Ben McLemore was nonexistent through the first two games of the NCAA tournament, posting a combined 13 points in wins against Western Kentucky and North Carolina.
In an 87-85 overtime loss, the 6-foot-5 freshman showed why he might be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft this June. McLemore scored 20 points, including 4-of-8 from three to go along with a few highlight worth dunks. Following the loss, McLemore told reporters he is unsure of whether he played his last game in a Kansas uniform.
“No, not at all, I haven’t thought about what I’m going to do,” McLemore told reporters. “Not right now, not yet. I’ve spent this year focused on playing college ball and getting better each and every day.”
It’s unlikely that McLemore will return to Lawrence for a sophomore campaign. Currently DraftExpress.com has the Kansas freshman guard being selected No. 2 overall behind Kentucky freshman center Nerlens Noel. Kansas head coach Bill Self likely expected that McLemore will head to the NBA to cash in on the riches. Self already has a five-commit class coming in for 2013 which includes guards Wayne Selden (Tilton School/Boston, Mass.) and Brannen Greene (Tift County High/Monroe, Ga.) ready to fill the void McLemore will leave if he does declare for this summer’s draft.
“I’ll support whatever direction (McLemore) and his family want to go,” Self told reporters. “And he needs to explore. He needs to look into doing what would be potentially great for his family, and if it’s the right time, he needs to go.
“But if it’s not, he should stay. But we’ll discuss it.”
McLemore finished his freshman season at Kansas as the team’s leading scorer with 15.8 points per game and an All-Big 12 Selection.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
While there have been some alterations made to North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the years, there haven’t been too many drastic shifts. Of course there was the move to the Alexander Julian-designed argyle print during the 1990’s, and there were also those jerseys in 1999 that had the interlocking “NC” logo as opposed to “North Carolina” on the front.
Friday the program announced a major uniform change for its game against UCLA December 19 in Brooklyn. North Carolina will be wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history. Senior guard Marcus Paige showed off the new look to his teammates, and it’s safe to say that they’re happy with the new uniforms.
Traditionalists probably won’t like the uniforms, and that’s fine. Changes such as these tend to focus more on the younger crowd (especially recruits), which in some instances like the status that can come with having something that’s both new and exclusive.
Two-time defending Big East champion Villanova will be down a man in its front court, as the program announced Friday that freshman forward Tim Delaney will undergo hip surgery. According to the release a torn labrum in Delaney’s left hip is the reason for the surgery, and it has yet to be determined how long the freshman will be sidelined.
“I’m disappointed for Tim,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “Tim had a great summer and preseason. He’s a very coachable young man and was picking up everything we do. The good news is that the doctors tell us this is an injury that can be fixed and we know Tim will be fully committed to his rehab.”
Villanova’s front court rotation will be led by senior Daniel Ochefu, who averaged 9.2 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game in 2014-15. Junior Darryl Reynolds and sophomore Kris Jenkins will also see minutes in the front court, with redshirt freshman guard/forward Mikal Bridges factoring into the competition as well.
Villanova also has Fordham transfer Eric Paschall, but he isn’t eligible to compete in games this season.