the one.”
“I’m confident to play any role on the team and that’s what I’ve been preaching; I’m as versatile as I want to be right now. Whatever I need to do on the court, I’ll do it.”
At his natural position, Clarke is working on leaving the 1-on-1 basketball behind him, a huge point of emphasis from Coach Cal once Clarke landed on campus. He’s seen vast improvement already, he says, and credits UK’s depth for showing him how to let the offense find him.
“I think it’s the flow within the offense,” Clarke said of his transformation. “We have a great team so the ball shouldn’t even stop, that’s one of the things I’m trying to learn now. Like Cal says, I like to dribble or whatever the case may be, but I want to get downhill to make the defense make a move, so I make my next move.”
“From the beginning of coming here until now, I’ve definitely improved a lot,” Clarke continued. “I just try to attack as quick as possible. I had a turnover today where I tried to turn down a screen where I could’ve just gone off the screen, so I’m still learning, but I feel like I’ve learned a lot since I got here and I appreciate Cal for being on my because, as you saw today, when I get downhill I can get to places to create shots.”
For a guy learning to get everyone involved and keep the ball moving, four assists in a debut is a good start.
Unselfish play and unselfish comments from the true freshman.