Rotnei Clarke, G, 6'0, 170, CLAREMORE (VERDIGRIS), OKLAHOMA:
When a player is averaging over 30 points per game, word starts to spread about his ability. And when you hear he scored 38 in a win over Blake Griffin and Oklahoma Christian, then a legend starts to grow. Then you start hearing about Clark'es work ethic and the fact he makes 500 shots a day. No, he doesn't shoot 500 shots a day; he makes 500 shots a day.
When you see Clarke walking around town he doesn't look like much of a basketball player. In fact, many feel it is a stretch to say he is 6-foot tall. But when he laces on the sneaks and you watch how he hit shot after shot off despite the fact teams are doing everything they can to defend him, then he looks like he is 6-foot-7. And the fact he makes most of the shots he takes makes him one of the top juniors in the country.
"Probably at the next level, I will consider myself a point guard," said Clarke. "I am kind of considered a combo guard form what scouts are telling me. My biggest change this year from the last two years is that I have developed an all-around game. I am averaging 6.6 assists, 10 rebounds and 35 points per game. I am doing pretty well in my all-around stats and I am happy with how I am progressing as an all-around player."
Clarke has been to basketball camps and combines all his life, and he plays on a very competitive AAU circuit.
"Last summer I went to the NIKE Jamboree camp, and you had to be invited to go to that," said Clarke. "From that camp they chose 10 guys from 200 to go to the NIKE All-American camp, which is the top camp for the NIKE players and I got invited to go to that. I was on my way to that, but the week before I got an MCL sprain so I had to miss that. This summer, I think I am going to the Steve Nash camp, which is a point guard camp. I am also going to go to a couple all-around player camps to develop my game."
Clarke praises his teammates for their screens and admits most plays are designed for him to either create or shoot the basketball.
"I consider myself a scorer and not just a shooter," said Clark. "Depending what kind of zone I am, once I pass half court I can shoot pretty deep. I can shoot pretty well once I can get into that zone."
Clarke has been offered by Tulsa, Missouri State, Marquette, Florida State, Arkansas, Arizona State, Washington State, OU and Oral Roberts.
"I am not really leaning toward anyone," said Clark. "I am just kind of feeling out the recruiting process and trying to enjoy it. Eventually, I will be able to make that decision. I am going to know where I am going to want to go when I know. I have been on an unofficial visit to Nebraska and they offered me. I have been to a basketball and a football game at Arkansas and I have been to Missouri State. I am going to OU this weekend for their basketball game with Texas A&M."
OU is a school that Clark is beginning to take a long look at.
"I haven't been on campus very much," said Clarke. "I think I have been one time to a football game. I really didn't get to see much of the stuff. I talked to the coaches a little bit. From what I saw, Jeff Capel is a great guy and I love their coaching staff. I guess I am just going to have to get around them a little bit more to get to know them a little better. I just don't know them that well, but OU could be a top school down the road. They have Michael Neal right now, but he graduates this year and they are telling me that I would have a chance to start at that position. Hopefully, I would be able to do that and I believe they will need a shooter after this year. Michael Neal is their pure shooter right now."
Clarke says he will be looking for certain keys to help him make his decision.
"Coaching style is going to be important to me," Clarke said. "Being close to home is not going to be too important to me. Wherever I go is going to be where I want to go. The players that I am going to be playing with and the kind of character guys that they are is important. Then just how I am going to fit in and the playing style I guess. Just knowing what I can do and if that is the school for me being able to play there, and if I can fit in with the coaches and the staff."
Shooting star will check out OU this weekend
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