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Rotnei Clarke’s Dad Speaks on the UK Visit


I was able to speak tonight with Conley Clarke, the father of Rotnei Clarke, and the Director of Basketball Operations at Oral Roberts University. He spoke about what he has heard from his son today on his visit to UK and the news is more than promising:

Question: Have you talked with your son since he arrived in Lexington? How is he enjoying the visit?

Yeah I guess you could say we have spoken about it. He has called me about 20 times. You can just hear the excitement in his voice every time. He keeps saying, “Dad you arent going to believe this” and “Dad, you arent going to believe that.” It is just really neat to hear him talk like that about a visit.

What has he been doing in Lexington?

There is a camp going on down there and he is just having a great time. Everyone keeps asking him for a picture or for an autograph. HE said he has signed like 50 autographs, which is just blowing his mind. He also said that today the people were chanting, “Come to Kentucky” and he couldnt believe it.

Has he mentioned anything about the school?

He cant get over how nice the facilities are. He has been around to a few schools and he said the practice facility is the best thing he has ever seen. He also likes the campus as well.

We have heard a lot about Wilie Warren and his relationship with Rotnei. Willie said he wanted to play with him. Does Rotnei feel the same way?

You know at first Rotnei wasnt real sure because he didnt know about playing with a lot of different people. But then he went to the NBA camp and he had a lot of guys there who wouldnt pass him the ball or get him involved. But Willie is the one that does and he always takes care of Rotnei and vice versa. So now he thinks it is a lot more important to try and go to the same school if they can.

What is the time frame for Rotnei and making a decision?

Well you know if it wasnt for his mother and dad, the way he sounds it would maybe have already happened this weekend. But we want to talk to him some more and talk with Coach Gillispie about how he sees Rotnei fitting in with the team. Rotnei wants to go to a place where he has a chance to play as a Freshman and we want to see what Coach Gillispie’s plans are. You know originally, we wanted to wait until March and see the teams play. But then we watched what happened with Jai Lucas and all the waiting so we moved it up a bit. Now, I dont know. It could be August or it could be sooner. But it will likely be before the season. We know though you cant wait forever. Rotnei doesnt want to wait too long and then be somewhere else watching Kentucky win championships on television.

Does the DeAndre Liggins commitment have any effect?

No, it doesnt. When we heard about the commitment, I called the coaches just to make sure they still wanted Rotnei and they said yes. We have learned a little about DeAndre’s game and they dont really play at all similarly, so they can play together well. DeAndre is a penetrator and Rotnei likes to shoot and pull up from anywhere inside 40 feet. Rotnei talked to Willie (Warren) too and it doesn’t have an effect on him either. Willie is confident enough, he thinks he can play with anyone in the world (laughs).

What are the other schools at this point?

Well Rotnei has visited Nebraska, Arkansas and Oklahoma. He also would like to see places like Gonzaga and Kansas. I actually just spoke to Coach Self recently. So there are other places. But it is obvious that Rotnei loves Kentucky right now.

We are scheduled to have Rotnei Clarke come on and talk about the UK visit on The Sports Mob at 5:30 on Monday. Be sure and check it out.

Article written by Matt Jones

88 responses to “Rotnei Clarke’s Dad Speaks on the UK Visit”

  1. Ganjaman

    First again, damn I’m on a roll

  2. lexslamman


    You’re certainly on something.

  3. frito-bandito

    Summer time and the livin’s easy.

  4. Ganjaman

    You think?

  5. JSexton

    3 is this recruit 3?

  6. JSexton

    I think CBC need to make a phone call.

  7. Chris

    well, doesnt sound like anything will happen tomorrow or monday to me…

  8. Dr. Rick Stonecipher


  9. Anonymous

    i just want him so that we can get warren

  10. And that's not all MC's have the gall to pray and pray for my downfall

    Come on dad, let Rotnei commit if he wants, just kidding.

