Mar 24, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Ben McLemore (23) dribbles the ball as North Carolina Tar Heels guard P.J. Hairston (15) defends in the second half of the game during the third round of the NCAA basketball tournament at the Sprint Center. Kansas won 70-58. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft 2013: Ben McLemore


Kansas coach Bill Self says that Ben McLemore is the most talented kid he’s ever coached.

Those are some big words to live up to. Big words. But if anyone can do it, it’s this guy. McLemore has a lethal combination in his offensive arsenal. In no way is he a one trick pony. The 6-5 shooting guard is an athletic, ultra smooth jump shooter. A rare combination, if any.

But it’s been a process, though, and will continue to be for the 20-year-old McLemore.

McLemore was ruled academically ineligible to play his freshman season for the Jayhawks. Before that, he bounced around three different high school’s, eventually finishing off his prep career at Christian Life Center. He’s also been arrested once for failing to show up to a court case for possession of alcohol as a minor.

Despite all that, it appears that he finally has his feet under him. If he can stay focused, the sky’s the limit for this guy. That is probably the ultimate question, though. The red flag, if you will.

STRENGTHS

  • Athleticism
  • Shooting Form
  • Offensive Instincts

McLemore thrived on the break, where a good chunk of his scoring came from at Kansas. He is a highlight waiting to happen on straight line drives, too. In catch-and-shoot situations, McLemore shot 45 percent. He can come off screens and create separation falling out of bed. Perhaps his best and worst offensive attribute is his unselfishness. Always showed to be a willing passer, almost unknowing of what type of talent he really is.

WEAKNESSES

  • Defense
  • Creating Own Offense
  • Ball Handling
For the most part every collegiate prospect needs to work on their defense. Same goes for McLemore. As a 2-guard, he will be seeing the likes of Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade on a nightly basis. That weakness needs to quickly turn to a strength for him to thrive in the league. He struggles to create his own offense, aside from straight-line drives or fast breaks. He is listed as an off-guard and plays like it. He relied on his point guard to create his offensive opportunities at Kansas. Just along those same lines, his ball handling is not as strong as it should be.
Overall, McLemore has top-5 talent. Some believe he should be the No.1 overall pick. It just varies on the scout you talk to.
Projection: Top-5
My guess: No. 2 overall — Orlando Magic

 

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