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Miami Basketball Player Review: Sheldon McClellan

In this new series we look at UM's returning hoops players, what they did right, what they can do better, who they should be watching film on this summer, and more.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Key Stats: 14.5 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.9 apg, 48% FG, 36% 3P, 82% FTs.

Best Game(s):  11/25 Vs Charlotte, 32 points, 11-17 from the floor, 5-7 on threes, 11 rebounds, 3 assists.  &

2/16 Vs BC, 48 minutes, 24 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists.  &

3/31 Vs Temple, 16 points, 11 rebounds, in NIT semifinals.

Worst Game:  1/28 Vs GT, 6 points on 2-7 shooting.

What he does well: The most gifted player physically not only on Miami's roster, but arguably the entire ACC. Uses his ridiculous 44 inch vertical to produce spectacular finishes above the rim nearly every game. Loves to get out in transition and is nearly unstoppable when filling a lane on the break.  McClellan is also an above average shooter and can create his own shot, or knock down open J's when other players create.  Is deadly accurate and clutch at the charity stripe.  Additionally the Texas transfer has pretty good handles and even played a little point guard toward the end of the season this year. Pretty unselfish most of the time, and occasionally sets up teammates with nice passes.  At times he can also be ferocious on the glass too. McClellan is also good if not great defensively, and rarely gets beat off the dribble, which allows him to stay out of foul trouble most games. During UM's NIT run, he was a more complete and confident player, and  took over games on the offensive end when the team needed it. Overall a very natural scorer with NBA talent.

What he needs to improve: While McClellan is certainly above average on the glass, he tends to collect boards with one hand and slap at the ball. While it looks good, its not exactly fundamentally sound.  On occasion he also dribbles the ball a little high in transition which can lead to turnovers.  Each of those issues are easily correctable. He also seems to be hesitant in turning the corner sometimes on his drives.  But more importantly than any of that,  McClellan needs to be more consistently aggressive next season. He just looks different than the other players on the court.  His motor seemed to catch up with his talent down the stretch, which is a good sign for next season. The sky is the limit for this guy, if he brings that consistently aggressive approach to games. Far too often in 2014-15 he deferred to teammates.

Player I would like him to watch film on: Latrell Sprewell, former Knicks, Warriors, & Timberwolves star.  Okay, it's not that his game reminds me that much of Sprewell's. And we certainly don't want Sheldon strangling Coach L in practice. But if you combined McClellan's talent and skill set with the "playing with your hair on fire"  all out aggression that Sprewell brought to games, you will have something very special.

Summary:  There is some talk that McClellan is testing the waters and looking for draft projections if he forgoes his senior season and declares for the NBA.  I have no doubt he can play professionally.   I also have no doubt that he can greatly enhance his stock by coming back to UM and putting together the monster season both he and the team are capable of in 2015-16.  Much like the team as a whole, McClellan's talent is evident but inconsistent.  With some overall improvement and sustained confidence,  he could be a superstar next year in the Atlantic Coast Conference and work himself into an NBA 1st round Draft Pick to boot.  Chances are he comes back, and becomes the best player on a very good team. McClellan should be very fun to watch for fans in Coral Gables next year.