Although Jaden McClanahan is only a sophomore, he has gone through one hell of a journey. He started at a JUCO, won a conference title in his first D1 season, and then played through a bevy of injuries while shooting 42.9% from three. Now, he is in the transfer portal where he looks to add another chapter to his story.
“This situation here (Utah Valley) is not bad,” McClanahan told The Portal Report, “For me to talk to other schools, see who would like me is pretty cool.”
In a December matchup against Wyoming, McClanahan was starting to play good ball. He scored a season-high 8 points and played the most minutes he had so far in a game that season at 18. With around 6:37 remaining in the game, he checked out. A Wyoming player had landed on his ankle and created an injury, the second of the season. He would not play again until New Year’s Day when the Wolverines opened conference play. McClanahan felt like he was not able to play at his full ability for the rest of the season. About a month ago, he got surgery on it.
“Playing on that injury kinda hurt me as well because I couldn’t play on my best ability,” McClanahan said, “I had to get a bone spur removed, they had to shave down a bone. So right now, I’m rehabbing and trying to be the person the coaches here know I am, and possibly going somewhere else and they can find that out as well.”
McClanahan has shown big-time production, scoring 12 points in the Wolverines’ final game of the season against Abilene Christian. In the year that the Wolverines won the WAC regular-season title, he scored nine points against the class of the league in New Mexico State. At his JUCO, he shot 45% from the field in one of the toughest leagues in the country. He also has a D1 brother in Jovon, who is tearing it up at Hawai’i. It runs in the family.
He is now down to two schools in Longwood and Utah Valley. From the start, he has been interested to return to his old school but wanted to see what was out there. Longwood swooped in late and has that championship pedigree, winning the Big South regular-season and conference tournament title last season. Both are intriguing for a kid who wants to compete.
“I love to compete, so I hate just saying I’m finding a place where I can play more. That’s not even the case,” McClanahan said, “I’m going to compete for any minutes I get.”
Wherever he goes, this kid has the potential to tear it up at full strength. Mark Madsen knows it and Griff Aldrich is beginning to learn it.