Here's my breakdown:
Great defender. He is a tremendous shot blocker because he is so quick off the ground and has incredible length. His length gives him the ability to guard bigger forwards, and his incredible footwork and quickness allows him to stay in front of quicker forwards and even most 2-guards. In fact, his combination of length and quickness makes him a slightly better on-ball defender than even T-Will. It's his off-the-ball D that gets him into trouble, which NaptownSeth has already pointed out so well.
This guy absolutely grabs every rebound in sight. He cleans up on both ends too, as he is a GREAT offensive rebounder. I've never had as great of an appreciation for rebounding than I've had now just because I've had the pleasure of watching Earl and T-Will over the past two years. Again, length and leaping ability allow him to get to balls that most could never dream of getting to.
Here's the thing... and this is not going to make any sense considering his nimbleness, agility, and athleticism. His hands are like baseball mitts when handling passes, rebounds, or loose balls from about chest level to the ceiling. But any bounce pass at the knees or a loose ball off someone's leg and he can be butterfingers. I have no explanation for this. Overall, great hands.
Great vision and passing. This is probably his greatest asset because he is such a terrific passer at his size and position. He also has above average handles for his size, but not reliable enough to play a point-forward role like T-Will
He can hit the open 3 at times, but I'd say his comfortable range is just inside 20 feet. If he floats around the perimeter and just shoots long-range jumpers all day, he will KILL you. Something that Louisville fans have had to deal with in the past. He is at his best when he is either attacking the basket or playing inside with his back to the basket. Since he is normally a mismatch problem for opposing defenders, he can get to the basket with ease. He has also developed a pull-up midrange jumper this season, which is great to see and scary at the same to think how much better this kid can become.
I've heard a lot of "analysts" say that he sometimes coasts and doesnt give it his all. This only seems to be the case because of his demeanor. He's just one of those guys who looks like he's not exerting himself. Maybe it's because he's so fluid, smooth, and always calm, but he definitely gives it 110% each time he steps on the floor. He gets visibly upset with himself when he makes a mistake and occasionally shows emotion after a big moment. I am sympathetic cause I played sports the same way. People would always say that it looked like I wasnt trying when I knew I was busting my *** off on every play. He is a quiet kid and wont give you any problems off the court.
Here's my take on the very controversial Earl Clark. You always hear of players with tremendous upside but many question marks that lead people to say, "He will either be a great one or a bust." I dont think this applies to Earl. While Earl's ceiling is as high as anyone's, his 'basement level' isnt as low as some project. But it's just that Earl is not very likely to reach his full potential. Best case scenario: he'll find himself in a couple of All-Star games and average 18 pts/9 rebs/4 ast year-in, year-out. Worst case scenario: he'll be a guy coming off the bench who can give you 10 and 6, which is not that bad, it's just not Top 10 pick worthy. He wont be a star or a guy who can carry you to the promise land, but he can be a good sidekick or a great third option... it's up to GMs to decide what pick he is worth. Part of his success will depend on development, but his success will mostly be determined by his situation and his mindset in the pros. In terms of situation, if he is a 4, he has no chance. He is a 3, no if's, and's, or but's about it.
The biggest problem I see with him is mental. He has all the tools and skills to absolutely dominate each game he plays in; but he lacks that killer instinct. I mean, with his ability to get to the basket and his athleticism, he should be telling his opponent, "I'm going to dunk on you so hard you're going to end up on my kid's bedroom poster." How many times has he done this over his three years in college? I've only seen it once (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9XRZZlGa3M
). I was so shocked when I saw he did that that I spilled my beer all over my shirt (a very nice one, too). But he either pulls up for a jumper or when he gets near, he'll either float it or try to hang in the air and put it over the defender. He can get away with this on the college level, but not in the pros.
My opinion is that he is worth a late lottery or mid-round pick, but if we're picking inside 10, I say pass.