The NBA Draft Profile series continues its fast and furious pace with yet another Hurricane to be previewed in Miami’s star shooting guard, Sheldon McClellan. McClellan emerged as one of the top scoring guards in the conference in his last couple of seasons at the school, but will his offense alone be enough to get him drafted?
- Class: Senior
- Age: 23
- Height: 6’6″
- Weight: 200 lbs.
- Wingspan: 6’7″
- Max Vertical: 41.5″
- 32.9 minutes per game
- 16.3 points per game
- 3.2 rebounds per game
- 1.6 assists per game
- 50.4% shooting overall (40.6% from three)
- 83.8% free throw shooting
If your team needs a scorer in the 2016 NBA Draft, they should look no further than shooting guard Sheldon McClellan of Miami. Time and time again, it seemed like McClellan found a way to knock down timely shots for the Hurricanes. His veteran leadership, along with that of his backcourt running mate Angel Rodriguez, helped guide the Hurricanes to the Sweet 16.
McClellan, who was the team’s leading scorer last season, averaged a robust 16.3 points per game on an efficient 50.4% shooting from the field. Just as impressively, McClellan knocked down his three point attempts at a nearly 41% clip. When Rodriguez went cold from the floor, he looked to McClellan, who quickly became the team’s go-to scorer in crucial situations throughout ACC play. McClellan’s slashing ability, combined with his prowess from mid-range and deep on his jump shot, helped him to develop into one of the top scoring guards in the ACC.
Unfortunately for McClellan, the rest of his game is such a work in progress that his prospects of being selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft are not quite as solid as they should be given his offensive ability. McClellan’s defense has been a sticking point, primarily because of his slender frame as he went up against some of the top off-ball guards in the ACC. At 6’6″, McClellan has good height for a 2-guard in the NBA, but at only 200 lbs., he will have to develop into a bulkier player, while keeping his quickness, in order to have a legitimate chance to compete defensively at the professional level. By no means is he an elite athlete, but McClellan has shown enough quickness and athleticism to prove that he does have a chance to develop into a serviceable defensive player down the line.
Outside of the obvious issues with his frame and the potential trouble that he may face guarding at the next level, McClellan needs to improve parts of his offensive game as well. He is an adequate ball-handler for a shooting guard, but he must improve his court vision when slashing to the basket, in order to keep himself from taking a shot that’s not there. While he has never necessarily had a problem with forcing up shots, there are some cases on film where he has not given up the ball quickly enough, throwing a late pass that leads to a turnover. He must improve his anticipation when facing opposing defenses, which should help lead to improving his assist totals when he makes the jump to the pros.
Finally, one more aspect of the game for McClellan to improve is rebounding. This has to improve on both ends of the floor, but his deficiencies in this regard is in large part due to his slim frame. The rebounding problems for McClellan have never been an issue with effort necessarily, but rather the fact that he has trouble competing with some of the stronger players that he goes up against on the boards. Regardless of whether or not he puts on muscle weight, McClellan must work to improve his fundamentals and his footwork as a rebounder in order to put himself in the best position to make strides in the future.
With all this being said, I believe that McClellan has as much upside as any potential second round prospect in the draft. Based off of his scoring prowess alone, which should not drop off significantly at the NBA level, McClellan is well-worth the risk of a second round pick, especially when considering his work ethic and inherent basketball ability. The weight room should serve him well, which should help benefit the other parts of his game that are lacking right now.
I’m high on McClellan as a second round pick, and your team should be too.
NBA Draft Projection: Mid-to-Late Second Round Pick