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Gary Clark Is Just The Man To Give Bearcats Offense A Boost

Offense has been a chronic problem for the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Mick Cronin era. For all the success his teams have had on defense there have been many games where the offense has evaporated for 5 or 10 minutes at a time. The consensus is that the Bearcats have a lot of gifted athletes and defenders, but not a lot of natural scorers.

That has always been the rub with Mick Cronin's teams, they get no easy baskets in general. This season Sean Kilpatrick has taken on an incredible workload, and has been tremendously efficient under that workload, but he is still just one man. And he is the only natural scorer the Bearcats have.

Next season the Bearcats will be bringing in a tremendously gifted scorer in Gary Clark from Clayton, North Carolina. Clark flew under the radar for most of the recruiting process because he wasn't on a high profile AAU team until last summer when he joined the CP3 All Stars and saw his profile rise, with good reason.

It only takes a couple of seconds to see the athleticism of Gary Clark. He is 6'7" can run and jump with the best of them. But the Bearcats have had no shortage of similarly proportioned guys come through the program. Some have worked out, some have not.

What's different about Clark is that he is just a natural scorer. With his high school team he averaged 26 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks per game, and he does most of his damage from 15 feet and in. He can step out to the perimiter and make shots or create off the dribble, but he knows who he is and where he has to work.

Most of his highlights show him in command with the ball in his hands creating off the bounce. Its good that he can do that, but he won't come onto next years UC team doing the same stuff. Troy Caupain will be next years point guard, and he will have the ball the majority of the time, so Clark will have to learn how to be effective playing without the basketball.

There is little doubt that he will be able to make that transition. Everything I have read and heard about Clark is that he has an advanced understanding of the game born of being the primary offensive threat for his high school team. Double and triple teams were the norm for Clark this season and he still managed to post monstrous numbers on the regular.

He had a quadruple double in January, 34 and 14 in mid December, and a ridiculous 47-14-4 line in late February. Gary Clark will be just a Freshman next year, but he is the kind of player that the Bearcats need to have if Mick Cronin is serious about winning a national title here. As long as Mick is here the defense will be too, but at some point you have to score the basketball. Mr. Clark has no problem with that.