NORMAN — Giovanni McLean wants to be Oklahoma’s answer to losing Je’lon Hornbeak to a transfer.
Whether or not that will happen, though, remains to be seen.
McLean, a 6-foot-1 guard from Westchester (N.Y.) Community College, committed to the Sooners on Friday morning, but eligibility issues could keep him from joining the team, according to sources close to the program.
McLean bounced around in high school between the Bronx and Queens in New York City. In junior college, he went to Moberly Area Community College just north of Columbia, Mo., before transferring to Westchester.
That movement could put his academic eligibility at the NCAA Division I level in jeopardy.
The Sooners aren’t likely to be able to wait long for McLean’s issues to clear up, because the signing period ends May 21 and Oklahoma needs to find a guard to replace Hornbeak.
Hornbeak decided to transfer after the season after being relegated to the backup point guard role behind freshman Jordan Woodard. With three interior players set to join the Sooners next fall, they had to scramble to find someone to replace Hornbeak.
McLean averaged 16.8 points, 7.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists in helping the Vikings to the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament.
In a double-overtime loss in the first round, McLean had a season-high 34 points.
McLean told Sooners coaches of his commitment at the end of his visit to Norman on Friday morning.
“I love the atmosphere,” McLean said. “It’s family-oriented. The fans are great, the students are great, the team is even better, the coaching staff is amazing.
“I bonded with the guys really well, with everyone.”
McLean was hosted by fellow New York product Isaiah Cousins and was heavily recruited by assistant Lew Hill.
The Sooners’ recruitment of McLean happened quickly once it became clear Hornbeak was going to transfer. McLean can play either guard spot, though he would likely fit in as a backup to Woodard, if he’s able to qualify. McLean said he has been told nothing is settled.
“Right now, according to coach, there’s no spot that’s not open that I can play,” McLean said. “If I come in and do what I have to do, it is what it is.
“I love the system they run. They get after it. They play unselfishly.”
McLean chose the Sooners over Missouri, Texas State and Memphis.
Hornbeak’s transfer destination has yet to be decided.