Oklahoma lost sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak to transfer a few weeks ago, but the Sooners have already picked up a new guard to help offset the loss of their former backup guard.
According to a report from Bob Pryzbylo of Sooners Illustrated, Oklahoma landed a commitment from Westchester Community College point guard Giovanni McLean on Friday. McLean told Pryzbylo that he plans to sign his letter of intent next week.
The 6-foot-1 point guard averaged 16.8 points, 7.2 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game on 43.7 percent shooting from three-point range at Westchester last season and gives the Sooners a guard that can immediately play the minutes left behind by Hornbeak.
“It feels like a big boulder has been lifted off my shoulders,” McLean said in the story. “I just loved it. It was great to get to know the coaches and players. Getting that bond with the coaches was something I was really looking for.”
Hornbeak averaged 18 minutes a game last season and scored 5.1 points to go along with 2.6 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game on 39 percent shooting and 22 percent shooting from three-point range.
Since Oklahoma returns double-figure scorers Jordan Woodard and Isaiah Cousins in the starting backcourt, McLean will get valuable minutes as the third guard. Woodard averaged 10.3 points and 4.6 assists per game in his freshman year while Cousins averaged 11 points and 4.2 rebounds.
“I was able to catch a few of their games this season, and I really like the way they play,” McLean said in the story. “I think it’s going to be a great fit.”
McLearn was also considering Missouri, Texas State, Memphis and St. John’s according to Pryzbylo.
When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.
LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.
Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).
All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.
The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.
Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.