Greg McClinton said this past weekend at the NBA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, VA that he was looking to make a college decision sometime this summer "whenever it feels right." It appears that time came sooner than expected, as the Winston-Salem native picked Wake Forest earlier today over fellow suitors Louisville, Xavier, Missouri and Georgia Tech.
So first off, I would like to welcome Greg McClinton to Wake Forest! The commitment of the athletic wing is a big one for Bzdelik and company, as he provides a solid building block in that 2013 class. Read more for an in depth scouting report on McClinton's game.
As a player, McClinton can be defined by his elite athletic ability. The 6'6, 185-pound small forward elevates and runs with the best of them. This athleticism, along with his length, makes him an asset on both ends of the floor. At the Top 100 Camp, McClinton was able to get his hands in passing lanes and create steals that often led to transition opportunities. And this is where McClinton excels. He is incredibly smooth in the open floor and can finish above the rim with flare, something that Wake as a team has lacked the past couple years.
McClinton is not quite as effective in the half-court setting, but he still makes an impact simply due to his activity in the lane and around the rim. He appears to have a good instinct for the ball, evident when he puts himself in good position for offensive rebounds and put-backs. With a college strength program, McClinton can become a very good rebounder out of his position.
While his skillset is not overly advanced at this point, McClinton does have the ability to knock down midrange jumpers. His shooting, however, will need improvement, as his mechanics are not the best. The ball comes out of his hands with a funky side spin to it, and he doesn't seem to be consistently reliable from the outside yet. Nevertheless, he recognizes this area for improvement and has already begun working to refine it. He told me at the camp that his focus right now is devoted to developing every part of his game, but specifically his outside shooting. If this shot comes to form and he continues to develop his ball handling, then that is when he can become a consistent offensive threat at the next level, both in transition and in the half-court.
So, keeping all that in mind, what should we expect from McClinton? To start, he probably won't be a go-to guy offensively right when he steps on campus in the fall of 2013. But if he learns to bring it on a nightly basis, then he is going to be someone that can help Wake win ball games with his athleticism, defense and activity on both ends of the floor.
The potential is obviously there with this hometown kid, and his transfer from Winston-Salem Prep to Hargrave Military Academy this coming fall will only help his development as a player. Head coach and former Wake player A.W. Hamilton does a great job at Hargrave, and his presence should prove to prepare McClinton even better for ACC basketball. We all can't wait for McClinton to put on the black and gold and are even more excited to see him help the Deacs win games in the coming years! Welcome to Wake Forest, Greg!