Former Verdigris High School standout and Arkansas Razorback Rotnei Clark is shopping for a new school and new Oklahoma basketball coach Lon Kruger is shopping for new players. It just makes sense that the two should cross paths, right? After all, Clarke is named after an Oklahoma football player (Rotnei Anderson) and was close to signing with the Sooners out of high school. There's no question that Kruger can use a shooting guard. There isn't a guard currently on Oklahoma's roster who matched Clarke's 15.2 points per game and 44% from three-point range last season. The question remains though, would Oklahoma want him and the baggage he comes with?
Clarke is an offense first player and sometimes comes across as an offense only type of player. For his career he averages 2.4 rebounds per game and less than a steal per game while jacking up over 217 three-point shots per season. He's a clean player who only commits an average of one foul per game but averages 87% from the free throw line himself and will make it there multiple times throughout the game. Clarke would be an offensive asset in Kruger's system but is he going to want a defensive liability as a part of his rebuilding project?
The other aspect to landing Clarke would be the baggage that lands with him. He chose Arkansas over Oklahoma after having a falling out with Willie Warren who was an AAU teammate of Clarke's. He was so unhappy at Arkansas that even a coaching change couldn't satisfy him. According to rumors he receives a lot of advice from his circle of friends, a group of people who have no problems alienating others.
According to the Tulsa World's Dave Sittler Clarke is looking to land at a Big 12 school. You just have to think Oklahoma is in the mix. That is if Clarke is willing to come back to his roots and the Sooners are willing to take a kid with his reputation and only a year of edibility left after he sits out a year for the transfer rule. You could almost say Clarke needs Oklahoma just as much as Oklahoma needs a player like Clarke. Just don't expect it to be a match made in heaven.
Hat tip to OnlyOneOU who mentions Sittler's article in the FanShots