Terrence Clarke Eager to Show he’s More Than a Scorer


Terrence Clarke at Men’s Basketball Practice on September 24th, 2020. Uploaded September 28th, 2020Image from UK Athletics. Photograph by Chet WhiteFilename 200924practice22_ cw.JPG

Barkley Truax

McDonald’s All-American and top recruit Terrence Clarke committed to Kentucky back in September of 2019. More than a year has passed before he would participate in his first practice under John Calipari, but it seems he was anxious to get to work.

“I needed Coach Cal, you know what I mean?” Clarke said Wednesday to the media, “Just so I can stay mentally ready and develop my mind and my maturity here.”

Standing at 6 foot-7 and 190 pounds, Clarke was one of the most prominent scorers in high school last year, leading Brewster Academy to a 34-3 record and a trip to the National Prep Championships before it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

“[Scoring’s] something I’ve always worked on ever since I was young, especially,” he said, “I just always had the confidence to put the shot up.”

Listed as a shooting guard – which is typically thought of as a score-oriented position – the Boston native wants to show that there’s more to his game.

“I want to show my versatility… a lot of people know me as a scorer, but I think I’m a good passer, I’m a good playmaker in general,” Clarke said. “I can do different things.”

One of those different abilities in his opinion is shining on the defensive end.

“Everybody sees that I can score and do things on an offensive level, but I want to show that I can also be a defensive player,” Clarke said, “I’m going to try and dig down and be one of the best defenders in the country.”

Clarke isn’t the only player to be excited about if you’re a Wildcat fan. Fellow top-10 recruit BJ Boston also committed to Kentucky. Some fans have compared the duo to Malik Monk and DeAaron Fox.

Clarke said Boston’s decision definitely played a role in him heading to Lexington.

“One of the main things for me coming to Kentucky was B.J. being here too,” he said, “Ever since we were at camps like NBPA and Elite 100, we’d always talk about teaming up.”

Despite the desire to suit up together, he knows this season is not just about him and Boston.

“The main thing for us is to play as a team,” Clarke said. “Even though we’re on the wings, we have other great basketball players like Devin Askew, Olivier Sarr and Isaiah Jackson – the list goes on, so I feel like me and B.J. being on the wings is complementing everybody else on the team.”

Over the summer, Clarke, Boston and Askew spent some time in California training with former NBA player Darren Collison. Building chemistry early is important for this Kentucky team, as Keion Brooks Jr. is the only prominent returnee from last season.

“We’ve been scrimmaging and really just creating great habits. We’re all kind of young,” Clarke said. “That’s what Cal is really preaching on right now… we’re trying to work as hard as we can at practice.”

Having a young team can be terrifying, but with the veteran presence of Brooks Jr., graduate transfer Davion Mintz, and Wake Forest transfer Olivier Sarr, Kentucky doesn’t seem to be worried about the five new freshman coming in.

“We’re just trying to stay level-headed right now and just learn every single day,” Clarke said. “Because the season is coming and approaching soon.”