Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Should Nevada fans be concerned?

We came across an item that had Washington state prep backcourter Mark McLaughlin, Nevada's second-best recruit, voluntarily leaving his high school basketball team to focus on academics.

It appears McLaughlin is doing his regular high school curriculum, outside work (which is more than likely a junior college course or two that can be applied to both his graduation and NCAA requirements) and is taking the SAT this weekend.

Light those candles you Wolf Pack fans as a reading into this indicates he's having a bit of a struggle. Now some may argue that the kid deserves kudos for taking on 'extra' academic work and that nothing is askew but that would then raise the question of why is he foregoing the remainder of his senior basketball season in order to do so?

McLaughlin is a good-sized (6-5) shooting guard and for what it's worth, ranked #16 nationally in that category by SCOUT. He originally gave a verbal committment to Washington State but reconsidered after thinking further about the matchup of his skills with WSU's style of play.

6-8 Luke Babbitt (Nevada's top recruit) is far and away already our choice for Freshman of the Year next season in the WAC but McLaughlin should be in the running for a spot on the All- WAC freshman team if he can play his way into the rotation.

Plus, if he can get his high school academics squared away.


Patrick H said...

Funny post considering I never saw a single post on the NMSU board where anyone was concerned with Pope punching his AAU coach and struggling with school. Why is there no concern when a kid is focused on BB, but couldn't care less about school and being a good citizen, but when a kid is a good citizen and lays off BB to concentrate on his studies he becomes a question mark? I think it simply came down to him needing to work harder on grades to ensure he qualifies to attend Nevada. All the BB skills in the world won't make up for a not completing your core classes and passing the SAT. Certainly, it could be a bad sign, but it seems like he's sacrificing now to get something later.

Kevin McCarthy said...


I profess no control nor affiliation with whichever NMSU message board you are referencing in your opening statement. Their addressing your complaints regarding Herb Pope is between you and them.

The board in question is separate from this web site, if clarification is needed. Any twining of the two is incorrect.

If you look closely at my posts, I have addressed the various legal entanglements at NMSU in a specific post, a very long one that evoked criticism from a couple of Aggies fans. See "Will NMSU whiff on the latest?"

I ma not criticiaing Mark McLaughlin -- more power to him. My post addressing his departure from his prep team was from a non-partisan standpoint. Let's hope the kid achieves what is necessary to be eligible. My pointing out that he is behind and trying to make up for lost time is a fact, not a jab towards him.

Re-read my original post. The reality is he's behind and attempting to catch up. That's what was written -- no more, no less, no sideswipe. It's an appropriate assessment.

Anonymous said...

Luke Babbitt, far and away, your choice for freshman of the year, next year????? Don't forget about Olu Ashaolu, who is supposed to be in his senior year of high school this year just like Luke. But is going to already have a year of college experience under his belt, practicing against college athletes rather than 6'2 centers in the always tough Nevada high school leagues....

Kevin McCarthy said...

I'm sticking with Babbitt because he will be an integral component for the Wolf Pack next season what with the graduation of Kemp. He will also be the go-to guy upfront.

Olu Ashaolu will be surrounded by that group of upperclassmen transfers and will more than likely be a fourth or fifth option in deference to his elders.

As for the basketball knick against the Nevada prep ranks, well, Armon Johnson came out of the same area and he's doing pretty damn good for a frosh. Keep in mind that it's the talent level and the willing to work hard on and off the court -- not a geographical location that counts.

Methinks your LA TECH 'fandom' -- as I call it -- is blurring your perspective which, of course, is the perogative of all fans.