Darshawn McClellan’s taking advantage of his return to the starting lineup.
In his first two starts since December 3 against Illinois-Chicago, the sophomore forward contributed five points and five rebounds against Saint Francis on December 31, and matched a career-high with 10 points with five rebounds and three assists at UMass last Saturday.
“I’m really excited about the way he’s playing right now,” said Head Coach Kevin Stallings.
Before the Commodores’ win over Saint Francis, McClellan was averaging 2.2 points and 2.0 rebounds in 12 games, four of which were starts. So what's been the difference in his play?
“I think for me, I’ve gotten healthy,” McCllelan said prior to Monday’s practice. “When the season started, I wasn’t 100 percent with my foot, my Achilles. I had a lot of aches and pains. But right now, I think I’m getting healthy and it’s working out for me.”
“Darshawn’s just now getting back to where he doesn’t play with pain in practice,” added Stallings. “I think that’s why we’re seeing him play better in games, because now he’s getting better because he’s healthy and he can get better. He can practice the whole time. It really delayed him getting back to 100 percent. But, he’s playing well right now.”
McClellan also attributes his injury recovery to his recent success in outside shooting. He hit two 3-pointers against the Minutemen, and has gone 5-for-9 from behind the arc in his last five outings.
“I think being out I was able to focus on my form, and get my technique down,” said McClellan, who has already surpassed his freshman season total of 3-point field goals (4) . “It’s helping me out in the games right now.”
With the Commodores riding a six-game winning streak heading into conference play, McClellan isn’t concerned about whether he starts or comes off the bench, but only with the outcome on the scoreboard.
“It doesn’t matter to me as long as I’m out there helping my team and contributing, then I’m fine with it.”