is one of those players that are extremely easy to rule out on first glance. A transfer from Siena in the Metro-Atlantic Conference, severely undersized at 6-1, skinny, not particularly athletic and clearly not a point guard, he really couldnt be any further from what we typically look for in an NBA prospect. McClinton is not the type to take no for an answer, though, which is why we had to look back and double-check to make sure were not missing the boat.
A pure scorer would be a good way to start describing him. McClinton is the third-best returning scorer in the ACC after Tyler Hansbrough
and Tyrese Rice
, and brings to the table outstanding shooting percentages from both the free throw line (92%) and beyond the arc (43%). Sporting perfect mechanics, a quick, effortless release, and range that extends well beyond the NBA 3-point line, McClinton has a claim to be considered amongst the top shooters in college basketball. He is fantastic with his feet set, but also looks very comfortable pulling up off the dribble, bringing the added versatility of being able to run off screens, catch, square his shoulders and get his shot off, all in one fluid motion.
Even though 56% of his field goal attempts came from beyond the arc last season, McClinton should be considered more than just a perimeter shooter. He has great all-around scoring instincts, being a fairly good ball-handler, with a quick first step, the ability to change speeds nicely, an excellent crossover, and the aggressiveness needed to get to the free throw line at a pretty solid rate.
Not big, strong or athletic enough to finish amongst the trees once inside the paint, McClinton would much rather pull-up off the dribble from mid-range (sometimes with a Chris Douglas-Roberts
-esqe floater) than take the ball all the way inside. He has excellent lower body strength finding his balance and calibrating his shot on his pull-up, and seems to have that rare ability that most great scorers do to just throw the ball in the basket from the toughest of angles.
Hes also not afraid to take advantage of that fact, looking more than willing to step up and take responsibilities when the situation calls for it, as we saw in the first round of the NCAA tournament last season, where he reeled off an incredible 38 points in just 37 minutes in a win against St. Marys.
Fearless and unpredictable, like many lightning in a bottle type combo guards, McClinton has a tendency to go a little too far at times, though, displaying questionable shot-selection, dribbling with his head down, and forcing the issue a bit. Sporting a 1/1 assist to turnover ratio, and with a clear-cut shoot-first mentality, McClinton looks very far from being considered a point guard at the moment. Although thats not as much of a deal-breaker as it used to beask two players he strongly resembles in Jannero Pargo
(especially) and Eddie House
a lot of things will need to fall into place for McClinton to get drafted and/or make a team.
Like both House and Pargo, McClinton puts a very good effort in defensively, oftentimes being the one assigned to guard the opposing teams best perimeter scorer, when his team can afford it. He is a tough, pesky player, very good in the passing lanes, with very nice timing and strong anticipation skills. Not particularly big, strong or athletic, his potential on the defensive end looks a bit limited at the next level, as he will likely struggle to guard his natural position (shooting guard).
Players like McClinton sometimes make an NBA team right away, and sometimes are forced to go overseastiming and situation will play big factors here. A lot will depend on what kind of season he has both individually and collectively as a team with Miami. The Hurricanes have a strong roster and are getting some good hype early on to potentially make a deep run in the NCAA tournament. Obviously McClinton will play a big role in that. Stay tuned.