Jordan McLaughlin started off slowly at this past weekend’s Pangos Sweet 16, but later attributed some of that to having just flown back from Philadelphia’s Reebok Breakout Classic. The CIF champion flashed quick hands and good leaping ability, especially considering his still-slight frame. On one play in the Pangos final, he cut off a pass easily and took it down the court for an easy dunk. McLaughlin also showed impressive body control near the rim, and was able to finish while either taking or avoiding contact.
He’ll likely continue to grow, which is a great sign coupled with his athleticism. Both Steve Alford and David Grace watched McLaughlin multiple times at the Long Beach event, as were USC’s Andy Enfield and other coaches from schools recruiting him.
Q: What parts of your game are you working on this summer?
Everything. I want to be good all-around, so I’m trying to work on the defensive end and the offensive end.
Q: What are your strengths on the court?
My strength is my athleticism on the court. I can really get up and elevate off the floor. I can shoot the ball pretty well. I’m working on my defense. I want to be able to post up smaller guards, so I’m working on my post moves. Just being a leader on and off the floor. Getting my teammates involved.
Q: Which teams are recruiting you the hardest?
The local schools. USC, UCLA, San Diego State and Gonzaga. They’re four in my top eight. I’ve still got UNLV, Indiana, UConn and Kansas. I’m not sure (when I’ll trim it down). I might take a few visits during the fall season or football season or something, see how I like the school.
Q: How much does it affect you if a team takes another point guard?
It does a little bit. The same schools that are recruiting me are recruiting them, so it puts a little bit of pressure on me. But I don’t want to commit so soon and have that be the wrong decision. I’m just going to take my time and choose the right spot.
Q: What has UCLA’s coaching staff told you?
Coach Alford, he wants to put the ball in my hands and he wants me to run the show. Same thing with USC, San Diego State, Gonzaga and a lot of other places. They know I’m a good leader on the floor and they know I’ll make the right decisions for a team. [McLaughlin said he plans on scheduling a visit to UCLA after cancelling one earlier this month, but isn't sure when.]