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Ceola Clark III: Episode VI

March 31, 2012

College Basketball

Western Illinois Leathernecks point guard Ceola Clark has announced that he will return for a 6th season at Western Illinois, earning his medical redshirt from the NCAA.  Here’s the Tweet…

Clark missed all but six games in 2010-11 with a toe injury.

The way a medical redshirt works is a little different.  Rather than applying for the redshirt immediately, the player must apply for it after what would have been his senior year of eligibility.  So there’s no assurance that the NCAA will grant the waiver, but teams usually have a pretty good indication.

Oakland’s Derick Nelson was a medical redshirt for his senior season back in 2009-10.  D-Nel only appeared in a couple of games before coach Greg Kampe announced they were shutting him down.  Because it was already his senior season, Kampe also announced their intention to seek the medical redshirt, whereas Clark was still a year away.  Still, they knew it was coming.  Clark wasn’t even honored at Senior Night this season; not a move to be taken unless you’re as close to 100% positive as can be.

Ceola Clark defending Michigan's Trey Burke. Photo taken by Associated Press

So what does it mean for next year?  For an offensively challenged ‘Necks squad, it means getting your leader back.  Though they lacked a bona-fide scorer, Clark was the guy who could set the table, offensively and defensively.  He scored 21 points in the 59-55 loss at Michigan, and held Trey Burke to 3-8 shooting.  He’s the reigning Summit League defensive Player of the Year, and award he picked up for the second time in his career.

Though they won’t be That Team in the Summit League this year, they will be more than the upstart pests that they were in 2011-12.  No longer are they a team to be written off and chalked up as an automatic “W” for the big dogs.  They are joining the ranks of the big dogs, with Clark, Emegano (only a Freshman), and Billy Molinari coming back off a knee injury.  They will continue to defend well and should be fully expected to compete for a top 4 spot in the Summit League next year.

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About mattpocket

I am the Sports Director at 88.3 FM WXOU Radio, out of Oakland University. I am the play-by-play voice of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies. I've been to two NCAA Tournaments, been heard on ESPN, and won 9 Michigan Association of Broadcasters Awards. Follow me on Twitter. @cornerpocket422 You can tune in to The Corner Pocket every Friday from 3-5 pm with my cohost Bryan and Everson and myself, featuring the best guests, such as Dave Birkett, Jim Nill, and Bruce Buffer.

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