San Antonio Wagner shooting guard Kevin McCullar’s stock is rising rapidly and several programs from around the nation are beginning to buy in. Since serving as a central piece of a Wagner squad that fell just seven points short of a 6A state championship victory, McCullar’s time on the AAU circuit has come accompanied by interest from Stanford, Kansas State, Baylor, Tulsa, Colorado and Texas Tech.
“When I hopped on the AAU circuit it just took off after that first live period,” McCullar told Burnt Orange Nation of how his recruitment has picked up as of late.
Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns may not be far behind.
McCullar visited the Forty Acres last weekend, taking part in the Texas’ elite camp and performed well enough to find himself of the staff’s radar going forward.
“I talked to coach [David] Harris and coach [Jai] Lucas a little bit,” McCullar said. “He’s [Lucas] just telling me to keep playing and I’m on their radar and that he’ll be watching out for me in July.”
If McCullar’s summer circuit concludes in the same convincing fashion it began with Yes II Success — the same organization that features the nation’s No. 2 prospect, Charles Bassey — the rising wing may be in line to become the third 2019 shooting guard to pick up a Texas offer. As expected, McCullar’s interest in such an offer would be high.
“It would be up there,” McCullar said of how high his interest would be if Texas does ultimately offer. “It’s one of the biggest schools in Texas and I like it there.”
Texas isn’t the only major school from The Lone Star State that’s starting to take a liking to the 6’5 prospect’s game, though.
McCullar was recently in Waco for a similar Baylor camp and after just two games, Scott Drew’s staff pulled him aside for an unofficial visit.
It wasn’t his first unofficial visit to a Division I program and it certainly won’t be his last. The junior-to-be still has nearly two years to evaluate his increasing list of options and decide where he’ll be headed once his career at Wagner wraps up, but McCullar does have an idea of what he’s looking for during the process.
“Really I’m just looking for a great coaching staff that’s really involved with the players. That’s the main thing. The other thing is where I’m going to be able to come in and make an impact.”
In the meantime, he’s focused on his personal progression and the impact he’ll be able to make on a roster loaded with young talent in 2017-18. At this point, McCullar said the work he’s putting forth in the weight room has led his most notable upgrade this offseason.
“My body is getting more mature,” McCullar said, noting the training he’s been doing with Kevin McCullar Sr., an assistant coach for Wagner. “Now I’m starting to feel more explosive and everything like that. I’ve just been in the weight room getting stronger and training with my dad.”
Next on McCullar’s checklist is to polish his proficiency as a shooter.
As a sophomore, although he was a capable shooter, McCullar was most often utilized as a slasher and he thrived doing so. Aware of where basketball is headed and how the sport is changing, though, he’s looking to add the most essential quality in today’s game to his arsenal as a junior.
“I just want to become a knockdown shooter anytime you give it to me; just automatic,” McCullar said. “That’s the main thing I’m working on right now, just getting my shot more consistent and being even more explosive.”
YIIS, New Kid On The Block, KEVIN McCULLAR... The Truth!!! pic.twitter.com/K0hzLsNnrz— YESIISUCCESS,INC (@YESIISUCCESS1) May 15, 2017
“I’m a player that can make everybody else on the team better, you know, creating shots for everybody,” McCullar added, describing of how he’d explain his game to those that haven’t seen him in action yet. “I would describe myself as a slasher that can still shoot it little bit and get to the rim when I need to. And I play defense. That’s my main thing; locking up on defense and try to guard every position on the floor.”
In short, McCullar envisions himself as a do-it-all player and he’ll need to be just that for Wagner next season if the Thunderbirds have realistic expectations of eclipsing what was arguably the greatest season in school history in 2016-17.
“I’m just trying to go back to state and win it this time. That sucked coming up short last year.”
“No matter how good the talent is on the team, we’ve got to keep working,” McCullar added. “We were right there at the end, but it was fun. We had all the pieces we needed to get the job done.”
The good news for Wagner: The bulk of last season’s rotation returns, including what may be the best backcourt in the state consisting of McCullar, a future Division I point guard prospect in Jalen Jackson and University of Colorado Colorado Springs commit DaRaun Clark. Of course, Baylor signee Tristan Clark’s presence in the paint will be missed, but his absence opens the door for the aforementioned trio to shoulder a more significant load.
McCullar, for one, welcomes the heightened pressure to perform and adapt to what will be an increased role.
“I’m just going to go out there and score when I’m needed and try to make everybody else better and help create shots for everybody.”