    But judging from the interview, I think Clarke may very well be a Wildcat when Matt speaks to him on Monday. Dad made a great point, as much as we all want Rotnei, if he waits too long he may miss out on his chance to play for the school he wants to be at the most.

    What an exciting Saturday night in Jume for Kentucky basketball. Possible 2010 commitment, and what sounds like positive information coming from Camp Clarke, which very well could lead to Willie Warren. I’m sorry if I’m just a little bit excited for the future.

  11. lexslamman

    I think Clarke’s shooting prowess is something that we’ve been lacking for a while – Legion + Clarke will make opponents respect our perimeter abilities.

  12. lexslamman

    Honestly, who would want to zone a lineup with Legion and Clarke out there?

  13. Mike

    Matt, on your show you or the mob ask him about, the playing time
    here. Is it a big thing, or just being a cat the big thing.

  14. Mike G

    have to get warren just on attitude alone. guy will be and is a killer ala keith bogans.

  15. And that's not all MC's have the gall to pray and pray for my downfall

    I’m with you. There is nothing like a truly great shooter. Those types make the game easier for everyone.

  16. Rob's hairgel

    Great job Matt Jones!!! Your dedication for uncovering news concerning Kentucky is unparrelled.Go drink a beer somewhere snd relax for awhile.Thanks again for the work you and the other members of your posse’ put in!!

  17. lexslamman

    I’m going to go get drunk with my few remaining friends now. Keep up the good work, and page me if there is a commitment.

  18. UK Fanatic

    Ganjaman, you should really try and get a girlfriend. Sounds like you really need something to get your life moving.

  19. Mike

    will my girlfriend is not hot, but she looks good. Im happy.

  20. Mike

    And she loves this stuff.

  21. LizzieB

    Is anyone else watching this Billy G documentary right now? I appreciate the effort but UK put together a pretty crappy piece. Its kind of like watching an hour long WKYT news clip of an interview about an event in Shelby county.

  22. BigBlueThunderCats

    I dont know what in the hell is going on around here, but I sure do like it. This is just crazy, I have never seen players want to play for us like this before. I dont know how in the world CBC is going to deal with the scholarships or the playing time with these kids nor do I care, but CBC is the man and I hope he sticks around here for a good long while, maybe we can name a new arena after him someday.

  23. Ganjaman

    18. Already have one, bud. Why is everyone being a d*** right now? Just cause I posted ‘first’?

  24. JB

    Sounds promising …
    we will be so sg/sf heavy after this year.
    We could end up with this:
    Meeks, Legion, Liggins, Warren, Clarke (plus Jasper & Porter)

    Hopefully we can get a big man when it’s all said and done (hopefully Zeller) to go with Patterson

  25. Mike

    All girls love matt work. But us guys Post.

  26. Ashcampboy

    it seems that is just how some are…. woman is the desolation of the righteous and can kill nerves.. they aren’t always the cure for unhappiness, and yes even that too..ganjaman, u have ganja so you should be happy.

  27. Anonymous

    finally some good press 🙂

  28. UK Fanatic

    Ganjaman Don’t be so upset you are not the first person on here that get’s off by posting first. I do get a kick out of people that get so excited so easy. Good luck with finding some real excitement though!

  29. truBLU

    Man all this positive news is just what the doctor ordered for my birthday! Keep up the good work Matt and lets hear a couple commitments tomorrow!

  30. CharlotteCat

    Clark pushes Porter out door if we recruited and signed 1 more big guy maybe we could chase off Carter too…..

  31. truBLU

    ClarkE=the guy who is pictured above.

    Clark=the 07 big who we are recruiting.


    I am pleased at what I see. Continue to persevere.

