However, regardless of when he suits up in Lexington the 5-star combo guard wants to be ready for a John Calipari system. Even before Clark made it official that he was going to be a Wildcat, he began working with his trainer Andrew Fleming on an idea of already learning some of the key points of a coach Cal system.
Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader spoke with both Clark’s father Kenny Clark and Fleming about getting prepared for Kentucky.
“Our thing was — he’s going to Kentucky, right? — so why wait until we get there to start learning what they do?” Kenny Clark told the Herald-Leader this week. “We have, at most, a year and a half, so let’s lock that in so when he comes in, he’s hitting the ground running.”
Fleming was a high school basketball star of his own and just finished up his college career at Lipscomb University. The family approached Fleming with this idea about learning Cal’s system and so Fleming began his homework of learning the system himself.
“I feel like Cal should bring me on as an assistant, because I watch his stuff more than anybody,” Fleming said with a laugh. “And every day, we’ll put together a plan for him that’s very specific. So, looking at film, me and him have talked about how his two players that he’s very similar to are Jamal Murray — a great player comparison for him — and then a little bit of Damian Lillard, in terms of the shot-making ability beyond the three-point line.”
Fleming also noted that trainers today try to teach kids “the flashiest drills in the world.” However, those drills don’t translate to things the players will be doing on the court. The plan that has been put in place for Clark is to work on things he will be using in the game.
How is Clark going to fit in at Kentucky?
Fleming has been studying former perimeter players at Kentucky and believes that Clark will excel the most in a motion offense that Cal runs where the dribble-drive creates for other players.
“How I see Skyy working that is, there’s an initial drive from the point guard, whether that’s Skyy or not — Skyy could create the advantage off the bounce against college guys easily. I already know that, because he’s doing it against NBA guys,” said Fleming, who previously told the Herald-Leader that Clark has been excelling against NBA-level players in Nashville open gyms. “So, quite honestly, he’s instant offense coming down with the ball in transition. If there’s any sort of one-on-one move he makes on the perimeter, he can get to that secondary defense in a split second. And then his decision-making is off the charts.”
Fleming gave high praise to the decision making of Clark noting that he will make the right decision going to the basket “literally eight to nine times out of 10.”
One thing that Clark is going to bring to Lexington is outside shooting. Clark recently posted a video on Twitter of him knocking down shot after shot from NBA range. This too is by design.
Clark was recruited to Kentucky by Joel Justus and Clark’s father explained how please Justus was that they are already preparing for the college system.
Clark is set to begin his high school practice of Monday and it could be the first practice of his final high school season if he decides to make the move to 2021, or he could still have another one to go if he stays in 2022.
Regardless of what he decides to do, he wants to ensure that he is ready to be a Kentucky Wildcat and has put in the extra work to excel once on campus.
Regardless of when Clark arrives in Lexington, this should have fans excited about what we are going to be seeing on the court when he puts on that Kentucky uniform.