McLean helps lead Cougars to American Athletic Conference title

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Former University of Houston Cougar forward Mikhail McLean’s second regular season as part of the team’s coaching staff ended this weekend with an 85-69 win over the University of Cincinnati.

The win gave the Cougars sole possession of the American Athletic Conference (AAC) title.

McLean, who currently serves as the teams Assistant Director for Player Development, said that it has been a learning process transitioning from player to coach over the past two seasons.

“I never really was able to put out my best in college, because every time I was putting together a string of games I’d get injured,” McLean said.

“Those injuries actually helped me to expand my basketball IQ. I sat out a lot in my senior year and I was on the bench basically coaching, because I couldn’t do anything else. From there, I fell in love with it. So, when coach Sampson offered me the job, I jumped at the opportunity.”

McLean said that his youth, seeing that he’s just 27-years-old, is one of his best attributes as a leader on the sideline.

“I think I do well from a mentorship standpoint, seeing that the guys really can relate to me,” he said.

“When they are in the heat of the moment, I’m able to calm them down and have that connection like a big brother.”

As a senior, McLean competed in 15 games for the Cougars. He averaged two points and two rebounds in five seasons at Houston.