By Larry Vaught
He’s never coached Terrence Clarke, but he’s coached against the incoming Kentucky freshman guard often and Our Savior Lutheran (N.Y.) coach Peter Wehye has never failed to be impressed.
“Terrence is a good kid. He knows our kids and I have had a lot chances to see him play. Very, very well mannered dude and very talented,” Wehye said.
“He is a natural scorer with his size and length. He can shoot the basketball. He can put the ball on the floor You can put him in pick and rolls. He can shoot the deep 3. He is great at finishing at the basket. He is always finishing above the rim. He is able to do a lot of things offensively.”
Wehye says it is not absurd to think that Clarke could be John Calipari’s best recruit since John Wall, a former overall No. 1 NBA draft pick.
“I mean John Wall was big and fast but John Wall was not able to score like a Terrence Clarke. He can score that basketball,” Wehye said. “He can still do it even when you know he’s going to try and score.
“My biggest thing is he can pass but he has to make sure he passes the ball a little bit more (at Kentucky) unless they let him play the 2. Then you have what we call in New York a certified bucket.
“Tough kid. He wants to win a lot. Sometimes you see him get frustrated because he wants to win. My experience with him he was not a bad kid in my eyes. He just competes.”
Clarke is not a New York player — he’s from Boston and played at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire — but Wehye says he has the characteristics of many New York players.
“A major college coach told me once he wanted guys from the east coast on his team, especially from New York,” Wehye said. “There is a lot of good weather on the west coast but in New York it snows, rains. You have to take the train to get places.
“There are a lot of things you have to do in the east that makes it rougher coming up and gives you that edge. Terrence has that. It helps guys. That’s what happens when you come from the east coast. To me, that’s just another plus for Terrence.”
If that’s not enough to excite Kentucky fans about the 6-7 Clarke, a consensus top five player in the 2020 recruiting class, let Wehye add one more thing.
“The biggest thing to excite you even more about Terrence is I still think he can be more of a juggernaut defensively with his length because of his versatility. I know coach Cal will challenge him with that and when he does that, then he’s going to be dynamic on both ends of the court,” Wehye said. “You can’t say that about many players but I think you will be able to about him.”