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Mac McClung to Transfer From Georgetown

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Team McClung to take its show elsewhere.

Georgetown v Villanova Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Mac McClung is living his dream as a pop-icon-dunker-turned-traveling-circus and is taking his talents away from Georgetown via transfer.

After surprising everyone and their mothers by announcing his intent to “test the waters” in the NBA Draft in late March, the Justin Bieber of college hoops has announced he has entered his name in the transfer portal. His hope is likely that a waiver is available and that a year-in-residency won’t be needed.

Like Ewing foretold, McClung is withdrawing from the draft, but not coming back to Georgetown. The rumor has been around for weeks.

Jonathan Givony of ESPN reports:

McClung informed Georgetown of his plans earlier today, and he also intends to withdraw his name from the NBA draft. He expects to appear in the portal imminently after completing the required paperwork this morning.

“It was a number of different events that made me feel I had no choice but to transfer from Georgetown,” McClung told ESPN. “I really wanted to stay, but things throughout my career made me realize that I couldn’t.

Mac McClung has deservingly been a lightning rod for many of Georgetown’s woes the past two years, but was part of a recruiting class that had a lot of promise after scoring three guys on the All-BIG EAST Freshman team. Now, like Josh LeBlanc and James Akinjo, McClung is gone too. When Akinjo transferred last year, his uncle all-but-confirmed that sharing possessions with McClung was a wedge that drove him out. McClung’s injury certainly made the end of season a “what if” situation, but Ewing gave him every chance to shine in December.

It’s unclear when Team McClung decided to transfer. McClung’s April interviews with Ben Standig of The Athletic and Ava Wallace of the Washington Post betrayed nothing of his defection. In fact, McClung expressed pride for the team’s December effort and optimism of his leadership if he were to return from the draft process. McClung had even acknowledged his shortcomings in decision-making (a.k.a. shooting way too often). Moreover, risking sitting out a year, just plain doesn’t make sense to a kid with tangible aspirations of the NBA.

McClung told ESPN that Ewing’s “podcast with Andy Katz was not the deciding factor to my decision to transfer,” but the timing is difficult to ignore, even with the rumors from early April. After McClung’s agent Tweeting a response to the video, Ewing walked back his comment saying “Maybe I spoke too soon.” Clearly there was some misunderstanding.

This latest transfer is yet another black eye for Patrick Ewing and Georgetown, who can’t seem to keep his talent, at least from the 2022 class. With at least a handful of transfers, two dismissals for rule-breaking, and two players leaving early for (at best) two-way G-League deals, Ewing can’t be happy. Along with missing out on nearly 25 transfers this spring, the writing is likely on the wall that this team is not quite tournament caliber. If this transfer idea came from McClung’s feedback from real NBA scouts, it may sting Ewing a bit more.

The next question is “What were the ‘number of different events’ that made McClung feel he had ‘no choice but to transfer from Georgetown?’” and could Ewing have prevented them?

Where Mac McClung ends up is anyone’s guess. Will a higher-rated program give him the minutes and field goal attempts he needs? Perhaps he goes to a smaller school closer to Gate City, VA, so he can make some money from endorsements via the pending NCAA rule-change. Generally, McClung may need a program where he can take 35 shots per game, in a conference where he can find more than one breakaway dunk every six games.

Perhaps this is a true jinx, as I just wrote up a post on the roster moments before the announcement.

We wish him the best of luck.

UPDATE:

Press release from Georgetown:

Mac McClung to Transfer from Georgetown

WASHINGTON – Georgetown University rising junior men’s basketball player Mac McClung has announced he will enter the NCAA transfer portal on Wednesday.

“Mac was an integral piece of our program and when he let me know his decision I was disappointed, but he needs to do what’s best for him, I want to wish him luck in his future endeavors. Moving forward, our focus is the core that we have coming back and our incoming class.” Ewing said.

McClung appeared in 21 games during the 2019-20 season, averaging 15.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.

He appeared in 29 games as a freshman in 2018-19, averaging 13.1 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. In two years at Georgetown, McClung averaged 14.2 points and 2.8 rebounds in 50 career games.

UPDATE 8:00 PM:

The Washington Post had a nice article that featured a quote from Daniel Hanzan of Hazan Sports Management:

The feedback that he got from [NBA] teams was that they wanted to see him facilitating more ... Being more of a point guard role, etc. I’m not saying he couldn’t have gotten that at Georgetown, but he didn’t showcase that at Georgetown. He didn’t get the opportunity really to showcase that. He was playing off the ball.

The article also included a show of support of Ewing from Georgetown Athletic Director Lee Reed:

Coach Ewing has done a really good job during his time here ... You have to take into account where we were and how far we’ve come in all aspects. …

We knew it would take some time to get us back to where we wanted to go.