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Why Coty Clarke is Arkansas' Best All-Around Player

The senior forward went from underrecruited to a key piece of an NCAA Tournament bubble team.

Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

This is an excerpt from a column I recently wrote for The Arkansas Traveler. If you'd like, you can read it in it's entirety here.

In his first season with Mike Anderson, Clarke was a complement to All-Southeastern Conference selection Marshawn Powell, and played well. But this year, his role has increased. He is now the senior leader on a bubble NCAA Tournament team.

But when looking at Clarke and his game, he won’t "wow" a lot of fans or coaches. His game is very fundamental and his game is played above the shoulders. Coty has intangibles you simply can’t teach.

But when he does "wow" you it’s when he shows off his high basketball IQ and court savvy. It’s because he made the right pass, the right basketball play. Clarke understands the game well. And you don’t have to watch him play long to understand it.

If you break down Clarke’s game, you’ll realize he does a little bit of everything very well. He has the rare ability to handle the basketball effectively for a player his size. His versatility is a nightmare for opposing coaches.

He’s a problem for teams after he pulls down one of his six rebounds per game, because he’s not necessarily looking for a guard to outlet to start the break. Clarke can initiate Arkansas’ transition game on his own, and easily throw one of his three assists per game.

Or he could use his above average jumper to hurt teams. He shoots 46 percent from the floor, 43 percent from deep.

Clarke is a tweener, a player who, because of his versatility, can play anywhere on offense from the wing to the power forward, but match up with a big man on defense. Clarke knows this, and he plays to that strength. It’s all what makes him the best all-around player on Arkansas’ team.

Yes, I believe Coty Clarke is the most well-rounded player in a Razorback uniform this season.

Again, you can read the column in its entirety here, or you can visit the Traveler website and check out more of my work.