Terrence Clarke is sticking with his commitment and will play for the Kentucky Wildcats next season, he announced on Twitter.
BBN, don’t worry, my loyalty never changed. I’m here to stay. Can’t wait to get on campus and get to work and chase #9 with my brothers! ✊ pic.twitter.com/64ONm7WzpS— Terrence Clarke (@terrenceclarke_) April 15, 2020
Clarke was reportedly getting a large contract offer to play in the NBA G-League, which was led by former UK assistant Rod Strickland, who now works for the G-League in recruiting prospects like Clarke to join them.
Speaking of, head coach John Calipari weighed in on the G-league talks, Strickland, and his team next season:
I want to let the #BBN know I talked to @rod_strickland. I saw all the craziness out there last night. Rod worked for me, was a great assistant and is a great friend. I’m feeling really good about my team. #BBN, let’s focus on this great group we have for next season.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) April 15, 2020
Hopefully, Calipari and Strickland still have an amicable relationship after this. After all, Strickland was part of Calipari’s early coaching staffs in Lexington as a special assistant to the head coach, and his efforts helped UK win the 2012 National Championship before he left.
For now, it appears UK dodged a major bullet with this, as losing Clarke would have been a fatal blow to the Wildcats’ hopes of making the Final Four and competing for a national title next season.
Clarke, a five-star shooting guard from Massachusetts, became the first top-five recruit to commit to UK since Skal Labissiere did in 2014 (Brandon Boston did eventually get a rankings bump that also pushed him into the top five).
The combination of Boston and Clarke is expected to make UK’s backcourt one of the best in all of college basketball next season. Losing one of them to the G-League would be devastating and make it very challenging just to stay above water in what should be a much-improved SEC next season.
Saying all of this, it will still be very interesting to see what other college prospects get recruited by the G-League and if they actually take the offer. There’s a lot of buzz right now that top-five recruit Jalen Green is going to accept one of these offers, and Gonzaga commit Jalen Suggs, a top-10 recruit, is also considering a G-League offer.
This could be a major game-changer for college basketball next season and going forward. Thankfully, it appears UK won’t fall victim to it.
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