Well, it’s a strange, mixed-up world out there, partially due to this coronavirus pandemic, but not many fans of the Georgetown Hoyas would have predicted that sophomore Mac McClung might declare for the NBA draft in the last week of March. Georgetown fans were desperately looking forward to a healthy McClung next year, but this announcement has made Mac-supporters nervously reading tea leaves.
According to a text message to ESPN, McClung stated he has hired a certified agent and will retain his eligibility should he decide to withdraw before the current deadline of June 15th.
Mac McClung finished his Georgetown season in a walking boot on the bench, after trying loafers, presumably before his current post-surgery convalescence in his Gate City home.
Ewing said that McClung didn't travel with the team because he went home after having a procedure done. He's been out with a foot injury since the beginning of February.— Ava Wallace (@avarwallace) March 12, 2020
McClung generally played well in his sophomore campaign before sidelined with eye and foot issues, separately, during the conference portion of the schedule. Most pundits and fans agree that McClung is not quite ready to be drafted to the NBA, especially given his recent injury. McClung’s potential is still notably high, but can anyone say he’s in a better position than all-conference scoring guards such as Markus Howard or Myles Powell (as juniors or seniors)? If their pro-prospects are in question, aren’t McClung’s?
There is plenty of speculation that McClung might be using this potentially prolonged period of time of NBA Draft preparations to get more exposure to teams. Front office executives and coaches will be FaceTiming athletes for weeks or longer if the season is further delayed with the quarantine schedule. With his southern manners and “yes sir” responses, Mac McClung likely interviews as well as anyone declaring. Teams would be stupid not to connect with him.
Mac McClung has a reported 47-inch vertical! pic.twitter.com/vZeAl9Fifi— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) March 29, 2020
Not only will McClung benefit from exposure, he will hopefully get valuable feedback from NBA coaches. McClung has plenty of game tape out there for consumption and dissection. Those who have followed his Big East career, including a former NBA assistant Who is his head coach, may have a list for McClung to work on, but hearing things from prospective employers may go a bit longer.
The optimistic fan might believe that McClung returning is still predetermined. For instance, McClung’s declaration-while-maintaining-eligibility may have been part of the 3-year (or 4-year) plan. McClung’s prior offseason workouts with private pro-level coaches, along with an oddly timed March profile on Bleacher Report, paints a picture that this decision may not have only been made this week. This could all be calculated to keep him relevant and maximize his value as a junior or senior. That said, there’s no guarantee McClung is coming back.
There are plenty of reasons to leave early. Risking injury, increased draft competition, and even lost time to taking classes may not be conducive to his perceived pathway to the pros. Never a man to back down from a challenge, McClung could expect heavy opposition focus next year. If McClung is concerned that Georgetown would finish in the Big East basement again next year, perhaps turning pro is his best move.
Losing McClung would mean that all of Ewing’s class of 2018 recruits are gone. Grayson Carter, James Akinjo, and Josh LeBlanc have all transferred for one reason or another. In some minds, Mac McClung leaving at this stage (and not seeing immediate pro success) could be considered as another black eye for Ewing and the program, even if it would open a fourth scholarship.
Georgetown fans have, by and large, been incredibly supportive of Mac McClung as a Hoya. In fact, at least one naysayer has said that fan-support of McClung may have contributed to Akinjo’s decision to transfer. Still, McClung has been a bit of a lightning rod for criticism during GU’s coldest shooting streaks and worst defensive troubles. McClung can turn on assist generation quickly, but he’s still a score-first guard. It’s hard to ignore that one of Patrick Ewing’s biggest wins as a coach, the game at Butler, lacked the Gate City legend and Omer Yurtseven. The foot injury really stripped McClung of an opportunity to demonstrate to Georgetown supporters and beyond that he is a true multifaceted college star.
It’s a tough time for McClung fans who want to see him lead Georgetown to some post-season success, but are also eager to see him perform at the next level. McClung’s roles on the team were TBD to begin with—offensive leadership, ball-handling duties, defensive assignments, accompanying lineups, and shot-selection leash were all unanswered questions fans were expecting to ask Patrick Ewing ahead of next season. Georgetown players have shown they can step-up in his stead at times, but a future without Mac McClung is not a happy one.
Best of luck to Mac. If we get a vote, it’s undoubtedly to see more dunks in blue and gray. HOYA SAXA.
Here are the links:
”I have declared for the 2020 NBA Draft while also maintaining eligibility,” McClung told ESPN in a text message. “I have submitted my form to the Undergraduate Advisory Committee, and sent in paperwork to the league office. I have also signed with an NBA/NCAA certified agent which gives me an opportunity to go through this process while also maintaining eligibility”...
“Going through this NBA pre-draft process with all the unknown is very challenging for me. Not knowing if I will have the opportunity to work out for teams, or the status of the NBA combine make this process different. I understand that the NBA draft process will be different this year given the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. I am looking forward to getting feedback from NBA teams, as well as give NBA teams an opportunity to get to know me on a more personal level. I feel as if I have an obligation with the platform I have to remind people the importance of social distancing and staying home as much as possible.”
