Friday, May 01, 2009

Farewell to Villanova Wildcats Seniors - Shane Clark's Sophomore Season

To the Villanova Wildcats faithful-

Continuing with my series on the four departing Villanova Wildcats seniors, here is a look back on Shane Clark's sophomore season - 2006-07...

Also, here's the post on Clark's arrival and freshman year of 2005-06...

Shane Clark's Sophomore Season

2007 was somewhat of a rebuilding season after the glories of 2006, which saw the Wildcats capture a top seed in the NCAA tournament, play the first two rounds at the Wachovia Center, and reach the Elite Eight for the first time in 20 years.

With the departure of Allan Ray, Randy Foye, and Jason Fraser - three of the four players in Jay Wright's first vaunted recruiting class - there were far more minutes to go around.

It was also Shane Clark's first full season on the court, as he hadn't been eligible in the first semester of his freshman year.
And due to those two factors, Clark played much more often as a sophomore. After appearing in only 25 games as a freshman, all coming off the bench, Clark played in 33 games and started 10 of them.

Clark established himself as an outside threat. He took 100 three-pointers on the season, connecting on 38 of them (making the math easy). He had taken just two three-point shots as a freshman (although since he made one of those two, his three-point shooting percentage actually dropped 12%).

From the foul line, he improved his accuracy substantially. He drained 72.2% of his free throws, up from 58.6% as a freshman. And his overall field goal percentage was boosted slightly, from 40.9% to 43%.

As a result of playing more games and more minutes, his overall numbers in absolute terms increased as well. He logged just 286 minutes as a freshman; he logged 793 minutes as a sophomore, more than doubling his playing time.

Having scored 54 points all of his freshman year, Clark scored 243 points as a sophomore, with his points/game exploding from 2.2 points to 7.4 points. And he doubled his rebounding - 50 rebounds (2.0 per game) as a freshman; 132 (4.0 per game) as a sophomore.

The only areas where he didn't improve substantially, was in assists to turnover ratio - he committed 47 turnovers as a sophomore, against 31 assists; as a freshman, he had seven assists and eight turnovers.

Looking at some key game-by-game highlights of Clark's season, with the help of the Villanova Wildcats media guide (the source of all quotes in this section):
  • Set a then-career-high of 10 points in the season opener against Northwood, in only 17 minutes.
  • Had a dozen points and half a dozen rebounds against College of Charleston, with all the points coming after intermission, according to the media guide...
  • Exploded for 17 points in 29 minutes against Xavier.
  • Fouled out for the second time in his career against Iowa, while scoring six points and grabbing four rebounds.
  • Scored 11 points in 19 minutes against Stony Brook.
Against City Series rival Pennsylvania-
Played an instrumental role in VU's 99-89 win at Penn on Dec. 2... Supplied 16 points and six rebounds in 30 minuts, and helped spark the 'Cats in the second half...
  • Recorded the first double-double of his career against Rider, with 10 points and a dozen rebounds in only 21 minutes.
  • Scored 14 points against Georgetown in 28 minutes...
Clark had the best game of his career up till that point, against Texas at the Wachovia Center. Making his first-ever appearance in the starting lineup against the Longhorns, he recorded a double-double with 11 points and a dozen rebounds, plus a pair of blocks. He played a significant role in the Wildcats' 76-69 victory. And according to the media guide-
Was also a key defender in helping limit freshman sensation Kevin Durant, to 4-of-15 shooting and 12 points...
Clark started the next three games, and then came off the bench in a victory against Louisville, ironically, given that he-
Led the 'Cats with 12 points on 4-5 shooting from the field, including three three-pointers...
Unsurprisingly, Clark was back in the starting lineup for the next five games. During that stretch, his next memorable game was in the second contest against Georgetown, in Washington:
Sank four crucial free throws in the final 15 seconds to help VU secure a 56-52 win at Georgetown... Finished with 14 points, two rebounds and two steals in the win...
Clark started the next two games, against Marquette and Rutgers, but was struggling with his shot, and he came off the bench for the rest of the season (which turned out to be five games). Against DePaul and Georgetown in the Big East tournament, he logged 44 minutes in the two games. But he took only one shot and did not score, finishing with four rebounds.

In the first round NCAA tournament loss to Kentucky in Chicago, Clark came off the bench once more, finishing with 22 minutes, two points, and four rebounds.

Check back for the latest posts in the series, in which I'll be covering the Villanova tenures of each of the four departing Wildcats - Clark, Dante Cunningham, Frank Tchuisi, and Dwayne Anderson...

There are two ways you can contact Villanova Viewpoint. One is by commenting on this blog. Comments are encouraged, and will always be answered. Also, you can e-mail (Important note: This is a different e-mail address than before. Please use this new one.)

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