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Player Profile: SF Greg McClinton

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Blogger So Dear's player profiles continue as the exhibition opener against Young Harris is just three days away.

Dean Shore

Greg McClinton will finally make his first appearance in a Wake Forest jersey on Friday night after a long and arduous recovery from an ACL tear suffered during his senior year of high school at Hargrave Military Academy. A four-star composite recruit according to 24/7 sports recruiting rankings, McClinton committed to the Demon Deacons under Jeff Bzdelik as a life-long resident of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and is expected to have an immediate impact on the Wake Forest basketball team this year as a redshirt freshman.

With an offer list that included Connecticut, Georgia Tech, Alabama, and Cincinnati, McClinton is arguably the best player recruited by the former staff and he will have four years under the tutelage of Danny Manning to hone his skills in the ACC. Wake fans have a lot to be excited about with McClinton who not only has an athletic skill set, but also has been touted as a leader for the basketball team from the second he stepped foot onto campus. Rumors of McClinton taking control of the locker room at halftime of the Clemson game last year, delivering an emotional plea to his team to play harder and get the job done in the second half despite being a freshman who had yet to play a game as a Demon Deacon endeared him to factions of the fan base eager to find a bright spot amidst the sordid state of affairs in Bzdelik's final year as the embattled head coach.

Entering campus as a 6'6" 180 lb forward, McClinton has packed on some muscle in the weight room and is currently listed at 200 lbs entering the season. Slated in by many as a starter, McClinton has the ability to get down the lane off the dribble with an explosive first step while he is equally as comfortable stepping out and shooting a jumper, including from outside the arc. One area where Greg will almost certainly excel from day one, even if he takes a little bit to adapt with the ball to the speed of college play, is on the defensive side where he has a knack for getting his hands into passing lanes and disrupting the opposing offense. Bottom line is this guy has a nose for the ball and from all reports is an extremely intelligent player with a high basketball IQ who is respected by his teammates.

With a year under his belt on campus, it will be critical for McClinton to take on the role of a leader even as he himself plays his first year as a redshirt freshman. With everyone on the team off to a fresh start under a new head coach, guys like McClinton have the opportunity to lay the foundation to make something special happen over the next few years and with a core skill set which allows Greg to get down the lane with ease, finish hard around (and above) the rim, and play aggressive defense night in and night out, I believe the Demon Deacon faithful will be thrilled to have the local Winston-Salem guy on the team.