Kentucky freshman guard Terrence Clarke announced on Twitter on Friday that he was declaring for the 2021 NBA draft:
Clarke averaged 9.6 points on 42.1 percent shooting (21.7 percent from three-point range), 2.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists in eight games this season.
He suffered an ankle injury during practice before a Dec. 12 matchup against Notre Dame but played through the injury for three games.
But he then missed the next two-and-a-half months before returning to play 10 minutes in UK's 74-73 loss to Mississippi State in the second round of the SEC tournament.
Clarke's best game was a 79-62 loss to Georgia Tech in which he dropped 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting with three assists and three rebounds.
The former 5-star prospect was listed as the eighth-best men's high school basketball player and second-best shooting guard in the 2021 class, per 247Sports' composite ratings. Brian Snow of 247Sports provided this scouting report and compared Clarke to the Golden State Warriors' Andrew Wiggins:
"Clarke should have an immediate impact on college basketball. He is around 6-foot-7 and has long arms, plus athleticism, and is nearly impossible to keep out of the lane. His jump shot is one you have to respect, but it needs refinement. Still, he can get to the rim and is a tremendous passer. Also, he is a very willing rebounder, and someone who defensively has the opportunity to be elite. If he figures out how to bring it every single game, that is when things will take off even higher, and potentially turn himself into a front line player on a good NBA team."
Clarke didn't get much of a chance to showcase his talents. In addition to his absence, the young Wildcats struggled during the coronavirus pandemic-impacted season and finished 9-16.
That lack of playing time could hurt Clarke's draft prospects, and the fact that he struggled shooting the ball could as well. The potential he showed as a prep, however, could lead to his name getting called.
Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report had Clarke being selected 53rd by the Sacramento Kings in his latest full mock draft, published Feb. 2.
"Out since late December with an ankle injury, Clarke is running low on time to make an impression after a rocky start," Wasserman wrote. "It's still worth finding out if his shooting is better than his [21.7] three-point percentage suggests given his ability to handle, slash and use the floater at 6'7".
The latest mock draft on NBADraft.net had Clarke going 45th to the Boston Celtics.