Terrence Clarke likely out for remainder of the season


Kentucky Wildcats guard Terrence Clarke (5) celebrates after making a three during the University of Kentucky vs. Notre Dame basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Notre Dame won 64-63. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Braden Ramsey

After being dealt a crippling blow by border brethren Tennessee on Saturday night, the Cats had another delivered earlier this evening. But this one hits much closer to home.

Former five-star prospect Terrence Clarke – the No. 8 overall recruit of the 2020 class, according to the 247Sports Composite – will likely miss the remainder of the year due to an ankle injury. Kentucky head coach John Calipari announced the news on his weekly Monday evening radio show.

“There were tears today. His and mine,” Coach Cal said. “It’s crushing.”

Clarke suited up in seven contests for the Wildcats, all of which were of the non-conference variety. Discounting the Louisville one – his final appearance, where he played a season-low 16 minutes and was noticeably hobbled because of the aforementioned ankle – he averaged 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and a shade over two assists per game, shooting 46% or higher from the field in four of those outings.

Kentucky wasn’t exactly lighting up the scoreboard when the Brewster Academy product was on the floor, but as the Cats have sought to find solutions to their offensive struggles, his absence has been noticed.

Early in the year, Clarke was the lone player who showed an ability to produce his own points off the dribble. In most of the Wildcats’ losses, their lack of a shot creator is what torpedoed them in the final minutes.

“We don’t have a guy that you throw it to, and he goes one-on-one and gets by everybody,” Calipari told reporters after the team’s second Alabama defeat. “We don’t have that guy, so we’ve got to do something different.”

Later that same night, speaking on if the team’s only hope for an NCAA Tournament appearance was winning the SEC Tournament, the longtime head coach said this:

“[When] Terrence comes back, all of a sudden we’re a different team.”

Now that Clarke apparently isn’t returning to Kentucky in 2021 – and potentially not at all, pending his NBA Draft decision – the only thing differentiating this squad from most Calipari ones is what trophy it likely competes for come March.