First it was Damion James. Then it was Scotty Reynolds. Now the Oklahoma Sooners have landed a third top prospect out of the class of 2006 with the commitment of Keith Clark. On Tuesday night the 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward from Putnam City in Oklahoma City, Okla., told Coach Sampson he was staying close to home to play his college basketball.
Playing in Coach Kelvin Sampson's system of physical, defensive minded play should help develop Clark's game a great deal. Clark has struggled somewhat with his game this spring. At the Real Deal on the Hill, Clark appeared to want to hover out on the perimeter where his skills are not refined enough to utilize his size and athleticism. When he did get around the basket, he looked uncomfortable with the ball in scoring situations.
Clark's AAU coach Gary Vick of Athletes First agrees that Clark needs to develop a power game involving skill before trying to be a perimeter face up player.
"I think he is a power forward in college," said Coach Vick. "On his high school team, he plays primarily on the perimeter. When he gets with us, he likes to stay outside and shoot threes. He can make threes, but his game is not best suited for that.
"Oklahoma will either bring out the best in him or he will leave. I think he is a true warrior, and Coach Sampson loves those type of guys. I'm certain Keith will adapt and be a hell of a player there."
Clark's high school coach A.D. Burtschi is also convinced that the higher level of competition will bring out the best in Clark.
"Keith will be a very talented player at the next level," said Putnam City head coach A.D. Burtschi. "The competition will make him a better player, and the practices will force him to work harder."
Keith Clark scouting report
Athletic and already possessing strength, Clark can control the boards on both ends. He can also score from both inside and outside although his scoring game is not very polished. Passing and handling skills do need to improve along with the consistency of his effort on the court.