Two seasons ago, former Evans High School basketball standout Matt Clark stepped in as a true freshman at The Citadel and earned a spot in the starting lineup.
The 6-foot-8 forward had a solid freshman campaign, averaging 5 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest. He also made a name for himself as a long-range shooting threat by hitting 38 percent of his 3-point attempts. His 59 percent field goal percentage led the team as well.
Despite the potential he flashed as a freshman, Clark played sparingly as a sophomore. He played in 26 games, but had no starts and averaged only 6.6 minutes per contest.
This season seemed to be headed in the same direction as his 2008-09 campaign, but late in November all that changed. Clark played a season-high 27 minutes in The Citadel's 67-53 win over Central Connecticut State on Nov. 29. He scored five points, grabbed six boards and dished out a pair of assists in the victory. He followed that with two points, two assists, and a season high seven boards four days later in a 74-63 loss to Davidson.
Clark was rewarded for his good play by being installed in the Bulldogs' starting lineup. His first start of the season came on Dec. 5 in a 68-43 blowout victory over Georgia Southern. He grabbed four boards, but did not score in the win.
He has stayed in the starting five since then. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs have lost their past three games.
However, they have faced some of the top programs in the country. A loss to Michigan State, Texas A&M and Houston is nothing for a Southern Conference team to hang its head about.
While Clark has started each of the past four games, he has had little time to provide much production. He has averaged just 13.3 minutes per game in the trio of losses, and has missed all five of his field goal attempts in that stretch. He has managed to average a steal and rebound in the three ball games.
For the season, Clark is averaging 1.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game for the 6-7 Bulldogs. The Citadel is back in action Saturday at Savannah State. Clark and his Bulldog teammates play Georgia Southern in Statesboro on Jan. 28.
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