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Terrence Clarke recruiting update, roundtable and predictions

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What you need to know about Clarke’s recruitment and decision.

SLAM Summer Classic 2019 Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

On Saturday, five-star shooting guard Terrence Clarke will announce his college decision. The extremely talented do-it-all prospect is down to the Kentucky Wildcats, Memphis Tigers, Duke Blue Devils, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Boston College Eagles, and UCLA Bruins.

Currently, Clarke is a member of the 2021 class but there is heavy speculation that his ultimate plan is reclassify into the class of 2020.

On August 30th he made this statement on Twitter: “I am a member of the class of ‘21. I will explore the possibility of reclassifying in the spring after taking the SAT & ACT and evaluating my academic performance during the upcoming school year. Stay Tuned.”

As for the announcement plan, Clarke is slated to make the decision in Roxbury, Massachusetts on Saturday afternoon.

Getting a commitment from Clarke would be a huge addition and a heckuva lead-up to the football Cats’ primetime clash with Florida. It would also come after Kentucky secured a pledge from four-star forward Lance Ware on Thursday, which already has put their 2020 class in the No. 1 spot.

Proactively putting out that news seems to imply that his goal is to complete the required coursework, making himself eligible to play college basketball next season. If you watch any tape of Clarke you will rather immediately come to the conclusion that he’s absolutely equipped to make an impact in the NCAA right now. Many experts are drooling over his game and even touting the Brewster Academy superstar as a potential future #1 pick in the NBA draft.

For the first time in seemingly a long time, Kentucky is the heavy favorite to land a consensus top three player. As of right now, 247’s crystal ball and Rivals’ futurecast have 10 total picks in for Clarke, and every single one is in favor of the Cats.

John Calipari wasted no time getting involved with Clarke’s recruitment. He was one of the first players in the class of 2021 to receive an offer from Kentucky. Early offers are not something that you typically see with Coach Cal but he understood what a special talent Clarke is and also likely knew that reclassification was a strong possibility.

Calipari made a point to travel to Boston and visit Clarke on Monday as soon the live recruiting period opened up. There is no denying that landing him would be a major pick up for UK and he will be treated as the centerpiece of the class, whether that be 2020 or 2021.

Here is what the Sea of Blue staff thinks about Terrence Clarke’s upcoming decision.

Drew Brown:

Terrence Clarke could end up being one of the more impactful recruits in the John Calipari era. Not only is he potentially a generational talent, but he could also play an important role in getting UK back on track with the top talent.

Regardless of class, most consider Clarke to be one of the top prospects in America. His length, skill set, and feel for the game are second to none.

When you factor in his ability to become an elite defender it becomes obvious why he is so highly touted. Terrence Clarke will walk on a college campus ready to dominate and all indications point to that being next season.

With Kentucky viewed as the heavy favorite anything but a pledge to UK would be a huge bummer for the Cats. Coach Cal and his staff were in early with Clarke and made sure he had an offer quickly. Early offers are not something that UK does often, and it appears like it will pay dividends in this situation.

It will be great to have another top tier player in Lexington.

Prediction: Kentucky

Ian Teasley

Terrence Clark is regarded as a stud in the class of 2021, but it is looking likely that he will join the 2020 class for whoever he commits to. Being down to six schools: Kentucky, Duke, Boston College, Memphis, Texas Tech, and UCLA, Clarke has only taken two official visits to Kentucky and Boston College.

Kentucky has the momentum going in to the September 14th announcement, but the worry among UK fans and analysts alike is that a Clarke commitment would scare off both Jalen Green and Josh Christopher. While there may be some truth to that, it’s better to go ahead and get one top-five player locked down at the very moment to pair with Brandon Boston and Cam’Ron Fletcher.

I think Clarke is Lexington bound.

Prediction: Kentucky

James Streble

Terrence Clarke is one of the best high school basketball players in the country and he’s just a junior. At 6’5, he’s a long, rangey shooting guard that can score at every level. His shot needs work but it’s something that he’s consistently trying to improve. His recruitment has moved quite swiftly and it will be a total stunner if he does not pick Kentucky on Saturday.

Calipari has honed in on Clarke as one of his priorities for 2020. Yes, Clarke is in the 2021 class right now, but that’s likely to change after he commits. Reclassification seems to be the plan for the young man as he wants to get to the NBA ASAP.

Clarke will be Cal’s highest ranked recruit since Skal committed when he was ranked number one overall. Calipari has been getting good players at UK, just not the top of the top.

Once Clarke does reclassify, he figures to still be ranked somewhere in the top five of the class of 2020. Jerry Meyer of 247 has stated that Clarke is one of the best shooting guards that he’s ever scouted and that he could be the top overall pick of the NBA draft if he reaches his potential.

