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King McClure: Previewing the 2017 Bears

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Baylor Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

This is the sixth post in a series exploring Baylor basketball's roster for the 2016-2017 season. The series continues with a look at sophomore guard King McClure . You can read earlier posts on Ish Wainright, Jo Acuil , Al Freeman, Terry Maston, and Johnathan Motley by clicking on the player’s last name.

Isn’t this out of order?

Yes, but after a few people expressed this view:

I went ahead and bumped McClure up. Nuni Omot will get a preview next.

Three-point shooting

McClure’s best ability is his three-point shooting. He finished the season shooting 39% from deep.

McClure went to work against Oklahoma. In this clip, he gets open before half-time, and the Dallas Cowboys TE finds him for three.

Against quick defenders, it helps to get a shot up quickly. McClure has no problem with that. In the next clip, McClure drains a three before Jordan Woodard can rotate:

McClure also has a consistent form. Many rave about McClure’s work in the gym and how many shots he takes daily. In the next clip, McClure isn’t scared or bothered by Ryan Spangler’s late rotation, and he nails another three:

Driving and creating:

Comparing a player who didn’t play a ton of minutes to guys who did is always difficult. In a small sample size, we risk a ton of noise. Someone may not be able to perform as well when asked to do something more often or differently.

But King McClure’s numbers were something. His offensive rating was 119.7, according to KenPom. That led the team. His turnover percentage was just 13%, which was the lowest number for the Bears.

McClure is more than just a three-point shooter. He gets to the rim and finishes. In this clip, McClure attacks well off Taurean Prince’s screen, which leaves Matt Thomas stuck between rotating over to help late on McClure or risk abandoning Prince for an open three. Thomas defends Prince while hoping Jameel McKay can offer help at the rim. McClure moves quickly enough that he gets to the hoop and scores before McKay can escape Motley.

In the next highlight, McClure doesn’t wait for everyone to get back. He’s ready to beat the off-balance Monte Morris for an easy basket.

When you shoot as well from the perimeter as McClure does, it also opens up driving opportunities. McClure had another one against Iowa State.


McClure has superb instincts, which helps him get into passing lanes and set up easy opportunities for the Bears. He led the team in steal percentage at 4.1%, according to KenPom, which would have been second among qualifying Big 12 players.

Buddy Hield was the best player in the country. But McClure seems to subscribe to this view:

And ended up doing this:

Outlook for this season:

As Jason King of Bleacher Report detailed, McClure was nearly done with basketball after a doctor diagnosed him with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. I’m not a doctor, and if I fail the bar at the end of this month, I won’t be a lawyer either. But that diagnosis was supposed to end his career. It didn’t. The McClure’s developed a plan and King returned. His minutes were limited because he had to sit out the summer and get back into basketball shape. By the end of the season he was rolling.

McClure won’t draw the attention of as many people as he should entering the season. While Devonte Graham, Frank Mason, and Monte Morris are the best guards in 2017, McClure should be considered one of the best guards in the league alongside Jawun Evans and Graham in 2018. If Drew elects to bring McClure off the bench, he’ll have a good chance of joining LaceDarius Dunn, Quincy Acy, and Taurean Prince as Bears to win Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year.

McClure gives the Bears options. He’s careful with the ball, he shoots well, and he disrupts the opponent's ball movement. McClure’s career will be a joy to watch, and his sophomore season should be a breakout campaign.