Terrence Clarke is unanimously considered to be one of the most talented high school basketball players in America. He’s an exceptional athlete that has the potential to be selected as the top pick in the NBA Draft once he’s eligible to enter his name.
And now, he’s a Kentucky Wildcat.
On Saturday, the five-star guard announced his commitment to rocking Kentucky blue in college. He also announced he’s reclassifying into the 2020 class.
The highly skilled guard from Brewster Academy in Boston (MA) will now look to complete the required coursework that will grant him eligibility to play college basketball in 2020. He previously announced he’s considering a reclassification into 2020, but a final decision won’t be made until the spring. However, he went ahead and ended that suspense, announcing his plans to move into 2020 while committing to the Cats.
Regardless of whether Clarke as in 2020 or 2021, he will be a centerpiece of any program’s recruiting class. Clarke was one of the first players in the class of 2021 that was offered a scholarship by John Calipari, and that likely helped end this recruitment before his senior season began.
Assuming Clarke does everything needed to make the jump into 2020, he joins Cam’Ron Fletcher, Lance Ware and Brandon Boston Jr. in the class of 2020, you would start the discussion of UK finishing with the #1 overall recruiting class (Boston is actually someone Clarke reportedly wanted to play with in college). There is still tons of talent up for grabs and Kentucky is positioned well for many other players.
The 2021 shooting guard was down six schools, which included Duke, Memphis, Texas Tech, UCLA, and Boston College. But in the end, it was John Calipari and the Kentucky Basketball brand that convinced Clarke to take his talents to Lexington.
The addition of Clarke will likely impact the decision of Josh Christopher and Jalen Green, two other elite shooting guards who had the Cats high on their list. It sounds like both are now off the board for Kentucky.
Clarke’s game speaks for itself and there is a reason that he’s ranked as the third-best player in the class of 2021 via 247 Sports composite. There is a good chance he will still own a top five ranking even is he elects to move up a class (some think he’s the second-best player in all of high school hoops). There isn’t really much on the court that Clarke doesn’t excel at. He’s long, unselfish, and tremendously skilled.
At 6-7, he’s likely to keep growing and that additional length will only propel his game even further. He is an elite athlete that has a reputation of showing no fear in between the lines. This summer on the Nike EYBL Circuit, Clarke averaged an impressive 16.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game while playing for team Expressions Elite. There isn’t a talent evaluator out there that isn’t extremely high on his potential as college and professional player. All of the tools are there for him to be a special talent.
The main facet to Clarke’s game is his ability to handle the ball and change pace. His speed allows him to blow by defenders and he’s willing to make the right play whatever that may be. Some consider him to be the best passer in his class, a sign that would seemingly bode well for Kentucky, a program that is sure to have finishers a every position on the court.
The most intriguing part to his game may very well be his willingness to play mix it up on the defensive end. Clarke doesn’t shy away from guarding the opposing team’s best player and isn’t afraid to make his presence felt.
As incredible as he is on offense, becoming a lock down defender could be his ticket at the next level. Clarke’s potential on both sides of the ball make it easy to understand just why he is a real candidate for a #1 selection in the NBA draft whenever he becomes eligible to enter his name.
His draft stock provides reason to why reclassification makes total sense. Clarke is the type of player that will be ready for professional basketball sooner rather than later, so getting exposure as soon as possible is logical.
Has a long, wiry physique for a shooting guard with quality athleticism. Can be explosive but also has tremendous body control. His court vision and feel for the game are off the charts. Tremendous passer. Good ball handler who loves to go left and utilizes changes of speed. Can score in multiple ways. Jump shot is consistently improving. Plays with energy and comes up with loose balls and rebounds outside his area. Also is a multi positional defender. A potential No.1 pick in the draft.
Speaking of Meyer, who has been around high school and college basketball as long as anyone, told Cats Pause that Clarke is one of the best shooting guards that he has ever scouted.
As if the Big Blue Nation needed anymore reason to be stoked about Clarke in a Kentucky uniform.
Check out some highlights of the newest Wildcat in action: