June 20, 2012

McClinton breaks down decision

Winston-Salem (NC) Prep and CP3 All-Starts small forward Greg McClinton, who committed to Wake Forest Monday, June 18 around noon, said the Demon Deacons were on him hardest and the 6-foot-6, 185-pound rising senior added he wanted to be somewhere he felt wanted as a player.

He chose the Deacs over Louisville, Missouri and Xavier and others.

"That night [Sunday, June 17] I had talked with my about the recruiting process, and I told her I felt most comfortable with Wake Forest," McClinton said. "I told her was going to sleep on it and if I woke up feeling the same way I felt that night I was going to commit to Wake. When I woke up that morning I had got a call from [Head] Coach [Jeff] Bzdelik. He had told me if I needed anything or needed to talk I could come up to the school, so I was like I'm going to come up there today. I didn't tell him I was going to commit, and then I came up there and committed. They were really happy."

McClinton's relationship with Wake Forest assistant coach Rusty LaRue was certainly a key factor in local product's decision. LaRue coached him at Forsyth Country Day before joining the Demon Deacon coaching staff.

"I can talk to him [LaRue] about anything, about life," McClinton said. "He's always there for me. Anytime I need something I can call and talk to him about it. He's a big help when it comes to my game and my shot. He's always helped me with it, like drills, stuff to do for my shot. That's one of my weaknesses, so I just talk to him about a lot of stuff."

McClinton said he talked with Wake Forest freshmen Codi Miller-McIntyre and Aaron Rountree shortly after he committed to the Deacs.

"They were excited," McClinton said. "Anytime I had seen them before they had joked about me committing, so they were kind of excited. They were pretty happy about it, and they congratulated me."

The hometown pledge added he has gotten to know current Deacs C.J. Harris and Travis McKie.

He grew up cheering for the "Black & Gold," and modeled his game after NBA standout and Demon Deacon-great Josh Howard as a kid.

McClinton, who said he is 100-percent committed to Wake, is glad to be staying close to home and is optimistic about the future of the basketball program.

"When I get there I'm going to work hard and do what I have to do to get playing time," McClinton said. "Whatever I need to do that's what I'm trying to do for the team."

He averaged 16.4 points, eight rebounds, two steals, 1.3 assists and 1.3 blocks per game to lead Winston-Salem Prep to a 31-1 record and a state championship crown last season. McClinton, who is rated as a three-star recruit and as the nation's No. 102 overall prospect, is averaging 7.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game on the very competitive Nike EYBL circuit. The CP3 All-Stars are 14-6.

"I felt that I've been doing pretty good," McClinton said. "I can do better. There's always room for improvement. I've been doing okay. They [college coaches] like my athleticism [and] my ability to get to the basket."

He is working to improve his shot and strength before he enrolls at Wake next summer.

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