April 29, 2011

Greg McClinton getting to know new staff

Winston-Salem (N.C.) Prep small forward Greb McClinton never heard much from former NC State coach Sidney Lowe and company. However, new coach Mark Gottfried and his assistants wasted no time letting the athletic 6-foot-6, 180-pounder know that they were interested, dropping by the standout's school on April 18.

"I noticed that [it was a new staff]," he said. "It was good [to have the staff at his school], I guess they just started recruiting me. It was good because I had not heard from NC State before.

"It was my first time meeting them. They were real cool."

Although McClinton, who also suits up for the Chris Paul All-Stars, has already secured offers from Xavier, Virginia Tech and Miami (old staff); he admits that it is still early in the process and the Pack have plenty of time to make up ground.

"Yeah, they would be in the mix because they are an ACC school and are in my hometown," he said.

A minor knee tweaking forced McClinton to miss the fifth annual Dave Telep Carolina Challenge in late March but he reiterated that the injury was nothing serious and he missed the event as simply a precaution. However, he has made great strides in his game since exploding onto the scene at the 2010 edition of the event, where he tallied 17 points in one of the games as one of the younger players on the court.

"I improved on my shot, I think I improved more on my long ball and my handle got better," he said. "I became more of a leader because last year I didn't have to play a leader role but this year I did. I became more of a true basketball player."

The sophomore is not satisfied where his game is at, though. He wants to continue racking up offers on the recruiting trail and thinks that can be accomplished by continuing to improve on his outside jumper.

"I want to still improve my range, get stronger and tighten up my handle," he said. "I want to make sure I'm a good defensive player, too."

As a freshman, McClinton had to run the point for his prep team. He enjoys being a scorer, but found it just as easy to act as the offensive facilitator.

"I would say last year playing point guard was easier [than this past season] because I can handle the ball. It was pretty easy when all I had to do was distribute the ball."

In addition to NC State stopping by last week, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest also made the trip to see the youngster in person. Louisville and Clemson have also shown interest; and it is likely that Missouri starts to recruit the hoopster since new coach Frank Haith offered McClinton while at Miami and new assistant Tim Fuller was handling his recruitment for Louisville.

"I would say they are all the same now, I like them all," he said of the programs in pursuit. "It's still pretty early so I couldn't tell you a leader."

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