On December 29th, when Jason Clark stepped onto the floor for the first game of the Big East conference slate, he was shooting 45% from three and averaging a little under fourteen points per game. A month earlier, he had single-handedly outscored Missouri in a wild overtime game and had drilled at least three 3-pointers in 6 out of 12 non-conference games. Delusional blogs were quibbling over nicknames for the unstoppable, hot-shooting trio of Clark, Austin Freeman and Chris Wright. In the remaining 20 games, however, Clark had at least three 3-pointers only three times. During the conference schedule, he shot only 30% from deep and scored averaged 10.4 PPG after a number of uneven performances. When Freeman hit a prolonged slump and Wright went down with injury, Clark seemed powerless to right the ship. Aside from a nice 23 point game in the blowout Big East loss to UConn, Clark posted point totals of 10,7,11, and 5 in Wright's absence... and managed just 9 points in the VCU debacle that ended Georgetown's season.
Expectations and Projections after The Jump:
From the look back above, it's clear the memories of Clark's season aren't the fondest and many high expectations went unfulfilled. That said, an overall 107.4 offensive rating is fair, especially when he made a big step up in usage (16.0 %Poss to 20.5 %Poss), and though Hollis Thompson was the one to raise his game in the NCAA tournament, Clark might be the most likely to fulfill the go-to role this season. He had by far the highest usage player in China (aside from John Caprio, naturally) so, at least to start the year, we should see the senior put up a good chunk of the shots.
What you saw in the 2010-11 Big East conference is what you get. The senior doesn't find the consistency and, despite a few unpredictable outbursts, cannot be counted on to win games for the Hoyas. He shoots in the mid-30s from three and fans clamor for a youthful line-up change that bumps Clark from the starting 5.
The most seasoned Hoya plays like an elder statesmen. Under control throughout, he limits his turnovers and maintains his shooting form for a full season while taking on a larger role in the offense. Energized by youth movement, he commits himself to defense. His freakishly long arms combine with the likes of Jabril Trawick and Otto Porter to form a ferocious, turnover inducing trap defense. Scoring 15+ points a game, he leads the Hoyas to a winning record in the Big East and earns himself an all-conference nod.