UK Recruiting

Top five basketball recruit sets decision date. It looks like good news for Kentucky.

Terrence Clarke sees himself as a ‘positionless’ play-maker

Five-star recruit Terrence Clarke is one of UK's top targets.
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Five-star recruit Terrence Clarke is one of UK's top targets.

Five-star shooting guard Terrence Clarke — one of the top-ranked high school basketball prospects in the country — has narrowed his list to six schools and will announce his college decision next month.

The 6-foot-6 standout told Rivals.com and 247Sports on Friday that he will reveal his college choice Sept. 14, and — while he’s still technically in the 2021 class — Clarke is widely expected to eventually reclassify to 2020 and play just one more season in high school before gaining college eligibility.

That move could end up as a major boost to Kentucky’s immediate recruiting efforts.

Clarke, who is ranked as 2021’s No. 2 overall prospect by Rivals.com and the No. 3 national recruit by 247Sports, was the second player from that group to land a UK scholarship offer. The Boston area native also visited Lexington for last year’s Big Blue Madness, and the Herald-Leader was told last week that Kentucky and Memphis might be the top two schools on his list.

UK’s standing in Clarke’s recruitment has risen even more in recent days. National recruiting experts Andrew Slater, Corey Evans and Jerry Meyer have all logged predictions in favor of the Wildcats, who are seen as the favorite on Clarke’s 247Sports Crystal Ball page. Rivals.com national analyst Eric Bossi also logged a Future Cast prediction in favor of Kentucky on Friday afternoon, when Clarke cut his list to UK, Boston College, Duke, Memphis, Texas Tech and UCLA.

Kentucky and Boston College are the only two schools on that list that have hosted Clarke for recruiting visits. With an announcement date now two weeks away, it seems unlikely that any visits between now and then would have an impact on his final decision, if he takes any more recruiting trips at all.

UK already has early commitments from five-star shooting guard Brandon “BJ” Boston and four-star wing Cam’Ron Fletcher, who were both standouts on the Nike travel circuit this spring and summer. Kentucky also appears to be in good shape for some other high-profile backcourt prospects in the 2020 class, including top-10 recruits Jalen Green and Josh Christopher.

The early signing period for players in the 2020 class begins Nov. 13, though Clarke might not be ready to sign with the school of his choice by then. He said Friday that he will make a final decision on reclassification to 2020 in the spring.

“I am a member of the class of ‘21,” Clarke tweeted. “I will explore the possibility of reclassifying in the spring after taking the SAT and ACT and evaluating my academic performance during the upcoming school year. Stay Tuned.”

Clarke, who turns 18 years old in September, was one of the Nike league’s best players in 2019. He averaged 17.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game during the spring, making 33.8 percent of his three-point shots.

Ben Roberts covers UK basketball, football and other sports for the Lexington Herald-Leader and has specialized in UK basketball recruiting for the past several years. He also maintains the Next Cats recruiting blog, which features the latest news on the Wildcats’ recruiting efforts.
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