It was a roller coaster first year for Marv. He had a strong start, then went through a period marked by inconsistency in all respects (production, minutes, etc.), only to rally with a strong late season performance which left plenty of reason for optimism for his sophomore season.
From what I was told by those who should know, Marv had a good summer up until Italy. He was on track to claim the starting spot at the 4, giving MSU its closest current match of what BJ Dawson provided in terms of athleticism and strength at the position combined with a nice perimeter stroke and gradually improving to the rim game. When MSU was in Italy, Clark was strong in the first game but disappointing after that, particularly on the defensive end where it seemed he just couldn’t check anybody well. Not long after that trip was concluded it was announced that Marv would need foot surgery and would be out 6-8 weeks. In retrospect, I wonder if his issues in Italy might have at least in part been a function of whatever led to his going under the knife, as it was uncharacteristically bad for a guy whom I thought made good strides at that end over the course of his freshman year.
So, we sit here in mid October with Clark being something of an unknown. The optimistic end of his recovery would put him about 3 weeks away from resuming basketball activities but the safer bet is to assume it’ll be a week or two beyond that. The bigger question is at what point is he actually playing at or near 100%? When you add up conditioning and getting back into rhythm, it’s probably more realistic to figure on some point in December before we see the “real” Marvin Clark. Hopefully that point is in advance of conference play.
MSU can use him, that’s for sure. Marv can stretch defenses, rebound and physically stay with all the stretch 4s we’ll see in the conference. I also thought he showed a toughness and resiliency last season, both being attributes this team can definitely use.