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McClellan on Two National Player of the Year Watch Lists

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Story Courtesy UM

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami senior shooting guard Sheldon McClellan is turning heads across the country, earning nods on a pair of watch lists for national player of the year awards.

He is one of 50 players on the Naismith Trophy Men's College Player of the Year early season watch list, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced, and one of 33 players on the watch list for the Oscar Robertson Trophy for Men's National Player of the Year, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association released.

While leading the Canes to a 6-1 record and No. 21 position in the polls, McClellan is currently ranked nationally in 10 statistical categories. He is No. 44 in free throw percentage (89.7%), No. 50 in field goal percentage (59.7%), No. 81 in total points (119) and No. 96 in field goals made (96).  His 59.7 percent shooting is ninth in the nation among guards and fourth-best among players on teams in the top eight basketball conferences (Power Five plus A-10, BIG EAST & American).

The senior from Houston averages 17.0 points per game for Miami, hitting 59.7 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from three and 89.7 percent at the line. He also averages 2.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 steals in 32.6 minutes per game.

The Naismith Trophy

The Naismith Trophy is awarded annually to the players of the year in women’s and men’s college basketball. This elite award is named in honor of the creator of the game of basketball, Dr. James Naismith. He invented basketball in 1891 after seeing the need for more indoor sports options during the cold months of winter. With a soccer ball, two peach baskets and a set of rules, the sport was born.

Naismith Trophy Men's College Player Timeline

Midseason 30 - Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ten Semifinalists - Friday, March 2, 2016

Four Finalists - Sunday, March 20, 2016

Winner - Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Oscar Robertson Trophy

The Oscar Robertson Trophy watch list includes 33 players from 26 schools for the men’s national player of the year. The award will be presented at the College Basketball Awards gala in Oklahoma City on April 11, 2016, at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. The USBWA, comprised of nearly 1,000 sports journalists covering college basketball for newspapers, magazines and websites, will select the recipients of the awards.

Our take:  My one and only qualm with McClellan is that he is sometimes not aggressive enough. He seems to be more willing this season to be the "lead dog."   Miami's season will largely hinge on McClellan staying heavily involved in the offense game in and game out.  His defense is much improved. And his shooting ,which was already a strength, has been spectacular so far this season.  Any guard who can shoot 60% from the floor and 50% from 3 (even in small samples)  should be shooting the ball even more than they already are.