6-foot-9 senior guard Earl Clark from Rahway HS in New Jersey was back in action last week at the New York City Hoops Festival at Baruch College after being sidelined with a back injury in July. His Playaz Basketball Club squad was eliminated in the semis, so Clark joined teammates Wayne Ellington and Gerald Henderson in Philly to cheer on the Playaz 16s in the Future Stars Tournament. Rivals.com caught up with him there.
"I'm feeling a lot better," Clark said on Saturday. "I can run and jump now, but I still have some trouble moving latterally."
Clark has narrowed his list to just Villanova and Louisville, and after calling Villanova his leader for months, Rick Pitino and the Cardinals have made it a dead heat of late.
"They're both even right now," Clark explainied. "I've been talking to coach Pitino more and hearing what he had to say about me and how they'd use me at Louisville."
What's left for Clark to do is see the Louisville campus, and he'll do that in September when he takes an official visit on the 15th. He's already seen the campus at Villanova and is very familiar with the Wildcats' coaching staff. Look for him to make a decision soon after his return from Louisville, but make no mistake about it, this is a close race.
"Villanova is still very strong," Clark said. "I have a good relationship with coach Wright and I like their style of play and the environment there. I want to go to a school where I can play right away, and play for a coach who's going to push me to be the best I can be."
Clark still needs to obtain a qualifying score on the SAT to be elligible in 2006. There was some speculation that he'd attend a prep school this year, but he said that he's definitely heading back to Rahway for his senior year.
Clark is ranked #15 in the post-summer Class of 2006 ratings. He has guard skills at 6-foot-9 and is a superb athlete. While his jumpshot has improved in the past year, it is still his biggest weakness.
He will play with the Playaz Basketball Club in a few events on the east coast next month.