Yesterday Mac McClung entered his name in the transfer portal, after deciding to leave Georgetown in search of a fresh start. While he doesn’t have a list of potential landing spots at this moment, UNC was a popular name as an option for the high flying guard. Carolina is bringing in a loaded recruiting class, one that finished 2nd in the country according to 247Sports, but still has one scholarship available. Roy Williams has been known to give out scholarships to walk-ons entering their senior season, but with McClung available it might change his direction on how to handle that final opening. Carolina didn’t have the success they anticipated last season with transfers, but this is a different scenario. McClung has experience competing in a Power 5 conference, so the step up in competition won’t be as drastic as it was for Christian Keeling and Justin Pierce this past season. Also there’s no guarantee that he’ll be available to play this season, but he would be a nice addition for the 2021-22 season, if he’s not eligible to play this winter. With that in mind, here’s why Carolina should express interest McClung:
Experience: Even though Carolina has a lot of incoming freshman talent, there’s a void of experience in the back court. In McClung’s two years at Georgetown he managed to win Big East Freshman of the Year, and has a 14.2 points per game average in 50 career games. Having a guy like McClung in the back court would relieve some stress of Caleb Love, who will have a lot asked of him the minute he arrives on campus.
Versatile Offensive Game: McClung made a name for himself with his high flying dunks, but he has the ability to score the ball in a variety of ways. He’s a career 39% shooter from the field, and 29.5% from behind the three point line, so while he’ll need to become more efficient there is raw ability to put the ball in the basket which Carolina needs. He also can put the ball on the floor and attack the rim, which puts constant pressure on the defense, and is something Carolina is in dire need of adding to their roster. You’d imagine playing with the type of talent Carolina has, and for Roy Williams would bring out the best of his offensive potential.
Point Guard Depth: This might be the most important factor in the interest Carolina has in McClung. After seeing Roy Williams start 4 different players at the point guard position this past season, we learned the hard way there’s no such thing as too much depth. With Jeremiah Francis having transferred, and Anthony Harris recovering from an ACL injury, the back court was already a little thin. With the addition of McClung, you no longer have to prioritize moving R.J. Davis to the backup point guard role, and allow him to focus on his natural position, at shooting guard. If Carolina feels more comfortable with the backup point guard role, Harris wouldn't have to rush back, even though the Carolina staff wouldn’t allow that anyhow.
Head Start on 2021-22 Roster Makeup: Because there’s no guarantee that he’ll be available to play this year, there’s a chance he’ll have to sit out a year before playing college basketball again. While in an ideal world you’d love to have him available this year, having to wait a year wouldn’t be the worst thing. It would give him time to adjust to the Carolina Way, and get settled as a student. More importantly Roy Williams would already have one piece on the roster for the 2021-22 season, where backcourt problems may arise once more. If McClung is on the roster, it will affect the way the staff recruits, and it would lessen the pressure to bring in a possible one and done prospect.