  33. another thing

    In all seriousness, Matt or Marc or someone needs to break down the scholarship situation for us, because it will be a major issue for the remainder of the 08 recruiting cycle. The way I see it, right now we have one extra scholarship for the 07 class (the one Coury sat on last year, and presumably will again if no one commits for this fall). Then we lose 2 seniors after this season (RB and JC). This gives us a total of 3 available scholarships for the 2008 class, assuming no one else commits for 07. FWIW, I am strongly against any additional 07 commits, barring reclassification by an 08 stud, if for no other reason than to balance out the scholarship situation. Currently we have 4 incoming freshmen, 6 rising sophs counting Carter, 0 juniors, and 2 seniors. It’s not healthy to have 11 of 13 scholarships lumped in 2 of 4 classes.

    Here’s how I see it: 1 of 3 scholarships is already taken by Liggins. Whether it’s a stud like Zeller or some horrible stiff from abroad, we absolutely MUST have a big man in that class, so there goes the 2nd scholarship. This leaves only 1 spot for Clarke (who appears ready to commit), Miller (who Gillispie says is the most important player in this class), and Warren (the most talented player of the bunch). It looks like 2 guys will soon be on the outside looking in. Where are the additional spots going to come from? I’ve heard theories about transfers and academic scholarships, but nothing concrete. Since this is the web, I’ll venture one guess – if I’m Michael Porter, I see BCG recruiting over me left and right. This year he’s behind RB, JC, JM, AL, and a recovering DJ, with Liggins and another top guard to come in 08. Perhaps it’s time to see if he still has Pete Carroll’s number on his cell phone.

  34. Mike

    UK fanatic, get a life. We all love Kentucky sports. It is matt

  35. Seymour

    There will be 4 or 5 schollies for 2008. Don’t get your panties in a twit.

  36. Anonymous

    Twits suck!

  37. RexEffect

    33, i’m thinking the same thing…….we need to nail a big man, and one of these guards
    is going to be left off the bus, unless we have some academic schollies…

    liggins, clarke (BMOC WITH HIS SHOOTING), Warren, Miller, Zeller…
    thats 5 guys, 3 schollies, we need to pull a rabbit out of the hat here..

    Miller needs to commit quickly, I DONT want him left behind…the offer is on the table Darius,

  38. Patrick

    I AM EXCITED!!!!!

  39. Austin

    Ok i see it like this as the best thing to happen say we have 3 schollys as of right now we need Leonard Washington have you guys seen him play he is SKILLED if he commits thats 2 schollys for next year we are wanting 5 with 1 already commited which gives us 1 more scholly for 4 players best situation is Carter goes on academics(2 schollys) so we need 2 more available not that big of a deal Gillispie needs to make sacrafices nd he is the type to do it get rid of Porter nd Mike Williams cuz they are both sitting on schollys nd wont do anything for them if that happens im not saying it will nd if all these guys commit like we want them to say hello to the best class anyone has seen Rotnei Clarke, Willie Warren, DeAndre Liggins, Darius Miller, and Tyler Zeller not to mention Leonard Washington for 07′ but how BCG is going to split the playing time I dont know but having that deep of a lineup sounds great dont it

  40. TCP_Blows

    That sounds pretty favorable. I like our chances considering how well Rotnei seemed to enjoy his visit here. It’s almost like his dad is conceding that things will likely move much faster than previously planned now. Hehe.

  41. bcgobsession


    I love having to debate which 5-star players would work best on the team!!! I love BCG!! I’m guessing that BCG gets what he wants– he’ll figure out a way to get all these guys on campus, IF THEY WANT TO BE. (ARE YOU HEARING ME, DARIUS MILLER???) Keeping egos in check may not be easy, but BCG’s players know that if they want playing time, then they have to prove themselves, otherwise, hello bench! Plus, this means that players know that if they perform well in practice & work hard, they have the possibility of seeing mucho playing time, regardless of “senior”-ity.
    Further, it is possible to have a highly talented bench that can constantly be rotated, assuring us that key players will be fresh and not tired from playing the entire *fast-paced* game. Thus, wearing other teams (with no bench) down; often the key to winning games. When the players are tired, shots don’t fall. Think 1996 teams~ (really it was one team, but we had enough great players to make 2 NCAA championship calibur teams!!!)

  42. Ganjaman

    28. Seriously, f*ck you. I don’t get off by posting first, dipsh*t. If I want to say ‘first’ then I will. But thanks for spotting what I post =) I’m definitely looking forward to making your girlfriend squeal (“real excitement” as you put it), assuming you’re not some lame college kid without a girl, who gets off by putting others down.

  43. Austin

    I am praying i wake up with three commiths Miller, Clarke, and Washington i can only go to sleep to find out tomorrow good night everybody

  44. Austin

    Sorry i meant to say KC Ross Miller not the other one that is taking his sweet f*cking time

  45. bcgobsession

    45) LOL I’m getting a little irritated with D Miller not committing yet either. I really am trying to be patient, b/c he is a Kentucky guy & I know this probably isn’t an easy decision to make when you have people like Coach K calling, but seriously. Seriously? How has he not let the Cat out of the bag, so to speak?

  46. inside info

    Bradly and Crawford is 2 and MORRIS makes 3 thats all I was thinking about but if Coury was one that would make 4.Liggins Zellar Clarke and Warren would be the best we can get.It also would be one of the top 3 classes in the country.

  47. UK Fanatic

    Ganjaman Sorry I am straight but Mike seems to be interested in you. I hope you do get a life real soon so you can get your jollies some other way.

  48. bcgobsession

    BCG is spoiling us!!!!

  49. bcgobsession

    Sounds like we all need the gonga so that we can all be mellow and chill…. How about NOT fighting on the blog~ its ruining my buzzzzz.

  50. Ganjaman

    Mike are you really interested? You and me can hang out. You are the only real friend I have.

  51. Mike

    Of course I am interested.

  52. bcgobsession

    Everyone should check out MM’s Kentucky Ink page~ he had a phone interview with KC Ross Miller. Looking very positive for him to be a Cat in 2009. Informative about he & GJ playing the PG position, they play together in Texas. He says they are very complementary of one another. Its the first article you’ll see when you log in to KY INK.

  53. dudewheresmygillispie

    Hey to everyone on the message board here, let’s realize that all of these recruits need to put on uniforms and play ball. Marvin Stone was a “big time” recruit and he turned out average. There are plenty of hits and misses but the most important thing is to let BCG have time to turn this ship around and not let expectations get out of hand. We will be better next year for sure and very very good in 2008. If Patterson is smart he will stay for 3 years when UK is in position to win another championship. I just feel like fans are expecting the world when they say we need this and that when we have no idea what is going on day to day. There will be attrition after the first few practices. Remember, none of these players have practiced with BCG. My understanding is OTS practices were 10 gazillion times easier than BCG’s practices. So when the season starts maybe we will be in the market for lots of guards and the fans just don’t know it yet.

  54. Ryan

    53. Marvin Stone was also developed (or lack thereof) by Tubby Smith.

  55. Ryan

    When Rondo was a freshman and Tubby also had Kelenna, Chuck and Randolph, I honestly think if he would have let them play to uptempo, they could have won a championship. They nearly made the final four that year. If only Tubby would have let them play.

  56. inside info

    #53 I hope we are looking for a new center after watching Williams play.I have watched him play a game on the net and watched him play in the pick up games,and a few clips,including one he made himself and the just flat out sucks.Another of Tubbys great projects.Williams cant jump cant rebound cant shoot cant make a layup cant wipe his own ass please leave so we can get anybody at all.After watching all of them games Mark Coury is way better than he is.I would give him the scolly over Williams.GO BIG BLUE

  57. Ryan

    Maybe Darius Miller doesn’t wanna play for UK. Has anyone taken this into consideration? Maybe he wants to follow in his Chris Lofton’s fellow Mason Countian’s footsteps and play for those Vols.

