But on a Thursday night - when there was ice aplenty outside - he was the loudest and hottest player on the Bud Walton Arena court Thursday night.
Clarke had a career-high 26 points and Michael Washington 17 to lead Arkansas to a 89-80 win over Alabama before an anniounced crowd of 14,157 at Bud Walton Arena and an ESPN national television audience.
"From the first possession, we had energy, effort - the look so to speak," Arkansas head coach John Pelphrey said. "That allowed us to overachieve. We have to do that to have a chance to win in this league."
Michael Sanchez added 13 points for Arkansas (13-5, 1-4) while Courtney Fortson (9 assists), Stefan Welsh and Marcus Britt all chipped in 8 and Jason Henry 7 points and 8 rebounds.
Pelphrey gave a lot of that credit to the UA students, who showed up in large numbers on a night when they were allowed in free, knew they weren't going to school for a third straight day and when most of them were wearing Fortson wigs.
Pelphrey's wife Tracy even had one a Fortson wig on when he looked up in the stands at the end of the game.
"It's been a tough couple of days with the weather," Pelphrey said. "I came in and saw nearly every seat in the (expanded) student section filled. I really appreciate that. Our fans are remarkable."
Pelphrey joked about how he helped his mindset considering the losing streak and the fact that he and Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino don't have power, but Razorback baseball coach and former Arkansas and St. Louis Cardinals star Tom Pagnozzi do right across the street.
"What's up with that?" Pelphrey joked. "Actually I know those guys out there are working hard and we are thinking about everybody during this tough time. We were glad we could give them a break and a win."
Former Razorback head coach Nolan Richardson talked to the team Thursday afternoon.
Arkansas shot 50 percent from the field in the first half - 49.1 percent for the game - and dished out 18 assists while getting 46 points in the paint in addition to hitting 9-of-21 3-pointers.
"I thought our ball movement in the first half was terrific," Pelphrey said. "I thought we did a great job executing and getting the ball where we needed it to be."
The Razorbacks, who hit their last 18 free throws and 28-of-35 for the game, were coming off their worst loss ever in the 15-year history of Bud Walton Arena - a 73-51 defeat to Auburn.
Clarke was 9-of-13 from the field, including 6-of-10 from 3-point line as the Razorbacks (13-5, 1-4) ended their four-game skid.
He had scored just 5 points in his last 3 games, going just 7 of his last 28 from 3-point range in his last six games and just 2-of-15 overall in his last trio of contests.
He hit 6 of his last 7 shots - including all 4 3-pointers he took in the second half - on Thursday night.
"I thought Rotnei did a great job running from side to side to get open and he got some great passes from Courtney and Stefan," Pelphrey said.
JaMychal Green had 24 points, Alonzo Gee 18 and Mikhail Torrence for the Crimson Tide (12-8, 2-4), who was playing its first game since head coach Mark Gottfried was fired and Phillip Pearson took over as the intermim bench boss.
"This was a typical SEC basketball game," Pearson said. "Give Arkansas credit. We were doing everything we could and just couldn't get over the hump. It seemed like everything we did, they had an answer for.
"They started off in a zone and we missed some open looks early, which started us off badly," Pearson added Their early press caused us some problems too, but those we can fix."
Clarke had 14 of his points in the first half, including 12 after his team fell down 11-8.
He scored 7 of the next 14 points, including a steal that resulted in two free throws that capped a 14-2 run and pushed Arkansas ahead 22-13 with 9:50 left in the opening half.
His deep 3-pointer got it to 31-21 and then Jason Henry's 3-pointer with 8.6 seconds left in the first half sent the Razorbacks into intermission with a 38-31 advantage.
"Clarke is a guy that we were aware of," Pearson said. "We started off in a zone and he hit some big shots in the corner early."
Bama cut it to 3 early in the second half before the freshman from Oklahoma had a heat check.
Five 3-pointers later - four of them by Clarke to give him 26 points - and Arkansas was suddenly ahead 64-51 and a nice working cushion with 10:20 remaining.
"We lost Rotnei Clarke a few times and he lit us up," Gee said.
Alabama did get it to within 77-71 on Green's two free throws with exactly 3 minutes left in the game.
The Razorbacks then salted the game away at the free throw line as four different players stepped up and hit a combined 12-of-12 free throws before the buzzer sounded.
Arkansas will return to action quickly when it travels to LSU Saturday for a 4 p.m. game.
Courtney Fortson fights for a shot inside against Alabama.
Michael Washington draws a foul against the Crimson Tide.
Photos by Marc F. Henning