Thursday, January 1, 2009

In the Spotlight: Earl Clark

Earl Clark
Position: Small Forward
Ht: 6-9, Wt: 220
Hometown: Plainfield, N.J.
College: Louisville
Class: Junior
Age: 1/17/88

  • NBA ready body with tremendous length… muscular 6’9, 220lbs
  • Match-up nightmare for opposing teams… Inside / Outside player - Very versatile with the ability to step out past the three point line, or post up smaller defenders.
  • Gifted athlete – good vertical, long strides when he runs, gets out in transition.
  • Solid rebounder - With a combination of knowing how to establish position, size, athleticism, and length.
  • He’s able to play a point forward role in the half-court set– Using his size and length to see over the defense and set the offense at the top of the key.
  • Capable ball handler that’s able to grab a rebound and start the break.
  • Demonstrates great body control when he penetrates to the basket.
  • Very fundamental passer - throws crisp passes.
  • Soft hands
  • Uses his incredible length to block shots, create deflections


  • Too reliant on his shot – Rather than settling from the outside, he needs to post up, or take the ball to the basket with more regularity.
  • Has to develop more consistency with his jump shot… A minor mechanical adjustment might be required, as his release point is slightly to the right side with too much of his left hand, creating sidespin.
  • Needs to improve his ability to shoot off the dribble… Being able to create off the bounce and knock down a jump shot will make Clark a much tougher player to defend.
  • At times he has a very nonchalant demeanor… He needs to show the killer instinct and play with greater intensity.
  • Inconsistency – Clark has stretches, even games, in which he’s not very involved offensively.
  • Lacks Physical Toughness - Despite having a very muscular build, Clark gets pushed around too much. He needs to get tougher and utilize his body more effectively.
  • Needs to learn to play to his strengths
  • Defensively he has a tendency to defend standing straight up and not get in stance… He needs to keep his feet moving and stay focused, if he’s going to defend the 3 at the next level. He has room to improve his foot speed as well.


Earl Clark is extremely talented and posses a wide array of skills. He has an NBA ready body, with unbelievable length and versatility. He’s a match-up terror for opposing teams with his ability to post up, step outside, or penetrate to the basket. He can rebound the ball and he has extremely long strides when he gets out in transition filling the break.

The major issue that I have with Clark is his desire to be the best. There are some players that have the killer instinct, and with Clark I’m just not sure that he does. Similar to Tim Thomas, there isn’t much Clark can’t do on the court, but if you don’t have the toughness and aspiration to be the best, you won’t come close to tapping into your potential (like Thomas). Clark’s so gifted and if he’s able to develop the desire to match his skill set, it can propel him to great things.

Clark also needs to work on not only improving his consistency from the outside, but not relying so much on his jump shot. As he continues to improve his footwork on the block and develop low post moves, I think we’ll see him posting up with more frequency.

Overall, Clark has the skill set of a lottery selection, but he doesn’t produce like one. This season, with higher expectations and a much larger role, Clark hasn’t stepped up and shown the ability to rise to the occasion. If he elects to enter the draft this year, which seems extremely likely, I’d be very hesitant to select Clark with a lottery pick…to me he’s a good pick between (#15 - #24)

1 comment:

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