When Terrence Clarke committed to Kentucky last September, he was viewed as a recruit who could actually finish No. 1 overall in his class.
That obviously didn’t happen, as Clarke didn’t have quite the senior season many thought he could, and he ultimately finished outside the top five of all three major recruiting services (his highest ranking was No. 8 by Rivals).
Part of that may have been due to Clarke having a heavy school workload in order to graduate early and reclassify into the 2020 class. Before Clarke committed, I remember hearing that people around Clarke weren’t sure he’d have enough time to complete all of the extra coursework he needed to reclassify. Not because Clarke wasn’t smart enough, but because the amount of work he needed to complete would be tough to do while playing out his senior season.
Whatever the case was, Clarke is now on UK’s campus and preparing for his first and likely only season of college ball. And he’s apparently making quite the impression on his new coaches, according to Kyle Tucker of The Athletic.
Keep hearing Terrence Clarke is real, real good. Has already very much opened the coaching staff's eyes and made them rather excited about what is possible.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) July 31, 2020
This comes after Tucker shared some exiting info on Clarke in a recent Q&A session.
Was told today that Clarke is REALLY impressing in workouts, just freakishly athletic and explosive and naturally gifted. “One of the most talented guys we’ve had in years,” I was told. Drew some Fox/Monk comparisons in terms of just being a really dazzling athlete.
To hear Clarke mentioned in the same breath as Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox — two of the best guards to ever play in Lexington — is very high praise on its own. Fox was the fifth-overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft and is one of the league’s best young guards, while Monk earned consensus Second Team All-America honors during his one year at UK (was also the 11th pick of that same draft).
It shouldn’t be any surprise to hear Clarke is already shining in offseason workouts. After all, 247 Sports recruiting guru Jerry Meyer, who has been around high school and college basketball as long as anyone, said Clarke was among the best shooting guards he’s ever scouted in addition to being a potential No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick.
“Has a long, wiry physique for a shooting guard with quality athleticism,” Meyer wrote of Clarke. “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.”
For much of this year, Brandon Boston has been hyped up as Kentucky’s best freshman, and perhaps overall player. But if summer workouts are any indicator, Clarke can’t be discounted for either title.
If nothing else, it’s looking more and more like Kentucky has one of the best backcourts in college basketball before the new season even starts.
If you want to get a better feel for Clarke’s game, check out this breakdown by Hoops Perspective.