Georgetown's Mac McClung has declared for the NBA Draft, he told ESPN. "I understand the process will be different this year given the pandemic. I'm looking forward to getting feedback and giving teams an opportunity to get to know me on a personal level." https://t.co/uwL2ll3AZW— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) March 29, 2020
A foot injury limited him to just 21 games in 2019-20, but he averaged 15.7 points and 1.4 steals when he was on the court. His athleticism will help overcome his size limitations at 6’2”, although he will have to improve his shooting numbers after making just 32.3 percent of three-point attempts this past season. He would also become a better prospect if he could run the point and create for others, a major question mark after averaging just 2.4 assists per game.
Still, McClung is confident he will be an NBA player. “Oh yeah, there’s no doubt in my mind,” he told Bleacher Report’s Matthew Foley in early March. “But I gotta prove it. And I will prove it. I got something to prove every day.”
Georgetown #Hoyas sophomore guard Mac McClung has declared for the 2020 #NBADraft without an agent meaning he has an option to return to the Hoyas for his junior year.— The 5th Quarter (@The5ifthQuarter) March 29, 2020
Here’s a throwback to the time he put up 38pts in 38 minutes against Little Rock pic.twitter.com/49oMGFad2u
The six-foot-two guard is known for his deep shooting range and his highlight dunks. McClung’s shot is inconsistent however, as he shot under 40% in each of his first two seasons at Georgetown. McClung’s defense also needs work. McClung projects to be a point guard in the NBA, due to his size.
To make it as a lead guard, he’ll need to work on his ballhandling and playmaking. With those question marks, McClung is seen as a stretch to be drafted in the second round. McClung stated he’s signing with an NBA/NCAA approved agent. That will allow him to keep his college eligibility as he goes through the pre-draft process.
From Gate City, Va., he broke Allen Iverson’s single-season state high school scoring record in 2018 and scored 2,801 points in his high school career. His draft chances are questionable, however. Neither ESPN nor CBS Sports lists him among the top 75 draft prospects.
“He’s got a lot of tricks in his bag, and he’s fearless,” ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla told Bleacher Report earlier this month. “Within a short period of time, playing in a very good conference, he’s proven to be more than his reputation as a dunker. He’s on his way to being a very good college guard.”
Mac Mcclung obviously coming back to school but would be hilarious if he got drafted after Trevon Duval didn’t lmao pic.twitter.com/TzmoEBsZ7V— john (@iam_johnw) March 29, 2020
As an underclassman, McClung had until April 26 to decide whether to declare. He can withdraw from the draft and return to Georgetown next season, as Maryland guard Anthony Cowan, for example, did last spring.
In 21 games in 2019-20, McClung led the Hoyas with 15.7 points per game, along with averaging 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals. But he missed 10 of the last 11 games of the Big East schedule with a lingering foot injury.
“We’ve done a good job of seeing most of these guys,” Warriors GM Bob Myers said. So I don’t think you’ll hear anybody complaining that we didn’t have enough information. There was time.” Between now and the draft, currently scheduled for June 25 — though the league calendar remains fluid — the Warriors front office will hold conference calls every two weeks to discuss draft strategy...
As the draft gets closer and they continue to watch film and potentially conduct FaceTime or Skype interviews with prospects, they will ramp up the frequency of those calls until they are daily. Eventually, they will settle on a top 15 and a list of roughly 50 other players who could be targeted in the second round or as undrafted free agents.
Mac McClung Leaving Georgetown For 2020 NBA Draft https://t.co/mVzyn0VaHU— RealGM (@RealGM) March 29, 2020
“Any scenario where the draft happens, it’s very likely going to be still be at the back end of the playoffs, and you would still have a time when you would have the draft and free agency,” Wojnarowski said. “So potentially if the season is resumed at some point and the league is playing in July and August and maybe even into September, it’s possible you don’t have a draft and free agency until those finals are over.”
As of now, the NBA Early Entry Eligibility Deadline is at 11:59 p.m. on April 26 and the Early Entry Entrant Withdrawal Deadline is at 5 p.m. on June 15. The NBA Draft Combine is also set for May 14-19.
Here is a February memo from the NCAA titled “Information Regarding the 2020 National Basketball Association Draft and Combine, Agents and Workouts.”
Here is a 2019 Educational Guide from the NCAA.
Solid interview on @overtime’s instagram story with Mac McClung On NBA draft— Philadelphia Hoyas (@PhillyHoyas) March 30, 2020
Agent: Daniel Hazan
#1 thing to work on: decision making & shot selection
position: PG (facilitating, still scoring)
Ewing & Georgetown hoops alum: very supportive
hair: blondhttps://t.co/K2bW4l8ipU pic.twitter.com/NPWR27Dkpk