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What’s going on with Terrence Clarke, Skyy Clark, Matt Haarms, Jacob Toppin?

Terrence Clarke (Brewster Academy Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Even COVID-19 cannot stop Kentucky basketball from making national headlines.

Just consider some of the story lines in the last 24 hours:

Perhaps the most important immediately was the worry that a reported $500,000 from the G-League might convince Terrence Clarke, UK’s highest rated recruit, to turn professional rather than joining John Calipari’s 2020-21 team.

Calipari even had to take to Twitter over the “craziness” he saw from UK fans on social media

Clarke was reportedly getting a large contract offer to play in the NBA G-League, which was led by former UK assistant Rod Strickland, who now works for the G-League in recruiting prospects like Clarke to join them.

Speaking of, head coach John Calipari weighed in on the G-league talks, Strickland, and his team next season:
“I’m feeling really good about my team. #BBN, let’s focus on this great group we have for next season,” Calipari tweeted.

But I think it took a follow-up message on Twitter from Clarke to ease the Big Blue panic.

“BBN, don’t worry, my loyalty never changed. I’m here to stay. Can’t wait to get on campus and get to work and chase #9 with my brothers!” Clark posted.

Not sure what to make of the report by Jon Rothstein of CBSSports that Rhode Island transfer Jacob Toppin — brother of National Player of the Year Obi Toppin of Dayton — has cut his list of new schools to UK, Oregon and Iowa State.

The 6-8 forward averaged 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game as a freshman at Rhode Island in 30 games. He was a lightly-recruited three-star player in the 2019 recruiting class with Rhode Island easily being his best offer.

Kentucky could definitely use front-court help next year but unless there is a hardship waiver granted or the NCAA suddenly allows transfers to play without sitting out a year — a move most think will now be in effect for the 2021-22 season — then Toppin will not be eligible at UK next season if he does pick the Cats.

Maybe Calipari is just looking for future depth but this is a potential transfer I would not understand.

Five-star sophomore guard Skyy Clark, a huge UK priority, is moving from California to attend Brentwood Academy in Tennessee. He averaged 25.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.5 assists per game last season while shooting almost 40 percent from 3-point range.

He has offers from Tennessee, Oregon, Gonzaga, Kansas, Florida State, UCLA, Auburn and others.

It would seem having him playing next year — or the next two years — in Tennessee would certainly make it easier for him to get on the UK campus more or for UK coaches to see him more.

With EJ Montgomery opting to leave UK for the NBA draft despite not being projected as a draft pick in any mock draft I’ve seen, there’s an obvious huge need for 7-3 Purdue transfer Matt Haarms.

He’s a proven rim protector and could help a young Kentucky team’s defense immediately from day one. From what I’ve been told, Kentucky feels really good about its position with Haarms and he could be a piece UK really needs unlike Toppin who might help one day but not next year like Haarms could.

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  1. I suppose UK will be O K with the inbound class staying committed, but I for one will be glad to see the rule changed for these super players to go directly to the NBA right out of HS, if they so choose. All these musical chairs at UK every year is sort of growing old with me now. I think a few others in BBN feel the same way. Also, I hate to be negative, but if this country don’t get back to work, and soon, we will have to deal with the prospect of not seeing any player or sport perform for the entire year of 2020, and this problem of keeping recruiting classes together will not matter so much.

  2. Damn it, LP…you are getting smarter every day! This sounds like a guy I could have a beer with and not throw it up. Where has this guy been? All kidding aside, almost every one of your posts have been spot on and I am looking forward to hearing more from you.
    Everyone wants to get back to work, but its too soon. You can’t work if you’re sick or the guy next to you is sick. You don’t want to bring that home to your family. Hold on until June 1. We need a good 28 day cool down from the peak. By then, hopefully testing will be available to anyone with quicker results, more PPE will be available and not the homemade stuff, and more hospitals will be better prepared to treat the downward curve patients. Identifying and isolating these later cases is crucial. Social distancing will still be needed, so schools and churches may have to continue their sabbaticals, but workplaces that can accomdate the spacing with some changes, could get started up again. As for sports, it may be 2 years before games are played in front of live crowds again. So much for concerts and conventions too. We could very well see schools and churches move to online venues.
    Seriously, hang in there and stay safe.

    1. Not so fast 33. Are you sucking up my man. lol? You been acting funny lately, you ok? I don’t know if I’m getting any smarter, just uglier. And remember my man, I was the one who exposed the Catmandoo1000, Mike BS you used to post on this site, remember? Come on 33, come clean. Them two just didn’t die during the 2019 holidays. They came back as nostalgic33 in 2020 didn’t they, to avoid the Pupster? He had em on the run.

      Listen, Trump rolled his plan out today for getting this country back in gear, and he did it in concert with the best scientist and doctors in the country backing it too. The left wing media in attendance at his briefing looked shell shocked, and down right disheartened to hear there was a plan to actually put America back to work sooner than later. Thank God for Donald Trump leading this nation now instead of a bunch of left wing lunatics now contained in one political party. Do I need to name them? I may get booted off this site, but it’s true.

      As for our Churches? I think they get back into the business of winning lost souls from inside their sanctuary’s, and not from on line pulpits and people sitting in their cars in parking lots. And that could happen sooner rather than later too. That could happen before the summer ends. I’m actually praying everyday that does happen.

      As for sports, I predict America will be back in business in the sports world, and packing stadiums long before the 2 year prediction you are suggesting. That said, we’ll see. You sound like Mark Cuban. I don’t worry to much about the NBA or NFL anyway, but many do.

      1. I have had to start deleting comments again, something I do not like. But not going to have the name calling, cheap shots we had once before. Comments on UK or stories here welcome. Personal insults are not welcome on this site and will be deleting/blocking more going forward just so everyone will know in advance if a comment disappears.

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