2011 wing receiving early interest from USC

Tommy McLean has yet to step onto the basketball court as an upperclassman, but that hasn't stopped the talented 2011 wing out of Trinity Christian School (N.C.) from making a name for himself early in his high school career.

McLean is teammates with one of South Carolina's top targets in the 2010 class, Damontre Harris, but despite the hype that surrounds Harris on a team that lost in the NCISAA 1-A state playoffs in the semifinals last season, the 6-foot-5 McLean led the team in scoring.

"I've got a lot of calls on Tommy," Trinity Christian coach Heath Vandevender said. "South Carolina is definitely going to be on his radar."

According to McLean, other suitors that have come calling so far include ECU, High Point, UNC Wilmington and Auburn.

"I feel good about it," McLean said of the early attention. "Most schools have been sending me stuff. South Carolina (has) been sending me stuff about every week. That makes me want to work harder and try to accomplish what they've done.

"It feels kind of good. But at the same time, I have to stay focused. I have a long way to go."

Both Vandevender and McLean's AAU coach Rodney Scott admit that since he's so young, there's a lot more development that can come out of McLean. But he already plays in a talented division in high school, which includes such players as South Carolina targets Dezmine Wells (Word of God, 2011) and Luke Cothron (Flora MacDonald, 2010). Also in the Class 1-A were five star recruits John Wall (2009) and C.J. Leslie (2010). Then you add other 2010 players like Ian Miller (committed to Florida State) and Kadeem Green (who has South Carolina interest), and one can understand why leading a team in scoring that went that far in the playoffs is so big.

"I'm a leader; I like to push people harder," McLean said. "I'm a hard working person."

As far as proximity, McLean doesn't have a preference where he goes in college, but he does see himself as a small forward at the next level. McLean will be a tough matchup for other players, and even though he hasn't begun to tap into his full potential, he knows his strengths as a player right now.

"I can shoot the ball, take the ball off the dribble and create my own shot," he said.

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