Georgetown Hoyas

More than just a mixtape, Hoyas' Mac McLung drops career-high 38 points in win over Little Rock

mac-mcclung-georgetown-usat.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

More than just a mixtape, Hoyas' Mac McLung drops career-high 38 points in win over Little Rock

The Mac McClung to Allen Iverson comparisons are outlandish and, as Wizards forward and former Georgetown star Jeff Green noted previously, unfair. At a minimum, any side-by-side talk is wildly premature even though McClung is the most electric guard to play for the Hoyas since the Basketball Hall of Famer roamed the Hilltop in the mid 90’s.

In the 12th game of his college career, McClung made the comparison slightly tangible at least for one day.

The social media sensation – in this case we mean the 6-foot-2 guard from Gate City, Virginia – scored a career-high 38 points in Georgetown’s 102-94 overtime win over Little Rock Saturday afternoon. Based on some internet sleuthing, that’s more points than any Hoyas freshman since Jim Barry dropped 39 and 41 during the 1962-63 season.

In between notables like Eric “Sleepy” Floyd, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Iverson, Green and Otto Porter suited up for Georgetown. McClung’s scoring performance topped them all.

He sank 10 of 21 shots from the floor including four 3-pointers, several assertive driving layups and a dunk to satisfy the fans familiar with his aerial work via YouTube videos. 

McClung hit 14 of 16 free throws, though the two misses in the final seconds of regulation kept Little Rock alive for a game-tying 3–pointer at the buzzer. His 4-point play with 46 seconds remaining in overtime, set up by a pass from fellow freshman James Akinjo, sealed the win.

“I just tried to stick to the game plan,” the deferential McClung said of his performance. "James did a lot of great things too. We just try and feed off each other’s energy.

Akinjo, hardly a supporting player, had 25 points and seven assists.

“It becomes real fun,” Akinjo said of playing with McClung. “You get the crowd involved. He’s making shots; I make a couple plays here and there. It’s real fun playing with him. He makes it easier for me and our team as well.”

Head coach Patrick Ewing started the kids together in the season opener.

“They’re ability to create and get to the hole, they used that to their advantage today,” Ewing said after the Hoyas improved to 9-3 in their penultimate non-conference game of the regular season.

Anybody that watched highlights of McClung dominate high school games and set the state of Virginia single-season record, surpassing Iverson in the process,  knows he can get to the rim. It’s why the buzz popped leading to his arrival on the Hilltop and the comparisons began.

"It's not hype. The kid is good," Green said of McClung in November. "You can't put these expectations (on him). What have people been calling him? White Iverson. There's no other player that's gonna be Allen Iverson. He's gonna be who he's gonna be."

McClung was all kinds of good against Little Rock. More notable than the scoring fest, at least by those on the media side and long-time fans eager to hear from the team’s stars, is what happened postgame. McClung and Akinjo joined Ewing for the postgame press conference.

Georgetown’s long-standing policy dating back to at least Ewing’s arrival in 1981 precludes freshmen from engaging officially with reporters. No matter the talents and interest, the Hoyas never waver from this approach.

Then McClung and Akinjo entered. They were still wearing their gray home uniforms rather suits, another new wrinkle. Ewing left the press conference noting the pair needed a shower.

Little stunk about McClung’s work Saturday.

“We’re excited about the win, but we’re excited to get back (to practice) and keep growing,” McClung said on a day his legend took another leap.

That doesn’t mean those Iverson comparisons should re-start. It just means McClung had quite the day.  

Patrick Ewing released from hospital, still recovering from COVID-19

Patrick Ewing released from hospital, still recovering from COVID-19

Georgetown basketball coach and NBA legend Patrick Ewing was released from the hospital and is now recovering from COVID-19 at home, his son said in a Twitter post on Monday.

Ewing announced he had tested positive for the deadly virus and was isolating in a local hospital last week. 

“I want to share that I have tested positive for COVID-19. This virus is serious and should not be taken lightly,” Ewing said in a statement at the time. “I want to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Now more than ever, I want to thank the healthcare workers and everyone on the front lines. I’ll be fine and we will all get through this.”

On Monday, Patrick Ewing Jr. gave thanks to the doctors and hospital staff who assisted his father during his stay. "My father is now home and getting better," he said. "We'll continue to watch his symptoms and follow the CDC guidelines."

"Love this," former Georgetown player Roy Hibbert tweeted.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NCAA NEWS:

How Patrick Ewing works from home as the coach of the Georgetown Hoyas

How Patrick Ewing works from home as the coach of the Georgetown Hoyas

Georgetown basketball coach Patrick Ewing knows what it takes to win it all.   

April 2nd was the 26th anniversary of the Hoyas’ first national championship, an 84-75 victory over Houston.  Ewing was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.   

“You always think about it, especially now that I am back here working at Georgetown,” Ewing told NBC Sports Washington the day of the anniversary.  

This season was anything but celebratory for the Hoyas. They dealt with injuries and players transferring mid-season, but the banner hanging in the rafters at their practice facility serves as a reminder of what the program was and can be again. Georgetown has 11 Big East regular-season conference titles and seven conference tournament championships, but 1984 was their only NCAA title. Ewing went to the championship game three times during his career only to lose in 1982 to Michael Jordan and North Carolina and 1985 to Villanova. But he will always have that day in Seattle against Houston.    

“It was a great experience, a great day, and we worked really hard to achieve that and to win that title,” Ewing said.  

As Ewing reflects, it comes with a certain amount of sadness.  The 1983-84 Hoyas endured their share of suffering. Ewing, coach John Thompson, David Wingate and Ralph Dalton all lost their mothers that year. It’s a testament to what a team can overcome in the midst of adversity and was the foundation for relationships that have lasted a lifetime. Now as head coach, Ewing looks to continue building the basketball program – but, for now, must do so from home. Covid-19 is teaching us all the importance of leadership and communication. Ewing says just because the team can’t meet on the court doesn’t mean they can’t meet at all and he makes sure that happens regularly.  

“We’re talking to them, we’re Zooming them, Face-Timing them. We’re trying to do it all,” Ewing said.  

And they have to. The Hoyas have yet to make the Big Dance in three seasons under Ewing, finishing tied for 8th in the Big East this year thanks to a stretch of brutal injuries and those personnel losses early on.  You don’t need me to tell you how critical recruiting is — and how challenging — when a Hall-of-Fame legend like Ewing can’t make house calls. But he is determined to find that next generation of Hoyas who can help push the program forward.  

“We still have to try to recruit,” Ewing said. “While we can’t go out and sit in living rooms, we try to do it out other ways to get the job done...By any means necessary”   

Some of that has included giving virtual tours of the facility. In hopes of protecting recruits, the NCAA has extended the recruiting dead period until May 31st. It was originally April 15th.  That timeframe could still be extended further. But what Ewing is looking forward to more than anything is being reunited with his players on the hard wood.  

“I can’t wait.  We take things for granted,” Ewing said. “Getting up, going to work or going to the gym, going to the supermarket. Things you normally would do on a regular basis and are not able to do.  It’s rough.”   

While coach and I are conducting this interview through Zoom from our couches, dreaming of basketball returning, it’s not lost on either of us the magnitude of the coronavirus.  

“This is bigger than basketball, it’s about life,” Ewing said. “There are a lot of people who are losing their life over it at this time. So even though we want to get back on the floor, we want to get back to business as usual.” 

The only way that happens, is if we all listen to what doctors and the government is asking of us.  Stay home, practice social distancing, wash your hands, and disinfect.  

“Be safe,” Ewing said. “Not only think of yourself, but others.” 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NCAA NEWS: