Performance Review: Marvin Clark Jr.

Originally published April 25, 2016 HERE

Impact Izzone will be handing out performance reviews for each Spartan in the following weeks. The series will start with the freshmen and move up the classes. Stay tuned for the rest of our grades! Check out Matt McQuaid’s performance review here.

2015-16 stats: 9.7 mins, 3.9 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 54.2% FG, 42.3% 3-PT

Blake Froling

Marvin Clark Jr. had a disappointing sophomore season. After a freshman year that showed incredibly promising signs of potential, Clark regressed. Granted, it was not entirely his fault. Clark battled injury through the early part of the season, then battled the depth of MSU’s bench. With freshman Deyonta Davis and redshirt freshman Kenny Goins earning more and more playing time, Clark saw his role dwindle. In the month of January, Clark only played a total of 37 minutes, while being held out of two games.

But when Goins injured his knee against Indiana on Valentine’s Day, Clark got his opportunity. He averaged 13.4 minutes per game in the final 10 games of the season compared to just 4.1 minutes in his previous 10. Clark’s ability to stretch the floor and shoot threes provided a different look to the previous lineups Coach Izzo used where no bigs could step out.

Clark decided that he would not be seeing the floor much once again next season and announced that he would be transferring from Michigan State, deciding to move on to St. John’s. After sitting out a year, Clark could be a valuable asset off the bench for a mid-level high major team that’s one piece away from being great. Coach Izzo knows he’ll be missing a great talent, but with four incoming freshmen next year, Clark just would not see the minutes he deserves.

Final grade: C+

Davey Segal

The clock finally ran out on Marv Time, as the numbers this past season speak for themselves. Less than 10 minutes per game, and just about four points to go along with two-and-a-half boards don’t equate to a happy player. Playing time was the overarching reason that Clark Jr. ended up transferring to St. Johns, but it wasn’t the only reason.

As Blake mentioned above, injuries, as well as a plethora of talent on the Spartans’ roster, were the downfall of Marvin Clark Jr. in 2015-2016. Coming off a wonderful season, where he helped Michigan State advance to the Final Four with his electric dunks off the baseline and clutch three pointers, this past season was a disappointment, to say the least.

The addition of Deyonta Davis, the emergence of Kenny Goins, coupled with the myriad of injuries led to Clark Jr.’s decision to ultimately transfer. He will be a big loss for Michigan State, especially with the frontcourt for this upcoming season being thin as paper. However, for the Red Storm, Clark Jr. will bring an element of athleticism, as well as finesse.

Final Grade: C

David Manion

Marvin Clark Jr. was expected to make great strides going into the 2015-2016 campaign after posting splendid numbers as a freshman. Clark scored 4.5 points per game and made half of his shots while averaging 11 minutes per game. He embraced the role as a bench player and would consistently provide a spark by hitting a few shots and playing intensive defense that would get the Spartans on a roll. However, he failed to carry the momentum of being a crucial 6th man into next year.

It’s safe to say that Clark had a sophomore slump. Faster than the blink of an eye, he found himself falling behind on the depth chart. It was a culmination of him struggling to perform successfully as well as the emergence of a plethora of key players. Deyonta Davis was a dynamic piece that was added to the puzzle of an already deep position of forwards, including Costello, Schilling, Goins, and even Wollenman. They were all ahead of Clark throughout the majority of the season, which caused Clark’s confidence and job security to take a major hit.

Here was a good player that was surrounded by an abundance of talent and potential. It was really bad timing for Clark as new guys like Davis and Goins started to peak. At the same time, however, Clark was in a state of funk and failed to recapture his rhythm. He couldn’t hit shots, missed rebounds, and ultimately did not play to the best of his ability. His game was thrown off mainly because of his confidence declining and the pressure to excel his overall pace from the year prior.

The junior forward will no longer be with the Spartans in the following season. He announced on April 20 that he would be transferring to Saint John’s University and has two years left of eligibility. Spartan nation can envision Marvin Clark contributing early and often. Personally, I believe he can start or at the very least have a strong impact on most teams in any of the Power 5 conferences. Clark has the tangibles to guide him toward a successful college career and beyond. Don’t let my final grade on his performance review confuse you. This grade reflects his performance this season, not as a player overall. With some hard work and dedication, he can advance his game to the next level and possibly have the opportunity to play overseas and maybe even in the NBA.

Final Grade: C

Ryan Cole

Without a doubt, this past season was tough on Marvin Clark Jr. The sophomore was coming off a surprising freshman year in which he had a crucial role in Michigan State’s Final Four, so expectations for his second year in the program were quite high. Unfortunately for Clark, a foot injury sprouted up in the early fall, limiting his practice time in the preseason. That set him behind the other power forwards on the roster, namely Deyonta Davis and Kenny Goins.

On top of starting the season off on a bad note, his struggles continued in nonconference play. He wasn’t helped by Davis and Goins coming into their own and setting their feet in Tom Izzo’s lineup, making it even tougher for Clark to sniff significant minutes. His 9.7 minutes per game were 11th on the team, behind his power forward counterparts in Davis, Goins, and even Javon Bess. That was probably the biggest reason for his transfer away from Michigan State.

All in all, his talent level and athleticism are enough to make his new head coach at St. John’s, Chris Mullin, drool. In his limited minutes this year, Clark did do a nice job of getting on the scoring ledger. I was impressed with his improvement during conference play and thought he would play a big part in the next two Spartan seasons. But it was obviously a worry to Spartan fans that Tom Izzo trusted a former walk-on in Goins to be the backup power forward, and that is what I believe to be the reasoning behind his transfer. He should succeed at St. John’s, but his career at Michigan State will likely be subtitled with “what could’ve been”.

Final Grade: C


Author: Blake Froling

I am currently the Sports Director at ESPN UP in Marquette, Michigan, where I host a daily sports talk show called The SportsPen. I am also the play-by-play voice for Westwood High School football and boys and girls basketball. I graduated from Michigan State University in December 2016 with a degree in journalism.

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