Jack McClinton could have handled his frustrating afternoon much differently Thursday. McClinton, who was held to a season-low 8 points for the fourth time this season in Miami's 63-50 win over N.C. State, could have started chucking them up in the second half. But that's just not him.
Miami's leading scorer really doesn't care what his final stats are as long as his team wins. I know its cliche. We've heard this from other stars before. But how many times do you see the star of a team, a First Team All-ACC selection settle with only taking six shots in an important game? The truth is, McClinton's attitude is about as important to this team as the three-point shots he buries late in games.
"I think the key is Jack knew they were on him and Jack isn’t a selfish player," James Dews told me in happy, yet calm UM lockerroom after the game. "Jack knew they were on him tough so he tried to get the ball in the post, pass the ball around. I think we’re a deep enough team he doesn’t have to worry about that."
Look for McClinton to bounce back tomorrow. He told me he was happy he could "take a break" from carrying the scoring load Thursday. Virginia Tech has already given some good motivation. Freshman guard Malcolm Delaney, who grew up in the same neighborhood with McClinton in Baltimore, texted him shortly after UM lost to Florida State Saturday. "He said 'Thanks for the bye,'" McClinton said. "I guess you could say I really want to beat Virginia Tech."
There's no question the Hurricanes are sort of the media darlings here in Charlotte -- especially after being picked by the same group to finish last in the conference. They've been getting plenty of attention up here from the press -- especially Jack, who I overhead lay this gem of a quote on how he draws his motivation.
"Everyday I’m still trying to prove somebody wrong," McClinton told a reporter who then asked him which critics he's trying prove wrong. "Somebody is that guy standing in the corner. The peanut guy. Somebody is saying something, about the team. They’re probably saying something about me too. But as long as we win they can’t say anything about us. I love playing with a chip on my shoulder."
ON ANOTHER NOTE... Got to say I was a bit disappointed with some of the treatment I received down here in Charlotte. I went out with a couple of other reporters wearing jeans, a hooded sweat shirt and some sneakers and was almost denied access to a regular restaurant. The bouncer told me he would "cut me a break" and allow me in with a hoodie. Then, in the middle of dinner, I noticed three other guys wearing a hooded sweat shirt. That wasn't the worst part though. We hit a bar downtown and were forced to pay a $5 cover where we found out 10 minutes later a yodeler -- yes this dude was yodeling -- would get on stage and drive us out. Here's to hoping tonight goes better!