Busting Brackets

UCLA Basketball: Bruins nab Louisville transfer Skyy Clark

Mar 12, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Skyy Clark (55) shoots the ball over
Mar 12, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; Louisville Cardinals guard Skyy Clark (55) shoots the ball over / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With only a couple of games left in this NCAA basketball season, it’s not surprising to see the Transfer Portal already extremely active. It should be another wild offseason as hundreds of players swap colleges and conferences, and Skyy Clark is the latest example. After decent strides at Louisville under Kenny Payne, he’s committed to spending next season at UCLA.

Clark is a 6’3 guard who’s actually from Los Angeles originally. He can play both guard positions and was considered a Top 40 prospect out of high school two years ago. He began his collegiate career at Illinois but left the team after just 13 games before ending up at Louisville this past season.

Clark’s overall figures were vastly improved with the Cardinals, even though the program itself had a terrible year. Louisville finished just 8-24 and ended in last place in the ACC, though Clark started 28 of the 29 games he played, averaging 13.2 points per game.

While he never really settled in with the Fighting Illini, Clark certainly showed promise with the Cardinals this season. He scored 20 points in a close game against Texas early in the season before dropping 29 on New Mexico State just a week later. He was hot and cold from outside the arc, making 35% of his 3-pointers but really found his touch to end the season.

In their season-ending ACC Tournament loss to NC State, a team currently in the Final Four, Clark set a career-high with 36 points, making seven of his ten 3-point attempts in that loss that was closer than expected. He’s not going to score 30+ points on a regular basis, but this is the type of productive player that UCLA hopes they’re getting.

Mick Cronin’s UCLA squad took a definite step back this season but got their offseason started with a bang with Clark’s addition. The Bruins were leaning heavily on underclassmen and new players last season and could legitimately be a contender in the first year in the Big Ten next season.

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The Bruins are hoping that Clark only causes waves on the court, especially after his dramatic exit from Illinois last season. If he performs at a high level, he can help elevate UCLA into a major bounce-back season, especially if most of their young pieces like Adem Bona and Dylan Andrews continue to develop and improve. This might not be the last move for Cronin and his staff, but it’s certainly a splash to add talent.