McClellan Sticking to Commitment

Rumors that Arizona's prized 2004 recruit Jawann McClellan had backed off his commitment are false. Cattracks spoke with Jawann's father, George, this afternoon and he cleared up the situation. He also spoke at length about his son's game, his potential, the fact that he's got a lot growing left to do and potential Arizona point guard recruit Mustafa Shakur.

Internet reports stated that McClellan, a 6-5 wing guard from Houston's Milby High School, might have de-committed from Arizona. According to Jawaan's father, George, there is not a shred of truth to those rumors.

"Not at all," he said. "Some of the other college coaches that really want Jawann started those rumors but I don't want to name any names, that's just not how I am."

Recruiting analyst Greg Swaim, who is a very credible source for recruiting information and is based in the Midwest, posted the rumor on According to him, a number of coaches, including two from the Big XII and Pac-10, tipped him off to the de-commitment.

"We spoke with coach (Josh) Pastner and reconfirmed our commitment to Arizona," George said. "It's definitely on. That's why Jawann made a decision so soon, so that this recruiting process would be over. But he still gets at least ten pieces of mail a day and I'm looking at four shoe boxes full of letters sitting in my kitchen.

"With Jawann, I've tried to teach him that his word is his bond and to stick to what he says. Him taking back a commitment to Arizona is not going to happen. It's just not ever going to happen."

George McClellan did say that his son had some questions about his place on the team two years from now but they were addressed as well.

"Jawann was reading Athlon Magazine and he saw the number of guards Arizona has right now and was a little bit concerned; although not publicly," the elder McClellan said. "But after speaking with Josh Pastner he's not concerned at all anymore. If we could sign today, we would sign today."

McClellan has seen his stock rise in recent months and is considered to be the best shooter in his class by those who have watched him play. His father has watched his son progress as a player and knows his game as well as anyone. As unbiased as he could be, George talked about Jawann's style of play and what to expect when he gets to Arizona.

"He has a lot of developing to do in terms of mature growth," George said. "I took him to the doctor the other day and they said that Jawann isn't done growing. They said he could be at least 6'7" by the time he's done growing.

"Even if he gets to Arizona and Lute Olson wants to redshirt him, that's fine with both of us. When they're ready for him, he'll be ready to contribute. He has a natural shot, it's not something that needs to get fixed all the time. When he first started I thought his shot was like Ray Allen's but now he's almost Kobe-like."

That's quite a compliment for someone who won't even turn 17 until December. Comparing him to arguably the best player in the world is high praise, even if it is from his father, but it's not just idle talk. George McClellan really believes it.

"Jawann can shoot from any angle and from any range," he continues. "He shoots 24-footers as easily as he does mid-range shots from ten feet. When he gets into a rhythm he doesn't miss. When he was in ninth grade (two years ago) he hit eight straight threes and had 27 points in the second quarter; 42 in the half. He's guardable but you better get out on him quick or he'll knock his shots down."

The younger McClellan had a chance to play at this summer's prestigious ABCD camp in Teaneck, NJ and went up against potential Arizona recruit Mustafa Shakur, the nation's top point guard prospect. George talked about the conversation Jawann had with him about Shakur recently.

"Jawann played a game against that kid Shakur from Pennsylvania when he was at ABCD and he told me he was really impressed with him," George said. "He said he was the best player at the whole camp. I agreed with him but then he said that (Shakur) was the closest thing to Magic Johnson that he's ever seen and for Jawann to compliment someone they have to be good! With those two in the same backcourt in college Arizona will have the best backcourt in the nation."

Hmm. Perhaps George McClellan knows something about Mustafa that the rest of us don't.

"With (Shakur) running the point and passing and Jawann shooting on the wing, I'd take them against any other backcourt in the country. No question about it."

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