Mark L. Baer USA TODAY Sports
cheap Sheldon McClellan jersey was an alternate invite to the NBA Draft Combine, but it’s hard to figure out why since hewas more than deserving to be on the initial list.
He’s a bouncy, athletic shooting guard with a jump shot, and was one of the most efficient scorers in college basketball.
The combine invite list is compiled by surveying NBA teams and identifying which players they want to watch. McClellan was a fifth year senior he started his career at Texas and had to sit out a year as a transfer to Miami so maybe the fact he’s one of the oldest players in the draft tempered interest.
But there’s enough to like about McClellan to take a shot on him in the second round.
Since McClellan doesn’t figure to be a high usage player in the NBA either, it’s encouraging that he doesn’t need a lot of shots to get his points.
McClellan extended his range throughout his college career and should have no issue with the NBA line. He’s effective creating space off a ball screen and has the quickness to turn the corner.
McClellan had the third highest max vertical at the combine (41.5 inches), and that comes in handy around the rim. He was a strong finisher throughout his four years of eligibility (see chart), and the Hurricanes often targeted him on alley oops.
The way McClellan performed in big contests was also encouraging. He averaged 21.3 points in three NCAA tournament games, and his average went up a tick (16.4 PPG) during 14 games against NCAA tourney teams this past year.
Rob Foldy/Getty Images
There aren’t a lot of holes in McClellan’s offensive game. He has a tendency to over dribble sometimes, but he’s confident when he gets his opportunities and understands his strengths. He would go stretches where he’d disappear, but that should be less of an issue in the NBA when he’s not a primary scorer.
McClellan needs to make most improvements on the defensive end, however.
His defensive posture isn’t great, as he bends too much at the waist. He also gets screened too easily and doesn’t show a lot of fight in pick and roll coverage.
At 23 years old (24 in December), you would hope he’d be a better defender. The only noticeable differences were that Hardaway looked to make plays for others more than McClellan, while McClellan is a slightly more explosive athlete and got to the rim more often.
Hardaway has had a solid first three years in the league and averaged double figures each of his first two seasons in New York. That bodes well for McClellan.
Best Case ScenarioThe best case scenario is thatMcClellanlands on a roster needing depth at the 2 and has immediate playing time available, similar to the scenario for Hardaway in New York.
McClellan is not an upside pick, so his success early will be a big factor as to whether he hangs on in the league or not.
Worst Case ScenarioIt was a surprise to see McClellan transfer from cheap basketball jerseys Texas because he was the team’s second leading scorer his final year in Austin. It wasn’t as if he wasn’t getting minutes or shots. That was a time, however, when the UT roster had a mass exodus. Four of the six players in his class ended up transferring during their careers, and a fifth, Myck Kabongo, left to go pro after just two seasons.
Then Texas head coach Rick Barnes made it clear to me the next season that he was happy to see his roster turn over. McClellan’s success at Miami makes some of this forgettable, but NBA teams do their homework, and it’s possible his reputation at UT could come back to bite him when it comes to the draft.