Texas Tech Basketball vs. Eastern Illinois University

Senior guard Chris Clarke dribbles up the court during the Texas Tech basketball game against Eastern Illinois University at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in the United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders defeated the Panthers, 85-60, in the 2019-20 season opener.

Texas Tech men’s basketball team graduate transfer Chris Clarke is a new addition to the team, having transferred from Virginia Tech. 

In the past three games he has played, Clarke has proven he is a valuable member of the 2019-20 roster. 

At Virginia Tech, the Virginia Beach native averaged 9.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game, according to Tech Athletics. He was also recognized as the No. 8 graduate transfer and is the only player in Virginia Tech program history to record a triple-double. 

This season, Clarke is averaging 2.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game, according to sports-reference.com. Clarke has also made four of his seven free throws this season while averaging  5.1 defensive rebounds. 

Clarke said his experience at Virginia Tech has made him a better player for the Red Raiders. 

“I would have to go back to my early coaching,” Clarke said. “All my training, all my years of playing basketball, I’m really good at seeing things. Picturing what could come next.” 

Tech head coach Chris Beard said Clarke’s low scoring average is not because he cannot shoot the ball, but because as an unselfish player, he chooses to pass the ball rather than shoot it.  

“The two common things I think with passers, you have to have unselfishness to you,” Beard said. “Some guys come down the court looking for a bucket, some guys come down the court looking to make a play and that’s Chris (Clarke). He has more than enough ability to score the ball. I’ve already projected that it’ll be sooner than later when he’s had a 20 point game.”

While Clarke has only averaged 2.7 points per game this season, Beard said he predicts the graduate transfer will have a breakout game in scoring soon. 

“Right now I think he’s done a great job taking what the defense gives him,” Beard said. “That value of passing and that way to look at the game is always where it starts.” 

Clarke has not disappointed anyone in the three games he has played, Beard said. Although he is not a starter, Clarke has worked hard and has helped the team immensely. 

“I think the stat sheet says it best,” Beard said. He’s one of the best players in college basketball,” Beard said. “He has a three-year body of work in the ACC, it’s not like he showed up here and has been dropping dimes. He’s been doing this for a long, long time. He’s a big-time player because he can score on all three levels.”

Clarke and the rest of the men’s basketball team will continue their season at 7 p.m. on Thursday as the Red Raiders take on Tennessee State in United Supermarkets Arena. For fans who cannot attend the game, it will be televised on FOX Sports Southwest Plus. 

 “He can pass the ball, then on the other end, he can defend multiple positions,” he said. “I think it’s (Clarke’s value) easy to see, but it’s the intangibles we’re most proud of. He’s really buying in. He’s playing Texas Tech basketball in this early season.”

Clarke and the rest of the team will continue the season with a game against Tennessee State at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

 

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