Duke star Jared McCain ready for his NBA dream

Jared McCain was a productive basketball player for Duke University, who averaged 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and a 46.2 field goal percentage for the 2023-2024 season. From Sacramento California, McCain has traveled across the country to help the Blue Devils reach the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament under recently new head coach Jon Scheyer. The freshman guard decided to have just one season with Duke and has entered the NBA draft. McCain is
currently projected to go in the mid to late first round.

The Sacramento Kings have worked out the guard McCain ahead of the NBA draft. To McCain, it felt like he was right at home when he was at the pre-draft workout in Sacramento. Most players were visiting the California capital for the first time, but it felt like a “welcome home” for McCain. Since leaving for Duke, things have changed for McCain because he is now known
as a Duke star.

McCain was a five-star recruit out of Centennial High School in Corona, California, and received multiple offers before making the decision to play for Duke. He was California Mr. Basketball 2023, and a McDonald’s All-American. The 6’3” combo guard started in all 36 games at Duke, and the team had a 27-9 record. The team had a great run before falling to North Carolina’s and Duke’s middle brother, NC State, in the Elite Eight Tournament.

NC State had a magical dream year, and Duke just fell victim to it. Usually, an exit loss from the NCAA Tournament is very upsetting, but Duke was proud to see the younger brother NC State step up and finally get some recognition. Besides the tournament, right now McCain has an unlikely shot at being drafted by the Kings because the team already has an abundance of guards under contract. However, Sacramento Kings GM Monte McNair may believe that McCain is too good of an opportunity to pass up.

McCain to the Kings could form a dream story. It is already a dream story for McCain though
because he is getting ready to get on the stage with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. At just 3 years old, McCain has come a long way since scoring his first basket on his own team’s hoop. “He was a freshman, and although he wasn’t a captain, you could tell he was a really good leader,” former Blue Devil teammate Kyle Filipowski said.

What is eye catching about McCain’s gameplay is his pure shooting mechanics. Shooting 41.4 percent from 3-point range and 46.2 percent from the field, he is one of his class’s most efficient and lethal off-ball shooters. He became one of Duke’s go-to players as a freshman. In Duke’s run to the Elite Eight, McCain averaged 21 points.

“The visualization of doing well has helped me elevate my game,” McCain said. What even led
to this moment for McCain was his “dream board” that he created at his childhood home in Corona, California. It was a bright piece of paper with his aspirations listed. McCain said that his announcement to the NBA draft was the biggest one ever for him to check on his list.

McCain feels extremely excited for the NBA draft, and right now is focused on living in the
moment. Right now, things feel too surreal for McCain. He said he feels like he is in the video
game called “NBA 2K” right now and is excited to play against the players he has played against in ‘2K’. He is especially ready to play against superstar Stephen Curry.

McCain is proud of his teammate Filipowski too as he prepares for the NBA draft as well. It
appears like the draft looks better for McCain. With McCain landing in the first round in mock
drafts, it looks like Filipowski will land in the second round from the mock drafts. There are no guarantees, but Filipowski did receive a Green Room invitation, which means the NBA expects him to be a round one pick.

A weakness McCain has heading into the draft is that he is more wired to score than facilitate.
He does not have generous size, that being he is a two-way guard. He is not an explosive type of athlete. When he gets to the next level, he might struggle scoring against lengthy players.
McClain looks like he has a bright future heading into the NBA draft though. He has built up quite the resume at Duke, which aided him at such a historic program. His skills as a guard have caught the attention of many NBA coaches, and despite the Kings having a good roster of guards, they still have an eye on McClain. McClain made a list of goals to hit, and he has hit his highest one, for now.

McClain has new goals to hit, which could involve putting some of the best players in the world on highlight reels. He will now be a playable character in his favorite game “NBA 2K” because he is playing in the NBA in real life. His hard work has paid off, and it will continue to pay off as he makes new goals to win an NBA championship. One day he will be the hero for his home Sacramento by bringing them the big trophy. Until then, he is just taking in the moment for hitting his current goals he listed.

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