Q&A: CBS college hoops analyst Clark Kellogg talks Arizona basketball
Before he became a college hoops analyst on the CBS Sports Network, Clark Kellogg was a star forward at Ohio State who went on to be a top-10 pick in the 1982 NBA draft, going to the Indiana Pacers.
Kellogg is now also an advisory board member for the Capital One Cup, a competition that determines the best men’s and women’s NCAA Division I programs across the nation.
Capital One will give a combined $400,000 in student-athlete scholarships and a trophy to the victorious schools this summer at the ESPY awards.
Currently, Arizona’s 12 points have earned it the No. 15 spot in the women’s cup standings. The UA is not in the top 19 men’s cup standings.
Kellogg spoke with the Daily Wildcat about his thoughts on the Capital One Cup, Arizona basketball and the Pac-12 Conference heading into the start of March Madness.
The Daily Wildcat: The Capital One Cup has become a big deal over the past several years. What’s it like being a part of the advisory board?
Kellogg: Obviously, I’m thrilled about it. … Capital One wants to shine a light to on-the-field and on-the-court excellence, but also wants to show its support for the great work student athletes do off the court and field as well. … Moving into March Madness, people especially want to follow the standings of the cup.
Arizona men’s basketball has enjoyed a lot of success this season and has consistently remained in the top five. Based on what you’ve seen, how will it fare in March?
They’ve certainly had to change the way they play and win without Brandon Ashley. … But to the Wildcats’ credit, they’ve found a way to be effective. They have an excellent backcourt with T.J.
McConnell and Nick Johnson. … So this is still one of the teams that I think not only has a chance to get to the Final Four, but also cut the nets down and win it.
Obviously, there is a lot of professional talent up and down Arizona’s roster. Which current Wildcat do you see having the most NBA success?
I love Aaron Gordon’s energy, athleticism and his defensive ability. His offensive game needs some refinement and polishing, as do most college players and certainly freshmen. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is definitely an interesting prospect, Nick Johnson appears to have pro potential and I like Brandon Ashley, even though he’s hurt. I’ve only watched them on television, though, and you can only get 75 percent of your analysis done TV viewing; the other has to be done face-to-face.
You said even without Ashley, the UA still has a good chance to win its second national championship. What’s your main reason it could go all the way?
I really like the guard play. McConnell is not flashy; he’s crafty and effective. Johnson is having an All-American-type season, so that would be the one thing to highlight that could give them a chance.
The Pac-12 has seen its ups and downs throughout the season. While it’s a pretty strong conference right now, where do you see it in five years?
I would think it will be right there in the top of the heap. It’s cyclical in terms of conference strength. It’s predicated on players, how long they stay and how good they are. … I think the Pac-12 is in a good place and has rebounded nicely from a couple of down years as a league. … I think the Pac-12 will be right there in the top three or four leagues as far as basketball goes.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo