McLemore decision coming today
St. Louis standout expected to pick KU
Lisle, Ill. ? Ben McLemore, who had just swished five three-pointers and ripped home a slam dunk in a spirited NeXt All-America Classic basketball scrimmage Saturday in suburban Chicago, met with a handful of reporters after the two-hour workout.
The topic of discussion was not so much the smooth 6-foot-5 St. Louis native’s 21-point effort, but today’s halftime announcement, in which Rivals.com’s No. 17-rated player will make his college choice known.
“I’m ready to get this over with. There’s been pressure back and forth with me down to KU and Missouri,” said McLemore, who said he’d select either Kansas University or Mizzou at half of the inaugural all-star game, which starts at 2 p.m. at Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. It’s slated to be televised on CBS College Sports Network (cable channels 143, 243).
“My whole family is waiting on me. They don’t know where I’m going yet. I’ll probably just pull a rabbit out of my hat and surprise ’em,” he added with a grin.
No surprises are expected today.
Most everybody believes the Jayhawks have won out over Missouri, a school without a head coach.
ESPN.com published a report early Saturday that McLemore had chosen KU over MU. However, shortly after, ESPN rescinded the short video item.
McLemore insisted he’d speak with his mom Saturday night at the team hotel before finalizing his college choice.
“I’ll discuss it with her and like I told everybody at halftime make an announcement,” McLemore said.
Of his finalists, he said: “Missouri was good (under Mike Anderson), explosive. It’s how I play — up and down,” said McLemore, who first attended high school in St. Louis, then moved on to Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., for his senior season before being dismissed from the team for violating team rules.
He’s since surfaced at Houston’s Christian Life Center, where he averaged 16 points and seven rebounds in six games.
“Kansas … I got goosebumps when I went to Late Night,” he added with a big smile.
McLemore said he’s ready for what’s ahead in college.
“I’ve been working on my shot,” he said. “A lot of people think I can just dunk. I can shoot the ball, mid-range, step out and shoot the three. I hit five threes today. I feel pretty confident about my shot against good competition. Creating my own shot is one thing I can do, could always do.”
Morris second team
Houston — Kansas University junior forward Marcus Morris was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I All-America Second Team on Saturday at the Final Four.
Morris led Kansas in scoring in 2010-11 with a 17.2-point average.
The 6-foot-9 Philadelphia native ranked among the national leaders in field-goal percentage at 57.0 percent, and his 7.6 rebounds per contest were second on the team.
Morris was a second-team Associated Press All-America selection this season.
Prep to visit KU
Jamari Traylor, a 6-foot-7 forward from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., who is playing in today’s NeXt All-America Classic all-star game, said he will visit Kansas in coming weeks. He has a final list of KU, St. John’s, Mississippi State and Indiana.
“I really don’t have a favorite,” he said, adding, “I’m looking forward to playing in this game. It’s a chance to get some exposure. I think people underestimate me. I hope to show my talent.”
Traylor was late for Saturday’s scrimmage. “Fender bender,” he said of a car accident in which nobody was hurt.