McClellan Leads Texas past UT-Arlington

Ever since the first tip of practice, Texas coach Rick Barnes has talked about Sheldon McClellan's scoring potential. And on Tuesday, in a 80-62 victory over Texas-Arlington, McClellan showed why.

The freshman wing scored a career-high 23 points off the bench, adding serious punch to the Longhorns on a day when they struggled from behind the three-point line.

"I'm more blown away every day," Barnes said. "He is tremendously talented. He still doesn't understand how good he can be. There are a lot of things that he knows he needs to learn about the game, but he is one of the last people to leave the court every day. We left here last night and I heard him in the weight room cutting up and shooting baskets. Tonight, he took shots, and that is what we have tried to tell him to do. When he's open, he's one of those guys that every time it leaves his hands you think it's going in."

McClellan had long been touted as the second-best freshman in the class to point guard Myck Kabongo, but he has been asked to settle into a role as sixth man as fellow frosh Kabongo, Julien Lewis and Jonathan Holmes start off the game on the court.

"I don't know that it bothers him," Barnes said of McClellan's role. "As time goes on, I think the guy that is going to end up playing more, out of those guards, is going to be the guy who gets the most consistent, defensively. Both he and Julien [Lewis] were not very good defensively tonight. We have guys who can score the ball. When we execute and screen, we are going to get what we need to get."

What Texas got from McClellan was a dynamo performance. He poured in 13 of the Longhorns' 17 points in the first eight minutes, and eventually became the second Longhorn — behind J'Covan Brown — to score 20-or-more points in a game this season. McClellan shot 8-for-11 from the floor for the game and made 4-of-6 three-pointers. The rest of the Longhorns shot just 2-for-19 from behind the arc. McClellan also added six rebounds, tied for the second-best mark in the game.

Four other Longhorns joined him with double-digits. Kabongo continued his strong run with 13 points and seven assists, while Lewis also had 13. Brown had 11 points on 2-of-11 shooting, and was the game's primary offender from behind the arc. shooting just 1-for-7 from distance. Alexis Wangmene had 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds.

The Longhorns made it tough for Texas-Arlington to shoot almost from the get-go, with Arlington's starters hitting just 11-of-39 shots, or 28.2 percent from the field. Kevin Butler paced Arlington with 12 points, though he went 3-of-10 from the field. Arlington did receive a boost from Jorge Redmon off the bench, with Redmon making 4-of-8 shots, including 2-of-4 from three-point range for 11 points.

With the loss, Texas-Arlington fell to 4-3 on the year. Texas (6-2) will next take on Texas State at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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