Props to Coaching Staff for Clark's development

This came to me while watching the game last night and some post on the game thread. During the first half the announcers mentioned the scenario of “imagine if Kihei had go to UC Davis?” and that got my wife and I talking about what would Kihei have looked like if he played at UC Davis and never made his way to Charlottesville. We both came to the conclusion that he would not look like the player he is now or the one he is developing into.

First the obvious he would have never been a National Champion at UC Davis so that’s obvious. But more interestingly I don’t he he develops into the individual player he is under a different coaching staff. UVa gave Kihei the opportunity to learn side-by-side with 3 players all plying their trade in the NBA right now. He’s openly mentioned how Ty helped him in his development last year. He is also benefiting from learning at the hands of CTB he’s a former NBA pg with a ton of knowledge. The staff are developing his game throughout his time at UVa. This is common of most programs but perhaps the style of play and the shift in roles are forcing him to learn and develop some areas of his game that were not his normal go-to moves.

While plenty of other programs offer similar resources it takes finding the right fit for each individual player. At UVa I believe the staff found a way to not only maximize Kihei’s ability but they raised the potential ceiling he had. Part of that was by force of playing with better players and exposure and part of it is coaching etc.

Either way, I think Kihei is becoming one of my favorite players to watch because I feel like he is growing before my eyes. What I expected of him as a 5’8 recruit changed after watching him scrap and fight last season. What I expected of him as a seasoned first year heading into the tournament is different than what I expected of him heading into his second year on a team in flux, and what I expect of him now is far different than what I thought he was capable of even in December. I’m not sure I remember a case when I’ve seen a player not only grow into his expectations but actually move the bar continuously.


Ever since “The Play,” whenever I watch Kihei, all I can think of is how much UC Davis must hate us.


Hahah true. The upside is even with Kihei there’s 0 chance UC Davis is playing in an Elite 8.


I think this year has been a huge growth year for Kihei, and I think he benefited more than any other player from our mid-season slump. He was forced into a tough situation surrounded by at the time maybe the worst shooters in the ACC(Glad that is no longer the case!). But it really had to be an extreme challenge for him.
Its impressive that he is 3rd in the ACC in assist with as bad as our team was at shooting the first 2/3rds of the year. If they would of been hitting shots, he would now be #1 in assist. Either way, I think this team has made the most of their struggles and they have come out on the other side stronger!


Agree totally. I also think the experience Tony had playing with Muggsy Bogues plays into all this. It helped to give him a perspective other coaches and most of us fans don’t have and to see what we couldn’t. But we sure do now.


Extremely well said. Your writing always impresses me so much, and I couldn’t agree with it more. Kihei is such an impressive, skilled, and mature young man. Shoutout to the coaching staff


Love this comparison. Tony has said that he sees similarities with Kihei and Muggsy and his time with the Hornets has really helped him here at UVA


Thanks appreciate that. This is the only place I ply my trade nowadays so it’s fun to chop it up.


Such a good point totally forgot about CTB playing with Mugsy. That certainly gives him an insight to undersized PG that is rare.


Thanks for perfectly putting into words what I was seeing in Kehei’s play. He is doing things I couldn’t have imagined last year or even earlier in this season. This is the first time I have ever heard it said that the ceiling for a player has actually been raised. His adjustments and growth can literally be seen every game. He on occasion still has a little rough play but no player in the country has as much responsibility as he does. Amazing little guy ain’t he?


Not to get Biblical, but he has also been given a crazy opportunity to become the best basketball player he can be

  • Comes to the east coast an undersized guard
  • Plays well as a first year, get minutes on a great team
  • Makes greatest assist in tourny history
  • Wins National Championship
  • Upperclass guards go pro or transfer
  • Coach tells him he’s “gonna have a lot on his plate next year”

If I can up the ante:

How does he develop further over the next TWO years?


Off the top of my head firstis turnovers. At his peak London was at a 4:1 assist to turnover ratio. I believe Ty hovered around that as well. Kihei has improved but he still has moments. If he wants to be elite that has to improve.

The other biggie is become a reliable shooter. From deep and mid-range. His shot has imrpoved but if he starts snipping from deep with hissperd off the bounce he willbe lethal


I hope Reece and others will take pressure off of him handling the ball all the time by the end of next year.

Goal: Lethal shooter

He could be flying around as quick as Kyle


That be awesome but he may need more than a yr or 2 to develop that Kyle got his shot as a result of a lifetime of work. It’ll be fun to see what Kihei can do with some fresh legs


Yes I believe his shooting will be lethal once he gets some help .Some times this year he has been simply worn out and it affects every part of his game and you can see it in his shooting. I would like to know his percentage in the last 5 minutes of a game compared to the rest of the game taking into account how many minutes he has played in the first 35 minutes of the game


His focus and decision making will continue to improve with more experience and fewer minutes next year. He makes a lot of high risk, high reward passes that show as frustrating TO’s at times. He is getting better at dealing with going into the trees inside and finishing. His use of the off hand (left) is very impressive.