While it's still very early in his recruiting process, one program has made a big early impression with 6-6, 200 pound small forward Dave McClure of Trinity Catholic H.S. in Stamford, Conn.
After helping his team to a 60-40 victory over Yorktown H.S. on Friday night at the Westchester Slam Dunk Challenge Basketball Tournament, McClure told Rivalshoops.com that Notre Dame has emerged as the early leader for his services.
Notre Dame, N.C. State, Florida State, Seton Hall and Villanova are among the programs who have offered McClure thus far as a junior, he said.
His early top six includes Notre Dame, N.C. State, Duke, UConn, Pittsburgh and Villanova, but some of those programs have yet to offer.
McClure, who hails from Ridgefield, Conn., has already taken unofficial visits to Notre Dame, Villanova and UConn. He took a trip out to Notre Dame for the Fighting Irish's home football game against Boston College in November, and said he hopes to make a return trip this winter on an official basis.
"I am not close to a decision yet, but Notre Dame is my early leader," McClure stated. "They run a guard oriented offense, and are looking at me to play both the two and the three, and the situation there looks good with both Matt Carroll and Danny Miller graduating this year."
Thanks to his rebounding prowess and relative lack of size on his high school squad, McClure plays primarily in the paint for Trinity Catholic, where he averaged 17 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks per contest as a sophomore in 2001-2002.
Playing his more natural position of small forward or swingman, McClure shined this past summer and fall for Jimmy Salmon's Tim Thomas Playaz basketball program. He helped the Playaz capture the crown at the prestigious Charlie Weber Tournament in October.
McClure doesn't dazzle you with quickness or athleticism, he's just a very well rounded basketball player, a system type guy who'll bring a little bit of everything to the table. He has great natural instincts for rebounding the ball, is an alert passer and boasts a solid midrange shooting stroke.
And if you don't put a body on him, he'll make you pay on the offensive glass. Yorktown (NY) H.S. suffered that fate on Friday night at the Slam Dunk Challenge, as McClure ripped down 10 of his 16 rebounds on the offensive side of the ball.
With juniors now able to take official visits, McClure said he is planning a trip to Notre Dame this winter for a Fighting Irish basketball game. He is curious to see the atmosphere at the school for basketball, as he has already witnessed the football side of things in South Bend.
McClure said he could take one more official visit this winter, possibly to Duke or N.C. State. Of those two ACC programs, only the Wolfpack have offered a scholarship thus far.
If there's some free weekends in his basketball schedule this season, McClure said he will probably also take some unofficial trips to nearby programs like St. John's, Seton Hall and Syracuse. He lives only an hour or so from the New York City metropolitan area.
In the classroom, McClure said he has a 3.5 GPA, and took the PSAT for the first time in November (awaiting results).
McClure plans to play spring and summer ball again with the Vince Carter Playaz after splitting time with both the Playaz and Westchester Hawks last year. If that's the case, expect him to be invited to the adidas ABCD Camp in July and tour the adidas travel circuit in the spring/summer of 2004.
Rivalshoops.com will keep you posted on McClure and other top prospects in the Class of 2004 this winter, so keep it here for the top coverage of basketball recruiting on the internet.