Oklahoma’s issues help Clarke choose Butler

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Oklahoma’s NCAA issues cost it one of college basketball’s premier shooters.

Native son Rotnei Clarke says the Sooners’ recent admittance of two major rules violations were reason enough to choose Butler as a transfer destination over Oklahoma, according to Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com.

Too bad. The Sooners could’ve used Clarke’s outside shot.

“I really believe Coach Kruger will turn the program around quickly,” Clarke told Goodman. “And while I was told that the NCAA decision wouldn’t affect me, it wasn’t guaranteed. I didn’t know that for sure  – and didn’t want to go there without knowing 100 percent.”

It’s a smart move. The Sooners could be labeled a “repeat violator” and have the sport dropped for one or two seasons with no scholarships provided. That’s the worst-case scenario – and somewhat unlikely – but why should Clarke risk it?

Especially when Butler’s a better program.

Clarke averaged 15.2 points per game last season with Arkansas, making nearly 44 percent of his 3-pointers. When he’s eligible to play starting in 2012-13, he’ll give Butler an instant boost from beyond the arc.

I can almost see Brad Stevens smiling at the thought of having someone who’s made at least 42 percent of his 3-pointers the last two seasons.

Don’t expect him to be the only option at shooting guard, though. The Bulldogs welcome 4-star recruit Kellen Dunham the same year, which means Clarke will work on his ball-handling skills so he can play both guard positions.

“I’m hoping to work on being a point guard in the year off,” Clarke said. “I know I need a lot of work on it – but I’m hoping I can really improve and be able to play both spots at Butler.”

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