  58. Go Big Blue Cats - Kentucky Wildcats Basketball » Weekend Report

    […] father of Rotnei Clarke states his son loves Kentucky and doesn’t want to wait too long on a […]

  59. tls

    We don’t need and cannot use THIRTEEN 4/5 star players .. Love to have Rotnei tho .. Liggins is apparently not a shooter and I’m interested in getting away from a team of athletes who can’t throw it in the ocean .. With Rotnei’s Dad being from ORU, I suspect that there may be some time of prayer before an actual decision .. As for #54’s Tubby comment, please get a life .. the failure of Marvin Stone to develop had ZERO to do with his being coached by OTS

  60. JB

    Yeah tls, Tubby developed so many of those all world players he recruited. Ask the real world “rain man” Tom Gray, Tubby had several banner recruits that did absolutely nothing, not even counting the ones that he couldn’t control and kicked off the team. If you are still defending Tubby, then you, sir, are the one that needs to get a life.

  61. Catfan9282

    Ryan and all those on here that fault all of Kentuckys failures on coaching let me just say that Tubby was a decent x’s and O’s coach but couldn’t recruit his way out of a paper bag although he had a #1 recruiting class in 2004. That being said and being a coach myself on a much smaller scale than Big Blue. Coaches get way too much credit for winning and always too much credit for losing! Yes they are the leader of the team but players win and lose ballgames most of the time. Coach Gillespie thus far is doing a great job getting us the talent that we need to push for SEC championships and high seeding in the tourney to get us in the postion to hopefully win it all!! I’m glad that the change has occurred and am looking forward to seeing the Cats in action this winter. GO CatS!!!!!

  62. inside info

    Every player that made it to the NBA after Tubby has improved so much it is a shame,he almost singled handedly screwed there chances of ever making it to the next level.He should be banned from basketball.I do believe he is a good man and a good coach but he can not improve any player or make them better.GO BIG BLUE

  63. JB

    #61, if you are indeed a coach, then you should be able to see that Tubby really did do a bad job here, and was simply not good enough to coach at this (UK) level. So many get on here and argue recruits, stats (Tom Gray), and all that black and white stuff…but the real reason, and most probably don’t even realize it, that everyone was fed up with Tubby were those intangibles that have to be instilled in players. Hustle, heart, desire, discipline…yes, Billy G. is doing great at recruiting, but look at how his teams have played at his other schools…all out, 100% with a chip on their shoulder. Tubby was horrible at discipline issues (and lost several good players because of it), and lacked motivation and hustle in his teams. Our guys were never proud to play for UK, and didn’t have that confidence or chip that you need to win. Bottom line is Tubby, and his teams, were soft…lacked that fight in them. If we lose 10 games next season, but our guys are playing hard, hustling, diving, rebounding…but we just get beat by better teams, then you won’t hear that complaining. Being a former coach, you should see these things. Yes, the players play, but how they play, and even how they carry themselves, very much reflects how they are taught.

  64. Ryan

    Tis, since you have a love for Tubby Smith, there is a team up in Minnesota that you should look into cheering for. You are obviously more of a Tubby fan than a UK fan.

  65. hades

    catfan still blinded by the tubby and still has
    remorse that he was ran out of town which should
    have happened in 99 when we had mich state down 11 pts
    and he does a overhaul . i knew that minute flubby was not
    a fit for uk . i am pissed that my kids had to grow up
    watching this lack luster coach destroy out tradition and
    being revered across the nation . media types such as
    jerry tipton , john clay , marc newton, dave baker , larry vaught
    larry glover should never be compensated for covering uk sports
    they fed the cup that destroyed kentucky . matt jones fits this criteria
    too he bashed all those that had a different vision for kentucky
    that excluded tlt ten loss tubby . billy g (aka the caretaker )
    will prove to the big blue nation how lazy and incompetent the
    flubby was at kentucky . matt jones and marc whiffy maggard
    better thank there lucky stars for the caretaker or it would be
    another boring and nonchalant off season where the recruiting trail
    consisted of flubby blaming the fans for his lameness and reporting
    flubby on the golf course . 3 short months the caretaker has taken whiff
    after whiff kentucky to the most sought after venue for big time
    ptpers to be part of . thanks caretaker and for those that continue
    to believe in tubby i have some oceanfront property in arizona and
    a golden gate bridge too . 9 years wasted we have a right to be pissed

  66. tigobitties

    hoover is a twit

  67. Anonymous

    Outscooped by capspause re: KC Miller?

