Monday, July 15, 2013

Keydren Clark Getting Summer Look From T'Wolves

Finally, it appears, Keydren "KeeKee" Clark, the former standout at Saint Peter's, has a legitimate chance to showcase his talent in an attempt to get into the NBA.

Clark is currently playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves' team in the NBA's Summer League that is currently ongoing in Las Vegas.

So far Clark has played one game, against a team of D-League all stars, and shared scoring honors for the Nuggets (along with former Purdue star Robbie Hummel) with 12 points. Clark went 5-for-10 from the field and had three assists over 23 minutes of playing time.

Getting to this point has been a long and winding road for one of the MAAC's all-time great players. Since his 2006 graduation from Saint Peter's, Clark has played the last six seasons overseas in Greece and Italy. Over that time he has averaged 14.7 points per game.

Clark had a spectacular four-year career at Saint Peter's, where he twice led all Division I players in scoring (2003-04, 2004-05) and, then, finished third in scoring (behind J.J. Redick and Adam Morrison) as a senior in 2005-06.

Clark was a do-everything guard for the Peacocks, generously listed as 5-foot-8 back then. Somehow, now, his height is listed as 5-11 on the T'wolves' site.

But, at any height he was one of college basketball's most prodigious scorers.

His 3,058 career points makes him No. 6 all time in Division I history and he is just one of seven players to eclipse the 3,000-point barrier. The others are Pete Maravich, Freeman Williams, Lionel Simmons (the MAAC's all-time leading scorer), Alfonso Ford, Henry Kelly and Hersey Hawkins.

Clark also ranks No. 1 all time on the Division I list in three-pointers attempted (1,192) and No. 3 in made treys (435).

He is one of the sport's all-time unexpected success stories, having averaged about 10 points per game as a high school junior for a talented Rice High School team.

Your Hoopscribe remembers questioning the then-Siena College coaching staff (Rob Lanier was the head coach) about recruiting Clark and the response was, that at 5-foot-8 (or so) he was probably too short to be a shooting guard in college and wasn't a good enough ball handler to be a point guard.

Clark had a better senior season, but still was lightly recruited before landing at Saint Peter's. There, he had an immediate impact

Clark scored 17 and 14 points, respectively, in his first two games for the Peacocks and, then, exploded for games of 48 (vs. Northern Arizona), 44 (vs. St. Francis of N.Y.) and 34 (vs. Siena). After those outbursts he was averaging 31.4 points per game for the first five games of his college career.

Clark wound up averaging 24.9 points as a freshman, sixth best nationally. He then led the nation in scoring (26.7 and 25.8 ppg.) as a sophomore and a junior before finishing third (26.3) as a senior.

He is the only MAAC player to lead the country in scoring twice, and only two other players from the conference (Army's Kevin Houston in 1986-87, and Niagara's Alvin Young in 1998-99) ever led all Division I scorers for a single season.

Clark isn't the only former MAAC player participating in the NBA's summer league.

Siena's recently graduated 6-8 forward O.D. Anosike, who led the nation in rebounding in each of the past two seasons, is playing with the Denver Nuggets' entry in summer play. Anosike has played one game thus far, and had just two points and one rebound in 13 minutes of playing time.

Two other MAAC players had been in pre-summer league workouts with NBA teams -- former Siena standout Ryan Rossiter with the Timberwolves, and former Iona standout Momo Jones with the Boston Celtics -- but neither made the summer league rosters of those two organizations.

There was a report that Jones was subsequently brought in to the Portland TrailBlaizers' camp, but it does not appear he was added to that team's summer roster either.

No comments: