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5-star guard Skyy Clark commits to Kentucky: Highlights and breakdown

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Kentucky beats out North Carolina for the highly-touted guard.

@c4cartoonz

Five-star point guard Skyy Clark has committed to the Kentucky Wildcats. Clark pledged to the Wildcats during an Instagram Live stream Thursday night, becoming the first 2022 commitment for John Calipari.

Clark chose Kentucky over the North Carolina Tar Heels, UCLA Bruins and Memphis Tigers. He also held offers from the Kansas Jayhawks Oregon Ducks, Arizona Wildcats and Tennessee Volunteers among others.

Coming into the decision, this was widely viewed as a Kentucky vs. North Carolina battle, and the Tar Heels actually looked like the favorites for a while, but Kentucky was able to seal the deal and win out for the top-25 recruit. He’s actually drawn comparisons to former Tar Heels guard and NBA Lottery pick Coby White.

Kentucky’s unofficial announcement Tweet of landing Clark suggests the coaches are comparing him to NBA superstar Jamal Murray.

In the Class of 2022, Clark is a consensus five-star recruit who is rated 13th overall by Rivals, 19th by ESPN, and 14th by 247 Sports. ESPN and Rivals classify him as a point guard, while 247 has him as a combo guard. He scored his official scholarship offer from Kentucky back in July and unofficially visited Lexington in February.

A 6-3, 200-pound point guard, Clark is originally from Minneapolis and comes from a family with a very strong athletics background. He is the cousin of former Minnesota Vikings star quarterback Daunte Culpepper. His father, Kenny Clark, was a three-year pro in the NFL playing wide receiver for the Vikings as well. Former four-year NFL wide receiver Steve Rhem is also Skyy’s uncle.

This summer, Clark announced that he’d be transferring from Heritage Christian High School in Northridge (CA) to the Brentwood Academy in Nashville (TN) for the 2020-21 high school hoops season.

Last season, Clark averaged 25.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.5 steals per game as a sophomore in California while leading his team to a 26-5 record and was named a Third-Team Sophomore All-American by MaxPreps. He hit 87/207 attempts from three-point range, a 39% clip that makes him easily one of the best shooters in his class.

While Clark is currently a member of the 2022 class, there has been much speculation that he could reclassify to the class of 2021. He’s expected to complete the necessary classwork to do so, but he revealed this summer that he plans to stay in 2022 so he can play with his brother, ZZ Clark, at Brentwood. ZZ is currently a 2024 recruit with offers from Kansas UCLA and Arizona among others.

As special as Clark is on the court, he’s just as great off of it, as he’s been a leader in the community and even helped organize a peaceful protest for George Floyd in Nashville over the summer, then helped organize a cleanup of areas that were affected by riots looting. He’s the kind of leader John Calipari loves coaching and will be a great ambassador for Kentucky basketball.

Here is an excerpt of a fantastic scouting report of Clark by Lance Smith of SB Live Sports:

Clark has very strong handles, and he can get to his spots without losing vision of the defense or needing to stop the ball and put on the And-1 Clinic. He has the advanced handling skills to bring the flash, but he’s focused on getting to his spots and has very little wasted movement.

His core strength allows him to keep a low center of gravity and both create and absorb contact while dribbling without losing balance. He’s already great at physically dictating to his defender where on the court he wants to get to, and he does so with purpose. Decisiveness and reading defenses ahead of time are part of what sets Clark apart from the pack, with bullying defenders off the dribble as a key component. For a guy who has very good athleticism but won’t be physically dominant over everyone at higher levels, those are crucial positives for his potential down the road.

Finally, great ability to finish at the rim makes Clark a complete scorer, with his core strength again being key.

Clark’s ability to dish through traffic is already ahead of his age. With his head always up, he reads defenses in advance and sees openings that it seems like he shouldn’t be able to. And he almost never telegraphs a pass. With such a polished scoring package, this part of his game is likely to be his primary focus on improving for the next few years. And of course his ridiculous scoring prowess will always make his distribution game easier.

And here are some highlights of the newest Wildcat in action:

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