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.