NORMAN, Okla. - University of Oklahoma freshman Keith Clark will miss the remainder of the 2006-07 basketball season after an MRI test today revealed torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee. Clark sustained the injury in the first half of last night's 69-42 win over SMU in Norman.
Clark, a 6-8, 245-pound forward, has played in all 11 of OU's games this year, averaging 3.8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.2 minutes a contest. He shot .424 from the field and was 5-for-16 from 3-point range (.313). He made four of his first eight 3-point attempts on the season.
"This is a huge blow to our team," said OU head coach Jeff Capel. "First of all, it's a big blow to Keith. He was just starting to play really well. I thought he had his best game of the year against Tulsa (Dec. 21) and played very well last night against SMU before he got hurt. He was making the jump to becoming a good college basketball player and I hate to see this happen to him."
Added Capel, "Keith's injury will give other players on our team an opportunity to step up and I'm sure they're looking forward to that challenge."
Clark led Oklahoma City's Putnam City High School to the 2006 Class 6A state title by averaging 14.4 points, 8.3 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game as a senior. He was named the 2006 Big All-City Player of the Year by The Oklahoman and was ranked as the nation's No. 57 overall player by Rivals.com.
Clark's season high of nine points came Nov. 21 against Purdue in the second round of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational. He grabbed a season-high four rebounds on two occasions. In OU's first exhibition game Oct. 31 versus Oklahoma Christian, Clark netted a team-high 18 points.
Clark will begin rehabilitation in preparation for surgery, which will occur within the next 10-14 days. His recovery is expected to take four to six months.