ABCD: Earl Clark might follow Caracter to college

Growing up, Earl Clark always dreamed about being one of the best basketball players in the country. This week at the Reebok ABCD camp in Teaneck, NJ, the 6-foot-7 forward with guard skills is proving that's exactly what he has become - one of the nation's finest prospects.

Growing up, Earl Clark always dreamed about being one of the best basketball players in the country. This week at the Reebok ABCD camp in Teaneck, NJ, the 6-foot-7 forward with guard skills is proving that's exactly what he has become - one of the nation's finest prospects.

Though his Cavs team is just 1-3 through the camps first two days, Clark has displayed the traits that earned him a pre-July Top 20 ranking by Scout.com.

It's clear Clark prefers to have the ball in his hands, and he usually does good things with it, whether that's driving hard to the basket or finding the open man. Tremendously versatile, Clark can play inside or out, and has a knack for blocking shots (he's blocked one in all four camp games). Clark has scored 12 points twice, 34 total, and has 5 assists. Though he's turned the ball over more times than he's passed for assists, Clark certainly has the skills to play with the ball in his hands.

"I can push the ball, and go down in the post in score," Clark said. "I can play any position on the court and I just like to have fun. It's been a dream of mine to be a top division one player. I always expected that I would be one. I plan on going to a college and working on my game to get to the next level."

The next step toward realizing his dream is to find a college - and a coach - who can help him reach his unlimited potential. Villanova's Jay Wright and Louisville coach Rick Pitino appear the leading candidates. Clark again confirmed Thursday that the Wildcats and Cardinals top his list, with Rutgers a seemingly distant third.

Pitino made it a point to watch Clark in action on the camps opening day before departing for the adidas camp in Suwanee, GA. Thursday, Louisville assistant Steve Masiello was front and center for each of Clark's two games.

"I'm looking for a coach that knows what it takes to help me get to the next level, and will let me play through my mistakes," explained Clark. "And a place where I just feel comfortable."

Before he reaches a decision in the next couple of months, Clark said he'll visit each school in contention - presumably the three he mentioned - before pulling the trigger on a commitment.

"I want to make my decision in early September before the season starts," Clark said.


Clark and Derrick Caracter have
been friends since 7th grade.

Wednesday, Derrick Caracter, a close friend of Clark, told Inside The Ville that he and Clark have been discussing going to college together. Caracter also claimed the Cardinals as the leader for his services, and Thursday Clark admitted the possibility that both he and Caracter could wind up picking Louisville was certainly a possibility.

"We've been close friends since the seventh grade," Clark said of his relationship with the 6-foot-9, 270-pound forward. "I think we have good chemistry on the court and enjoying playing together."

Clark also dispelled speculation that he wouldn't be returning to Rahway High School in the fall.

"I feel safe at Rahway, it's home," he said. "I want to finish high school where I started."

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STATS

Game 1: 12 pts, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 TO, 4-7 FG

Game 2: 5 pts, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 TO, 2-11 FG

Game 3: 12 pts, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 TO, 3-5 FG

Game 4: 5 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 TO, 2-8 FG


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