When asked about the top school players in the country, Rivals recruiting experts Corey Evans and Dan McDonald said they’d pick Clarke as one of the five best players in all of high school hoops. McDonald went as far as to rank Clarke as the second-best player behind only Emoni Bates.

This will be a huge pick up for Kentucky, and Cal will add another piece in what could be the best recruiting class yet.

Prediction: Kentucky

Sam Gillenwater

At 6-7 with incredible length, Clarke is an explosive athlete that has the potential to be a great defender at the next level. He can score the ball in multiple ways and has a jump-shot that’s only going to improve as he continues to grow his game. His energy alone is going to make him an impact player in college.

To me, Kentucky is undoubtedly the pick for Clarke this weekend. His Crystal Ball is 100% Kentucky, and no one else in his final six look like real competitors with the Wildcats. There could certainly be other players for Clarke’s services that no one is really aware of, but it really does feel like Kentucky’s race to lose.

The only thing about this huge commitment is that if Clarke’s decision were to be Lexington, it would reportedly end Calipari’s recruitment of Jalen Green and Joshua Christopher. It was based on an article by Evan Daniels, and no one from Kentucky has contacted Green since the live recruiting period began, according to KSR’s Jack Pilgrim.

Even so, if Kentucky can snatch Clarke, 2020 can be a special class for Kentucky. Even when you focus on just Clarke, you’re looking at a guy who makes a case for the #1 pick in the draft, whenever he comes out of college. Kentucky is the pick to me, and I don’t think it’s particularly close.

Prediction: Kentucky

Adam Haste

Clarke is set to make his college decision in what could be an amazing week for UK Athletics between the commitment of Clarke, Saturday’s clash with Florida, and this being the UK Athletics Hall of Fame induction weekend.

Kentucky is viewed as a heavy favorite to land Clarke, and if he does pick the Cats, they will be getting an elite player with the ability to score from all three levels.

Clarke is very athletic and has excellent body control. His passing and vision are tremendous, and he has a great feel for the game. He could definitely give Kentucky some good minutes at the point, which may be necessary depending on how their other point guard options for 2020 play out.

Clarke is on the level that we haven’t had at Kentucky in recent years, so it would be awesome to get back into the top five recruits and bring in an elite talent like him.

Prediction: Kentucky

Jamie Boggs

Clarke is currently the No. 3 player in the 2021 class, but there are people out there that believe he is one of the best prospects that we have seen come out of high school in some time. He is a next-level wing that will make an immediate impact on any school in any class.

Some have speculated that a commitment from Clarke would eliminate Kentucky from consideration for Jalen Green and Josh Christopher. I generally hate cliches, but that whole “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” definitely applies here. If Clarke wants to rock Kentucky blue, you have to take him even if it potentially costs other recruits.

As far as where he goes, I believe there is too much buzz in Kentucky’s direction to ignore. I believe Clarke’s announcement will bring joy to Big Blue Nation. Then everyone will just have to wait to find out “when” we will all see Clarke in Rupp Arena. While he’ll try to reclassify, he’s got a lot of work ahead of him to make it possible.

Regardless, you take a player like Clarke whenever you can get him, so kudos to Calipari for making a push to get him when he could have focused on safer recruits in terms of for sure playing in 2020 like Green and/or Christopher.

Prediction: Kentucky

Nick Wheatley

There’s been a lot of speculation and back and forth regarding Kentucky’s guard/wing recruiting in the 2020 class, including Cade Cunningham, Devin Askew, Jalen Green and Josh Christopher, especially with there already being two on board in BJ Boston and Cam’Ron Fletcher. The one constant, however, has been Terrence Clarke.

Clarke is a phenomenal player and a move to 2020 is likely in the works, albeit it probably won’t be announced until next summer. Once he announces his intentions to play college next fall, I expect him to be either No. 3 or 4 in the recruiting rankings for 2020. I’d put him at 3, but I could see an argument being made between him and Green.

For me, what separates Clarke from Green, and the rest of his peers, is his ball handling ability. Yes, he’s a terrific athlete with a developing jump shot, but I love the way he moves with the ball in his hands. At 6-7, Clarke could very well be playing the point guard position at times in college and that’s a scary thought for the rest of college basketball.

Out of all the prospects that UK is recruiting in the 2020 class, I’d probably rank Cade Cunningham first, followed by Isaiah Todd, then Clarke. That’s how much I like this kid’s game. I love Green, Christopher, and Boston, but Clarke is just different.

He has the potential to be an elite defender at the college level, and with the help of the Kentucky coaching staff, I don’t see why he couldn’t be a top-five NBA Draft pick.

I think Clarke’s commitment will effectively end the recruitment of Green, but I also think Clarke’s the better prospect anyway, so that’s okay. I’d also keep an eye on how his commitment affects Christopher, however. This could be a turning point in that recruitment, for better or for worse.

But for now, Clarke’s coming to Lexington, so get ready BBN.

Prediction: Kentucky