McLaughlin Wants to be the Man

Etiwanda (Calif.) point guard Jordan McLaughlin is one of UCLA's top two priorities at the position in the 2014 recruiting class--the other, Josh Perkins, will make his decision on August 25th, which could greatly affect McLaughlin's choice...

When we spoke with Etiwanda (Calif.) point guard Jordan McLaughlin shortly after Parker Jackson-Cartwright's commitment to Arizona, he said that he wouldn't rule out the Wildcats, even though both Jackson-Cartwright and McLaughlin are ostensibly point guards. Since Jackson-Cartwright is about 5'8, McLaughlin was essentially saying that he was willing to play off the ball.

Now that he's had time to think about it, though, McLaughlin says he'd much rather be the sole point guard on the floor for the team he chooses.

"I thought about [playing with another point]," McLaughlin said. "And then I thought I kind of want the ball in my hands, so I want to be the main point guard on the floor."

The four-star ruled out Arizona earlier this year, but hadn't expressly ruled out the idea of playing with another point. Now, the idea that he and fellow 2014 point guard Josh Perkins might consider playing together can be thoroughly quashed.

That being said, McLaughlin and Perkins have developed a quick friendship, with both of them currently uncommitted.

"I was talking to him all the time at the Philly camp, and all the camps we've been to," McLaughlin said. "We just talk basketball and other things. Normal things teenagers talk about."

One thing that hasn't come up much in the course of their conversations, surprisingly, is their respective college decisions. Perkins is set to make his decision on August 25th, and the two point guards have some of the same schools on their lists. If Perkins were to opt for UCLA, USC, or Gonzaga, the choice could have a significant effect on McLaughlin's ultimate college destination.

"That won't really affect me," McLaughlin said. "Wherever he picks his school is where he picks his school. I'm just going to look for the right decision for me."

For now, McLaughlin said that the head coaches at UCLA, USC, San Diego State, and Gonzaga have been on him significantly, with the staffs at Kansas and Indiana also in touch frequently.

The UCLA staff is using a first-to-commit strategy with McLaughlin and Perkins, but McLaughlin said that, while he would like to be the No. 1 priority for the school recruiting him, he understands why it might not be the case.

He said that UCLA head coach Steve Alford has presented him with a pretty attractive plan for how the Bruins might use him.

"He said they pretty much want the ball in my hands at all times," McLaughlin said. "(He likes that I) make good decisions with the ball. He wants me to be the guy to lead the team."

McLaughlin said he has no visits planned, but expects that he may take some official visits out of state.

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