A quadruple double?
Future Bearcat Gary Clark, a senior at Clayton High School near Raleigh, North Carolina, had one on Friday night as he finished with 22 points, 21 rebounds, 15 blocked shots, and 10 assists in his team's 67-46 win.
"Gary Clark is dominating," UC head coach Mick Cronin told me. "From what everybody tells us, he's probably on track to win Player of the Year in North Carolina - and there are some McDonald's All-Americans in North Carolina."
Clark is from the heart of ACC country, and while he reportedly had offers from NC State, Wake Forest, Clemson, Miami, Maryland, and Pittsburgh, he verbally committed to Cincinnati after visiting campus in September. The 6'7", 215 pound forward officially committed to UC in the early signing period in November.
"I really loved the guys - they were just awesome,"
said Clark. "And Coach Cronin is a great
guy. The whole coaching staff was really
hands on with me and talked with me every day.
I talked to Coach Davis probably as much as I talked with my mom - I love
UC associate head coach Larry Davis worked in the ACC for several years at Wake Forest where he famously signed a lightly-recruited prospect that developed into a two-time NBA MVP - Tim Duncan.
"Larry Davis did an unbelievable job identifying Gary early," said Coach Cronin. "We put a lot of belief in him early that he was going to be a great player. Every now and then you can sneak one in on the recruiting guys where they don't have him ranked nearly as high as he should be for whatever reason - he developed late...he hasn't been as exposed as other people...whatever the case may be.
"Gary got recruited - NC State is 45 minutes up the road and tried to get him and Pitt was waiting at the airport when he got home from his visit here. So it's not like he wasn't recruited. But Larry Davis did the best job. He got in there first and did a great job of developing his relationship with Gary."
"Gary's been a relationship guy from the beginning," said Clayton High coach Denny Medlin. "I thought that Cincinnati did a good job. They've been here for a couple of years now watching him play and they didn't feed him a bunch of lines. In the beginning, Coach Davis came down and said, 'Hey, you've got to play harder.' It kind of made Gary mad to begin with, but at the same time I think Gary has always appreciated honesty. Gary got better and that helped me out because Gary started playing harder. And the harder he played, the better he got. Now he keeps playing harder and harder all of the time, and keeps getting better and better all of the time."
For the season, Clark is averaging 24.5 points and he recently had a game in which he scored 31 in less than a half in a blowout victory. The 15 blocks on Friday night tied a career high, while his personal best for rebounds is 24.
"He's a guy that was vastly underrated for different reasons and probably learned to play a little harder the older he's got," said Coach Cronin. "Some guys develop later than others."
"He'll be a four-year guy there and by his junior year in college, he's going to be really, really good I think," said Coach Medlin.
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