The Gonzaga Bulldogs had a successful 2018-2019 season. In the regular season, they finished undefeated in West Coast Conference (WCC) play, made it to the final round in their Conference Tournament, and reached the Elite Eight. A big part of their success was Brandon Clarke. Clarke quickly established himself as a dominant force in the NCAA. After the season, Clarke chose to forego his final year and declared for the NBA Draft. Where will Clarke land? How will his game translate into the NBA? Let’s take a look at Clarke’s draft profile.
Brandon Clarke: NBA Draft Profile
College Career (2015-2019)
Clarke began his collegiate basketball career at San Jose State University. In his Freshman year, Clarke finished with 8.8 points per game. His game improved in his sophomore season after being inserted into the starting lineup. As a Sophomore at San Jose, Clarke finished with 17.3 points per game, 8.7 rebounds per game, and shot 59.2 percent from the floor. Despite a successful 2016-2017 campaign, Clarke decided to transfer to Gonzaga and redshirted the following year.
During his stint with Gonzaga, Clarke established himself as one of the top players in the nation. He finished with 16.9 points per game. Clarke led his team in rebounding with 8.6 per game and led the nation in field goal percentage with 68.7 percent. Clarke earned many honors at Gonzaga. He was selected to the All-WCC First Team, won both WCC Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, and was a finalist for the Wooden Award.
Clarke was one of the best defenders in the NCAA. He played with a high motor on defense. His size and quickness were instrumental in him guarding opposing forwards and centers. He averaged 3.2 blocks per game, which ranked third in the nation. Also, Clark is great at finishing around the rim. He was able to score at will inside the paint, which speaks to his high field goal percentage.
Clarke’s offensive game is incomplete. He tends to struggle shooting mid to long-range shots. He did not take many threes in college. He’s a power forward with a center’s skill set. Also, Clarke’s size is a problem. Clarke is only 6’8 215 pounds, which is too small for a power forward. He will more than likely switch to the small forward position in the NBA. Clarke must work on his game offensively.
NBA Player Comparison
Clarke compares to Minnesota Timberwolves‘ forward Robert Covington. Covington is one of the elite defenders in the NBA. Covington’s collegiate stats are similar to Clarke. Similarly, in his last year at Tennessee State, he finished with 17 points per game and 8 rebounds per game. Clarke has the tools to be an elite wing defender like Covington.
NBA Draft Projection
Clarke’s defensive skills will make him at least a late lottery pick. Questions on offense could knock him out of the lottery. Clarke will most likely be selected in the 12-18 range. However, the Atlanta Hawks currently hold the tenth pick. They are in need of defense. They were ranked last in the NBA.
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