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Elite 2023 Shooting Guard Jared McCain is a Hot Commodity for College Coaches

McCain is being pursued by everyone from Duke to UCLA to Virginia Villanova and Houston, among others.

Jared McCain isn’t dramatic enough to drive home his points on Twitter or issue reminders about what he’s done via his Instagram story, but the general point holds true: McCain is putting the country on notice that he’s coming for the top.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence, and I feel like I’m just getting started,” McCain said. “But I’m gonna show you, not tell you.”

If you somehow overlooked his production – 15 points, six rebounds and four assists a game – during Centennial’s (Corona, Calif.) CIF Open Division title run last high school season then, surely, you got the memo when he averaged 25 points, five rebounds and five assists to help lead Team Why Not (Calif.) claim the E16 Nike Peach Jam in July.

But if you somehow wrote off dominating the most competitive summer tournament in the world at the high school level as a fluke, McCain’s play at the loaded Top Flight Invite in Las Vegas last weekend was an undeniable stamp on his standing among top players in the country.

The 6’2” scoring guard averaged 25.6 points a game against some of the country’s top teams, including a 33-point outing against Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.) and its trio of five-star prospects.

“I was excited to play against all of those guys,” McCain said. “I love competition. I always want to play against the best players.”

Coming off of his freshman year, McCain was considered one of the top players in the 2023 class then last summer he got dropped from the list after he sat out most of the circuit season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of people say rankings don’t matter, but it can add fuel to your fire when you feel left out,” McCain said. “That’s what it was for me. I started playing with a chip.”

A byproduct of that chip was a list.

Jared McCain

Jared McCain wrote out all his goals before Peach Jam.

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Just before Peach Jam, he wrote out his goals in his notes on his phone; by the end of the summer he’d accomplished them all.

“I stuck to that list the whole time,” McCain said. “I really stayed focused on that. For me, it’s all mental. I train physically, but it’s just as important for me to train mentally too.”

To that end, McCain is up every day at 5 a.m., narrowly beating the ascension of the sun for Yoga and meditation.

“It’s been amazing,” McCain said. “I’m big on manifesting and I write in my journal every day. I’ve been doing all of this since COVID started. I love being up when it’s dark and no one else is up. It’s just another layer to build mental strength.”

His regimen is certainly paying off in the form of college offers and interest with everyone from UCLA to Virginia, Villanova and Houston, among many others, all in spirited pursuit.

McCain recently picked up an offer from Duke and took two officials to Houston and Louisville.

Jared McCain

Jared McCain is one of the best scorers in the country, regardless of class.

“Those were my first two official visits, and they were super fun,” McCain said. “The attention to detail they have on those trips is crazy! On the last day at Houston, they’d made like a whole movie with me playing in their system then it mixed in with a Travis Scott concert because he’s from Houston. It was pretty crazy. That was impressive!”

Makes sense for a lethal shooter with great range who has the ability to make shots under duress. He’s quick and shifty and adept at getting into the lane to make plays for himself and his teammates.

That said, McCain is clear that the skill that sets him apart is his shooting ability.

“A lot of these players say they can shoot, but their numbers don’t add up,” McCain said. “I know my efficiency is what separates me. I make shots. That’s something I’ve always focused on and it’s my gift. Right now, I’m just taking everything as it comes and taking my time.”