Nov. 24, 2009
By Matt Winter
SEATTLE -- Clarence Trent is not the most traditional of players. At 6'5" and 225 lbs, you can put him at almost any position on the court. He's big, strong, and athletic enough to bang with the big boys, while at the same time possessing the elusiveness to play with his face to the hoop.
"We like versatility, we like guys that are interchangeable," says Coach Lorenzo Romar. "That's what Clarence is."
Trent, one of three Tacoma products on the team, has made his presence known in each game he has played. After not playing in the Huskies' first game against Wright State, Trent played eight minutes against Belmont and grabbed four rebounds. When Romar put him in the game in the first half, the Huskies went on an 11-0 run.
Against Portland State, Trent played 13 minutes, scoring eight points and grabbing two rebounds. He had four points and five rebounds against San Jose State. In three games, Trent is averaging four points and almost four rebounds, shooting 75 percent from the field (6-8), and hasn't missed (6-6 FG) over the last two games.
"He's the only guy that didn't play the first game," says Romar. "I think, since then, he's made really good progress. You can just see, he's tried to concentrate defensively. He's trying to concentrate in all areas. He's made some big strides."
Much of the excitement surrounding Trent is his leaping ability. In the Huskies' exhibition game against Central Washington, he caught an alley-oop on a fast break from C.J. Wilcox that brought the crowd to its feet (the clip can be found on Youtube,com/UWAthletics). Against Portland State, he caught another one from Abdul Gaddy late in the game.
"He's not just a good on-paper guy," says Romar, "He's getting stuff done."
It's Trent's versatility that Romar likes - his ability to help the team and make things happen no matter where he's playing or who he's playing with. Romar calls him a "hooper" when asked what position Trent fits under, and that flexibility reminds Romar of another player he's coached.
"I still don't know what position Bobby Jones played," Romar jokes of his ex-captain. "He's a baller, and that's what Clarence is. It's the type of player that you put in the game with any other four guys, and he just plays."
What was so effective about Bobby Jones is that opponents never knew how he was going to hurt them on a given night. Inside, outside, shooting, driving, defense --he was the basketball equivalent to a five-tool player. And that's what Romar sees in Trent.
"He just, in some kind of way, gets stuff done. You know, a Jon Brockman, when he comes in you know he's going to rebound. Quincy (Pondexter), right now, he's going to rebound. Isaiah Thomas, he's going to score points. Venoy Overton is going to give guys fits. Going into the game you know he's going to do that.
"With Clarence, one game he's getting tip-ins, another game he's coming out of nowhere to block a shot. He drives to the basket in transition, lays the ball up. He passes, makes a couple of nice passes. He just has his nose in a lot of different areas. What you can predict is that he'll make his presence known somewhere."