football

Oklahoma junior taking game to new level

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Anybody who has seen Stevie Clark play knows that he can score. Actually they know he can score in bunches, but he's taken things to the next level.
The Oklahoma City (Okla.) Douglass junior point guard has been putting up video game numbers lately.
On Friday night he went for 65 - 52 in the second half. The 5-foot-10 point guard backed it up by going for 51 points, 14 assists and eight steals on Tuesday night in just three quarters.
Because of that scoring ability, Clark played off the ball his first couple years of high school. It's also led to times this year where his high school coach, Terry Long, has had to urge him to shoot the ball more.
"I think he's self-conscious about it," Long told Rivals.com. "The last few years that's kind of been the knock on him, that he's just a shooter. But that's what we needed him to do because our team had so many guys.
"I've told people all along that he can play the point and now he's showing people that he's capable of it."
Currently a three-star prospect who sits outside the 2013 Rivals150, Clark has made a strong case for inclusion. Not surprisingly, he's also getting a lot of attention locally and nationally.
Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, Florida State, Marquette, San Francisco and Oklahoma, among others, have offered. Arkansas, UConn and Memphis have also been involved.
"I think he's deserving of it," Long said. "He puts in the time. He's in the gym all the time putting up shots and working on his game. He's in the gym until the lights are cut off. It's not happening because he's Stevie, it's happening because he's working."
According to Long, there are times he'd love to unleash Clark a little more. But, he's also careful not to ask too much of his point guard, cutting down on the wear Clark is subjected to each game with defenses gearing to stop him.
"It makes my job really easy and makes me look like a good coach," Long said of Clark who is averaging nearly 38 points, 12 assists and six steasl per game. "I've been blessed to have pretty good teams throughout my coaching career. This team doesn't have the experience but I knew I had Stevie and he just makes it easier for his teammates."
A state champion in each of his first two years of high school, Clark has told his coach that he's going to win another two.
"He's a competitor," Long said. "We did some stuff over the break that he couldn't do and he stayed in the gym and worked on it. He's going to keep on working on anything he has trouble with until he masters it."
Long can see the benefits of Clark making an early decision. But, he doesn't put any pressure on him and points out that his star's family will have the ultimate influence on that decision and there is no rush to decide.
"He acts like he wants to take his time," Long said. "Now the thing is, he needs to visit the places that are recruiting him. But now it's tough because we are playing every Friday and Saturday night."
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