Former Evans High School basketball standout Matt Clark is in his second season at The Citadel. The forward worked hard this off-season to add 10 to 15 pounds of muscle to his frame in hopes of preparing him for the long collegiate season.
Last season, as a true freshman, Clark surprised many by starting 12 contests for the Bulldogs and appearing in all 30 games. However, the slender forward's performance tapered off a bit late in the season.
So far this season, Clark's toughest challenge has been getting playing time for a much-improved team. The Citadel is off to a 5-3 start, and while Clark's time has dipped slightly, he has played in all eight games.
Clark has provided the Bulldogs with an excellent long-range shooter off the bench. Of his 16 shot attempts this season, all but three are from beyond the arc.
Last season, Clark averaged a respectable five points a game while shooting 37 percent from 3-point land and 78 percent from the free-throw line.
So far this season, Clark is averaging 2.6 points and 1.4 rebounds a game. He has made five of his 13 3-point tries, but is off to a slow start at the charity stripe, making just one of five attempts.
The return of Demetric Nelson and the emergence of Tyrell McDowell have taken some of the minutes from Clark. Nelson, a senior, missed all but seven games a year ago with a knee injury. McDowell, like Clark, is part of a large and talented group of sophomores who seem to really be pushing one another to improve.
The Citadel has some key matchups coming this month. On Dec. 17, the Bulldogs travel to East Lansing to square off with No. 13 Michigan State. On Dec. 20, they will be in Columbia to face South Carolina.
For fans attempting to catch Clark and the Bulldogs this season, they play in Spartanburg, S.C., at Wofford on Jan. 17. Then, on March 2 in Statesboro, Ga., they battle Georgia Southern.
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