  68. Mr Schwump

    57, go to Tn and play behind football and girls basketball?

  69. Ryan

    68. I didn’t say Darius Miller was logical.

  70. UK rules

    If Miller does not commit that is his problem- I would love to have him but if he waits too long
    he has no one to blame but himself.

  71. Knowledge

    Matt –

    Are you and Marc no longer working together / sharing reports now that he has merged with Knetucky Ink? I noticed that he put up an article on his own discussion with Clarke’s father, as well as Miller’s father last night.

    Just curious … could be a significant blow to the blog, as I can see everyone going to Kentucky Ink now as their major source. No offense to ya’ll.

  72. Knowledge

    Darius Miller has had his offer for a LONG time, and Darius Miller was Billy G’s first phone call when he became head coach. If other stars get in line and say “yes” to be in Blue before Miller, wake up and smell the roses, folks – that means THEY (the non-KY boys) want to be in Blue more than Darius Miller! Isn’t that good enough for you???

  73. lexslamman

    The UK basketball program will NOT wait for recruits anymore.

  74. Knowledge

    I just want to hear ONE somewhat reasonable reply to that argument against Darius Miller’s interest in UK as compared to non-KY boys. Nobody ever has anything to say. Yet they’ll be pissed off when Miller has no ride available b/c he tried to string it along. Sorry, kid, but this ain’t Tubby-ball anymore.

  75. lexslamman


    Exactly – if a recruit fails to pull the trigger, if they have doubts about who they want to play for and decide to wait… and wait… and wait… they are going to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

  76. adaircam4

    I would love to have Miller on the team because of his talent and the fact that he is a KY boy obviously..however, if BCG signs talented players ahead of him and doesn’t want to wait I have no problem..Coach is wanting to win and not play games with recruits..If Miller misses out that is his fault..the fans who get upset because BCG did not wait long enough or whatever to get Miller and sign players ahead of them, just need to shut their trap about him being another KY boy who left the state..if he doesn’t want to get on board now and be part of something special, then I have no problem with him being recruited over..this is not the 70’s anymore, UK does not have to wait on avery KY boy to sign..just sign talent Billy, just sign talent

  77. another thing

    #46 — Morris’s scholarship is already counted in this year’s class — it is one of the 5 that is we have available for the incoming freshmen (so it’ll either go to Coury for one year or to a late signee). If we sign someone else for this fall, that leaves only 2 spots for the class of 08, barring transfers or academic scholarships.

    BTW, it was my understanding when Ravi was here on an academic scholarship that many of the amenities available to the athletic scholarship players were unavailable to him. I know he wasn’t allowed to eat at the training table with everyone. I don’t know how far the differences extend, but if Carter would have to give up any amount of nutrition/strength/rehab services, his fragile body would seem to be a terrible candidate for an academic ride.

  78. dbryant

    I agree. I’m new here. great site. I feel we need (zeller,warren,miller,and clarke)IF miller will commit soon.If not BCG won’t slow the train down.It’s great to be back to glory isn’t it?


    #30. give porter a chance. i think under billy g he will do much better this year. now for carter i agree. also, porter can help us with the recruitment for nelson reeves (#10 by rivals for 2009).

  80. BillyenerGy

    As cliche as it always sounds, these situations work themselves out. No one knows what the roster will look like a year from now. just relax and hang on. I have a sneaking suspicion that BCG has a plan.

  81. Story

    I hope UK gets him because it would be nice to have the next candidate for Bill Simmons’ “Reggie Cleveland All-Stars.”

  82. Daniel

    I have to say, that I could not agree with you in 100% regarding s Dad Speaks on the UK Visit, but it’s just my opinion, which could be wrong 🙂

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