Written by Chris Kubala
After a disappointing end to the college basketball season where the lone champion, if you want to call it that, was COVID-19, we’ve seen a slew of players enter the transfer portal. There have been guys trying to make a name for themselves, young guys in search of more playing time, and of course, your grad transfers. That last group is the only group ensured of playing at their new school in 2020-21, whenever that season begins. Then you have the group of actual proven commodities who are looking for greener pastures. That group includes a pair of Wake Forest transfers in Chaundee Brown, who picked Michigan, and Olivier Sarr, who chose Kentucky.
One player who entered the portal earlier this month and who hadn’t made a decision was former Georgetown guard Mac McClung. He announced his intention to hit the portal earlier this month in part due to the team’s struggles and in part due to a disconnect with coach Patrick Ewing. On Wednesday, he announced his decision and made the fan base of one school happy, while disappointing those of the other six schools that were among his finalists.
McClung made his announcement that he was committing to Texas Tech. He has two seasons of eligibility left once he becomes eligible to play. The current plan for him is to apply for a waiver in hopes of taking the court this season. If that fails, he’d have to sit out the year and wouldn’t be eligible to take the floor until the 2021-22 season. McClung played 21 games last season, averaging 15.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. His season came to an end on February 21 with a foot injury. In his career, McClung has averaged 14.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest in 50 games over his two years with the program.
There are things that McClung is going to have to work on in order to be an effective player, both at Texas Tech and in the professional ranks. His shooting needs work, as does his shot selection. In his career, he has hit 39.3 percent from the field, including just 29.3 percent from beyond the arc. McClung needs to work on his ball-handling and become a more effective distributor as he has totaled only 109 assists against 96 turnovers in his two years. Granted, he was playing shooting guard for the Hoyas so he was only a secondary ball-handler but the Red Raiders need a point guard. Chris Beard has had success in developing talent at the position as Jarrett Culver was a first-round pick in the draft last year and Jah’mius Ramsey has the potential to follow suit in the 2020 NBA Draft. With Davide Moretti leaving the program and joining the EuroLeague, there are some holes in the backcourt for the Red Raiders.
What will McClung do if his application for a waiver is denied? Would he take the year to learn from Beard, work on his skills and try to become a more complete player? That would be his best course of action as he has work to do in order to become a serviceable player at the next level. The G League is a potential option but with that league not really set as to how they will proceed next season, that could end up hampering his development. McClung made the right decision from a college perspective and for filling what his needs were. Now, it’s up to him to follow through and make himself into the best possible player that he can be. Otherwise, at the end of the day, he’ll have no one to blame but himself for his failures.