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Miami's Sheldon McClellan on Jerry West Award Watch List

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Courtesy UM

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - University of Miami senior Sheldon McClellan was among the 20 players named to the watch list for the 2016 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Tuesday.

As a junior in 2014-15, McClellan’s 48.4-percent shooting was the second-best shooting percentage in the nation by a guard in the "Power Five conferences", 18th-best shooting percentage by a guard in the nation, 90th-best shooting percentage in the nation among all positions, and the top shooting percentage by a guard in the ACC.

In 106 career games, the native of Houston, Texas, has scored 1,393 career points. In his first season at Miami, McClellan was the only Cane to start all 38 games. He averaged 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 33.6 minutes per game, and hit 48.4 percent (192-397) from the field, 35.8 percent (54-151) from three and 82.4 percent at the line. McClellan posted a trio of double-doubles on the season and scored in double digits in 31 games, including 15-straight from Nov. 21 to Jan. 22.

Named after Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Valuable Player Jerry West, the annual honor in its second year recognizes the top shooting guards in Division I men’s college basketball. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates.

"Jerry West is a basketball icon," said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. "As one of the best jump shooters to play the game, Jerry West’s drive for perfection is what set him apart. It’s that type of drive that will we required to take home this award in this year’s highly competitive field."

Jerry West attended the West Virginia University and averaged 24.8 points and 13.3 rebounds per game in his three varsity seasons. He led his team to the NCAA Championship game in 1959 and was named a consensus All-American in 1959 and 1960. In the summer of 1960, he was co-captain of the U.S. men’s basketball team and won an Olympic gold medal. As a professional player, West played fourteen seasons in the NBA with the Lakers making the All-NBA First Team ten times. West won an NBA championship in 1972 and was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1969 despite his team not winning the championship. In 1996, he was named a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.

"It is such an honor to be associated with this award," said Jerry West, a 1979 inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. "The 20 shooting guards on this list have undoubtedly put in tremendous effort. I’m looking forward to a great season of competition as we narrow our pool of candidates."

By mid-February, the watch list of 20 players for the 2016 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award will be narrowed to just 10. In March, five finalists will be presented to Mr. Erving and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2016 Jerry West Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show live from Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, April 8, 2016. Broadcast information will be released at a later date.

Last season, D’Angelo Russell of Ohio State was named the inaugural winner of the 2016 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. For more information on the 2016 Jerry West Award, log onto www.HoophallAwards.com.

2016 Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award Candidates

Allonzo Trier, Arizona

Anthony Drmic, Boise State

Kellen Dunham, Butler

Jordan Matthews, California

Grayson Allen, Duke

Dwayne Bacon, Florida State

Marvell Harris, Fresno State

James Blackmon, Indiana

AJ English, Iona

Antonio Blakeney, Louisiana State

Rasheed Sulaimon, Maryland

Sheldon McClellan, Miami

Caris Levert, Michigan

Malik Newman, Mississippi State

Buddy Hield, Oklahoma

E.C. Matthews, Rhode Island

Danuel House, Texas A&M

Melvin Johnson, Virginia Commonwealth

Malcom Brogdon, Virginia

Ron Baker, Wichita State

About the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: Located in Springfield, Massachusetts, the city where basketball was invented, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the game of basketball at every level – professional, collegiate and high school, for both men and women on the global stage.

Our take: McClellan is likely Miami's most talented offensive player.  His all-around skills are also underrated. If he plays the entire season with the same aggression he displayed in the NIT, an ALL-ACC caliber season and 1st round selection in the NBA Draft are his ceilings.