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Archive for Tuesday, February 12, 2013

3 is enough: McLemore helps KU snap out of funk with win over KSU

Kansas guard Ben McLemore signals three after hitting a shot over Kansas State during the second half on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.

Kansas guard Ben McLemore signals three after hitting a shot over Kansas State during the second half on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.

February 12, 2013

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over Kansas State

KU coach Bill Self talks after his team's 83-62 victory over Kansas State on Feb. 11, 2013.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Jeff Withey, Ben McLemore and Naadir Tharpe

Kansas players Jeff Withey, Ben McLemore and Naadir Tharpe talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 83-62 victory over Kansas State on Feb. 11, 2013.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KSU coach Bruce Weber, Rodney McGruder, Will Spradling

Kansas State coach Bruce Weber, Rodney McGruder and Will Spradling talk after KSU's 83-62 loss to Kansas on Feb. 11, 2013.

Box score

KU-KSU

Kansas University’s students stuck around to serenade birthday-boy Ben McLemore as he conducted an ESPN interview after exploding for 30 points in the Jayhawks’ 83-62 slump-busting victory over rival Kansas State on Monday night in Allen Fieldhouse.

“Happy Birthday to Ben, Happy Birthday to you,” the students sang as the 20-year-old freshman guard headed through the northwest tunnel to the winner’s locker room with a big smile on his face.

Not only was he thrilled to score 30 off 9-of-13 shooting (6-of-10 from three) and 6-of-6 free throwing, but elated the squad snapped its three-game losing streak and avoided losing four in a row for the first time since the 1988-89 season.

“I mean it was great coming back home to Allen Fieldhouse,” McLemore said after he became the first freshman in KU history to score 30 or more points in two conference games. He had a career-high 33 versus Iowa State.

“It was great having fun with my teammates. My teammates got me in a zone especially Naadir (Tharpe, eight assists, one turnover, seven points) finding me on the wing. Last week was a bad week for us. This was great,” added McLemore, who credited assistant coach Kurtis Townsend for “telling me to start on the defensive end. It’s all I focused on ... defense.”

McLemore — he had 17 points the first half in helping KU race to a 47-29 lead against a team the Jayhawks needed to beat to forge a tie in the league standings — was energized playing before a batch of family members and friends.

“He had 30 people here,” said his AAU coach, Darius Cobb, grinning when told McLemore scored one point for each of the guests. “He wanted to play well for a lot of reasons, one being his mom (Sonya) and dad (Ben) were here.”

Ben McLemore Sr. indicated he was “very proud” of his son after KU improved to 20-4 overall and 8-3 in the Big 12; KSU dropped to 19-5, 8-3.

“We had a little birthday party last night with cake and ice cream. It was a lot of fun. He had a great birthday,” Ben Sr. said of an outing at Wayne and Larry’s, followed by bowling at Royal Crest Lanes.

“Not too good,” KU’s McLemore said of his bowling scores.

“He wasn’t very good,” agreed Ben’s brother, Kevin. “He was saving it for tonight. I thought he was going to get 40. But he was great getting 30 and getting the win.”

Also, Jeff Withey had 17 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in surpassing Greg Ostertag as the school’s all-time leader in rejections (263, one off the Big 12 record of 264 set by Texas’ Chris Mihm).

“Jeff was great tonight and has been great all year long,” KU coach Bill Self said. “He and Ben were on a different level tonight.

“Ben is a big-time guy,” Self added. “These are just kids and they are facing different pressures than what they have ever faced in their life (in losing three in a row). I think that Ben, the last week or two weeks, hasn’t had the same smile, that same youthful exuberance that you would expect him to have. Tonight he just played. He is such a talented kid that when he just goes out and plays and has that bounce, he is hard to guard.”

Kevin Young contributed 13 points and nine rebounds, while Travis Releford had 10 points as KU got back on track.

“Our guys really manned up,” Self said. “They showed up. They fought tonight.”

KU will next meet Texas at 8 p.m. Saturday, in Allen.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

Man, KU is really overrated. They can't put it together when it really counts. Their current players don't measure up to KU standards. Self should be fired.

Ooh, wait. They won big, and are back in first place. Can I jump back on the bandwagon?

Brian Sharp 1 year, 10 months ago

Reality check breakers,,, you ate tied for lead .

Matthew Herbert 1 year, 10 months ago

yep - tied for first with a team that we've beaten on both our court and theirs...not to mention 20 of the last 23 meetings. Seems like an easy tie to break.

Robert Holmes 1 year, 10 months ago

You should go to the other article and read Weber's remark about being league champs if KSWho wins the rest of their games.

mom_of_three 1 year, 10 months ago

Wonder what Southwell and the rest of the wildcats think since Young outrebounded them.

jonas_opines 1 year, 10 months ago

I think the B-Ball boards get their comments co-mingled with the page on KUSports.com , hence they always have a ton of comments counted that don't show up over here.

Brian Sharp 1 year, 10 months ago

Ooook UK beakers fan you've played your way into a four (or lower) seed from a weak B12. 2nd round exit here you come. That's what you get for believing all the tripe LJW tells you.

MarcoPogo 1 year, 10 months ago

Why are you bringing Kentucky and/or the United Kingdom into this conversation?

Robert Holmes 1 year, 10 months ago

And that makes a Bruce Weber lead squad a 6 or 7 seed then with a 1st round exit. Welcome to reality. By the way, have you guys ever made up your minds if you're going by K-State, KSU, or Kansas State? When Bruce starts having to play with his own recruits instead of Bill Self's or Frank Martin's then we'll see how you guys do.

Matthew Herbert 1 year, 10 months ago

KU has played in the national championship two of the last five years having come out of this 'weak B12'. That's a fact, not LJW tripe.

jonas_opines 1 year, 10 months ago

Smirk. You spent all day yesterday beating your chest to everybody on Facebook and ESPN about how you were going to come in and beat us by double digits, dincha? ;)

I'll cut you slack. I haven't gone myself to look, but I'm sure there are a couple of KU trolls on the Manhattan sites trollin' all of you. But that just makes you as bad as some beaker troll, really.

UneasyRider 1 year, 10 months ago

Minor point. I realize the intelligence level of average KSU fan, but UK refers to University of Kentucky, Kansas University.

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