4. Jack McClinton
More times than not, a player will transfer from a smaller school, end up in a major conference and become a quality role player. If not, they’ll likely struggle to find playing time and provide spot minutes for whatever team they end up on.
Jack McClinton disproved that theory in the most resounding way possible.
McClinton began his career at Siena. He performed well as a freshman, averaging 13.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.1 steals in 32.3 minutes of action, but never caught on to a national crowd. Once head coach Rob Lanier was fired, however, McClinton opted to change that—he took his talents to South Beach.
Before Hurricane James, there was Jack McClinton taking Miami by storm.
After sitting one year due to transfer restrictions, McClinton immediately dominated the ACC. The 6’1″ scoring guard shot 44.0 percent from beyond the arc and finished with 16.7 points per contest en route to third-team All-ACC honors. The following season, he’d make the leap from a scoring power to an elite player.
In 2008, McClinton led the Hurricanes to their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2002. With an average of 17.7 points per game on 42.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc, McClinton was named as a first team All-ACC selection. The following season, McClinton averaged 19.3 points and was again named to the All-ACC first team.
For perspective, the only other player to repeat that honor during the 2008 and 2009 seasons was Tyler Hansbrough.
That summer, McClinton would go 51st overall to the San Antonio Spurs. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t play a single game in black and silver, thus resulting in an NBA career cut short. With that being said, McClinton would be honored by having his jersey retired, as the Miami Hurricanes raised his No. 33 to the rafters in 2010.
As for his professional career, McClinton has performed well overseas. He played in Turkey, Israel and Ukraine, scoring big numbers in every country he traveled to. That includes stints with Aliaga Petkim, Hapoel Gilboa Galil and BC Budivelnyk. He helped lead the latter to a 30-9 record by averaging 13.0 points in UKR Superleague play.
Since then, McClinton joined the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League but was traded and then waived during his first season. We’re inclined to believe that McClinton will continue to discover success overseas.
From 2002 to 2010, Ronald “Flip” Murray was one of the more respected reserve point guards in the NBA. He spent time with eight teams, made five playoff appearances and finished with double-digit scoring averages for five separate franchises.
That’s a successful career, ladies and gentlemen.
It didn’t seem as if Murray would make it to the NBA as his college career began at Meridian Community College. Although famed for their athletics, the junior college was hardly considered to be a hot-bed for professional athletes.
After two seasons at Meridian, however, Murray transferred to Shaw University. While there, Murray won the 2002 Division II National Player of the Year award and instantly placed his name on the radar. Later that summer, Murray would be selected 42nd overall by the Milwaukee Bucks.
During his rookie season, Murray struggled to see playing time early and was eventually traded to the Seattle SuperSonics. After playing just two games for the team, his year was cut short. Many expected Murray’s NBA career to fringe out.
Surprisingly, Flip played in all 82 games the following season, starting 18 and averaging 12.4 points per contest. This set the tone for a quality career which saw Murray finish with 4817 points, 1096 assists, 1006 rebounds and 404 steals—quality numbers for a reserve.
Upon leaving the NBA, Murray opted to play for Efes Pilsen of the Turkish Basketball League. The team that is now known as Anadolu Efes S.K. made it to the semifinals of the TBL, although Murray was limited in playing time.
Since then, he’s played both in the D-League for the Austin Toros and Ukraine for Azovmash Mariupol. With the latter team, Murray has developed into more of a pass-first player than he was in the NBA.