Sheldon McClellan is tearing it up for the 8-1 Miami Hurricanes, averaging 16.8 points and 3.0 rebounds with a ridiculous 59/55/88 shooting split (FG/3FG/FT) while coming off a dominating 24-point (on 12 shots) performance against the Florida Gators.
Yet his name never gets mentioned in the NBA Draft discussion and is nowhere to be found in mock drafts. Draft Express considers him the 80th best NBA prospect, which is insulting.
“I’ve told everybody,” Jim Larrañaga said on WQAM’s Joe Rose Show on Wednesday. “I’ve written every NBA scout that I know that Sheldon McClellan is a first-round NBA draft choice. And I know he’s not that one-and-done guy. He’s not a superstar freshman like we see so many times get drafted in the lottery but if you’re an NBA team looking for a two guard who can put the ball in the basket, who can defend — he’s playing great defense right now. He continues to get better in that area and his offensive skills are at the highest level. Probably the most talented guard I’ve ever coached.”
Larrañaga may have a point.
McClellan is not only above and beyond the best overall player on the tournament-bound Canes but his numbers hold up against just about anyone from an efficiency standpoint. He ranks fifth in the ACC in Win Shares, seventh nationally in Offensive Win Shares and paces the ACC in True Shooting Percentage.
McClellan may not have the same upside of some of these ballyhooed freshmen but he’s a damn good player as is. In a league thirsty for wing players who can impact the game on both ends, NBA teams ought to give him a better look. And they’ll be forced to come tourney time.
First-round pick? Probably not. But McClellan looks like a legitimate second-rounder — at worst.
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