After wearing the number 20 on his jersey for the past three seasons at Bowling Green, senior guard Jehvon Clarke will be playing basketball this upcoming season wearing a new number: 23. Not to worry, however. The 6-foot-1, 183-pounder is not going to be expected to be Michael Jordan for BG this year.
Like teammate Spencer Parker (who appeared earlier on our list), the improvements Clarke displayed last year as a starter for the first time in his collegiate career will not be easily topped. However, if Clarke is anything like, if not slightly better than, the player he was last season, he will be able to reach senior night knowing he had a solid playing career at the collegiate level.
Clarke played off the bench as the back-up point guard his first two years at BG. As a freshman, he averaged seven minutes per game in 27 games. He did, however, play at least ten minutes in seven of those games. He averaged just two points, shooting 40 percent on 3-point attempts and sinking nine out of ten free throws.
He posted his career-high in points at the time against a nationally ranked Big Ten opponent: Michigan State. In that game, Clarke totaled fourteen points in twelve minutes of action. He made four out of five shots and sunk all five of his free throws against the Spartans.
During conference play, he played twenty minutes, a career-best at the time, in a home game against Akron. He made a pair of threes in the Falcons’ one-point loss to the Zips. Clarke also finished his freshman campaign with 32 total assists.
As a sophomore, Clarke played in 25 games (two less than the year before). He averaged over three points per game, making eight out of ten free throws in the process. He was fourth on the team in assists with thirty. One of his standout achievements as a sophomore came during non-conference play: Clarke grabbed a career-high (at the time) six rebounds against Cleveland State. He averaged just less than twelve minutes per game.
Clarke had a breakout season as a junior last year. He was finally named a starter and started all 32 of the Falcons’ games. His junior campaign was full of highlights. Averaging 36 minutes per game on the season, Clarke led not only his team but the entire Mid-American Conference in minutes played. During conference play alone, he averaged over 37 minutes per game. In a game against Northern Illinois, he played a career-best 43 minutes.
Averaging over twelve points per game, he was tied for second on the team in scoring. He scored a career-high 23 points in a game against Toledo. He also made a career-high four 3-pointers in a home game against Miami. He was third on the team in total points scored on the season with 399. He was second on the team in total 3-pointers made with 36. He grabbed a career-high eight rebounds versus Buffalo.
Twice he finished a game with a career-high nine assists. He led his team in total assists on the season with 149. Averaging almost assists per game, he was ranked fourth in the MAC. He also finished the season with a total of 61 steals, good enough for second on the team and fourth in the MAC. In the Falcons’ season opener versus Earlham, Clarke had a career-high six steals.
At the tail end of his junior campaign, Clarke was one of only two Falcons named to the All-MAC Third Team. With one year of college basketball remaining for him, he would surely love to see his whole team succeed as much as he did individually last year. As the floor general for the Falcons, it should be anticipated that Clarke will build off of the momentum he gained a season ago in order to lead his team to a winning record and a promising future for the years to come after he has left the campus.