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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

November 27, 2009 at 12:09 AM

An interview with Clarence Trent

clarence trent.JPG
Clarence Trent doesn’t fit in a box and many wondered if the 6-5 unorthodox freshman forward (No. 12, left) would fit in Washington’s system. He’s probably the last scholarship player on the bench, but Trent is proof that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
If he’s the last guy on the bench, then No. 14 Washington has one heckuva team.
In three games, Trent is averaging 4.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 11.3 minutes per game. He’s shooting 75 percent from the floor and he’s making spectacular plays that aren’t measured in statistics.
(Describe what you do.) “I’m just a player. Probably if you’d look up the definition of a player, you’d see me. I just play basketball and I do what I like to do. I shoot. I pass. I play defense and rebound.”
(Do you have a position?) “Nope.”
(Do you want a position?) “Nope.”
Photo credit: AP PHOTO – Joe Nicholson
(Do you want a role?) “I got a role.”
(What’s your role?) “To bring a lot of energy, rebound and play defense.”
(Did you think you were the last guy on the bench when the season started?) “If not last, then probably close to it. I already knew what was going to happen because I’m a freshman and I’m just now coming into this program. Abdul (Gaddy) has been in the program and he knows a lot of this stuff. I guess they ran it at his high school, so I guess he’s used to it. And me just coming in, it’s a transition period. Coming in, I don’t know what the seniors know or what the juniors know or the sophomores.”
(So it sounds like you’re a freshmen coming to play for the No. 14-ranked team?) “Yeah it’s going to happen like that. At Duke you got a lot of freshman that sit on the bench. It’s a transition period.”
(When you didn’t play the first game, how did you take it?) “I took it as a learning experience. To me, coming in the first game, it was hard for me, of course. And for a little while I was looking down on myself. At first I thought how come I didn’t play? I was thinking about it and I was like maybe there’s some things I need to work on. I worked on them and the next game, I played. And the game after that, I played more minutes. And the game after that, I played even more minutes. Hopefully what I’m doing is right. So hopefully I’ll be playing a lot more. If not, that’s something I’ll work on.”
(Are you surprising yourself with your play?) “A little bit yeah.”
(When you come into games, what’s your mindset?) “For me, my mindset is I’m just going to play basketball. If they need me to pick the energy up, then I’ll be the energy guy. If I need to come in and get a lot of rebounds, then I’m going to try and do that.”
(Has this been an adjustment for you having a non-defined role?) “Not really because at a lot of the camps I went to, I played with a top-five guard and maybe one of the top bigs. I was always one of the garbage guys that played hard. If you play hard, you’re always going to be seen. That’s just my mindset.”


(On Clarence Trent and where he shows up.) “It shows up on the stat sheet. Some kind of way, he just gets stuff done. Jon Brockman, okay 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, he’s going to give the guy 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 from out of nowhere to block a shot. He drives to the basket the other night in transition and lays the ball up. He passes, he makes a couple of nice passes…he just has his nose in a lot of different areas. What you can predict is that he’s going to make his presence felt somewhere.”
(Are you learning new things about him?) “I don’t know if it’s necessarily things that we didn’t know if he could do…the fact that he’s doing them I think is…he’s not just a ‘good on paper’ guy. He was the only guy that didn’t play the first game, but since then he’s really made progress. You can just see that he’s tried to concentrate on defense, he’s trying to concentrate in all areas. And he’s made big strides.”
(Where does Trent fit on the team?) “He fits under ‘Hooper’. Bobby Jones, I still don’t know what position Bobby Jones played. I don’t know what position he played in the pros, I don’t know what position he’s playing over in Israel, I don’t know what position he has ever played. Hooper. That’s what he does, he’s a baller. That’s what Clarence is. He’s the type of player that you put in the game with any other four guys and he just plays.”
(On not trying to put players in certain positions.) “That’s not unusual for us. Over the years, we’ve never really just said that’s what this guy is. We like versatility. We like guys that are interchangeable. And that’s what Clarence is, he’s just a hooper. He’s not a point guard (laughter). If you have a point, a 2-guard, a 3-man, a power forward and a center, the sixth position is hooper. That’s what he is.”
(What do look for when you bring a player like Trent in the game?) “He’s going to come in the game and make something happen. And that’s what you’re looking for him to do. As I stated earlier, you don’t know if that’s going to be a tip-dunk, you don’t know if it’s going to be a block shot or if he’s going to make passes. You just don’t know what it’s going to be, but he’s showing us and has shown us that when he comes in, something positive is going to happen. He still makes mistakes, he’s still learning. But in the process of learning, he’s still having an impact on the game.”
— Portand is mowing down the Pac-10. Earlier this week it was Oregon. Last night, the Pilots mauled UCLA. Next up: UW on Dec. 19. The Huskies would be wise to study the video from Portland’s easy 74-47 win, noting the Pilots zone defense suffocated the Bruins into a 32.7 percent shooting night on field goals.
— The UW media department did a nice job talking to the guys about Thanksgiving and having the players share their favorite memories.
— I’ve been asked to track former Huskies in the NBA, but instead I’ll link to, which has a comprehensive list of the ex-UW players and local players in the pros. has a poll including Oregon and Oregon State that asks which team has gotten off to a worst start.
— Arizona State vs. LSU
— UCLA vs. No. 12 Butler (ESPNU)
— Coppin State at USC
— Washington State vs. Nicholls State
My picks: ASU, Butler, USC and WSU

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, UCLA


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