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Archive for Friday, March 29, 2013

Ben McLemore on if it was his last college game: ‘At this point, I really don’t know’

Kansas guard Ben McLemore puts his head in his hands as teammate Naadir Tharpe, background, answers a question from media members in the locker room after the Jayhawks' 87-85 overtime loss to Michigan on Friday, March 29, 2013 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Kansas guard Ben McLemore puts his head in his hands as teammate Naadir Tharpe, background, answers a question from media members in the locker room after the Jayhawks' 87-85 overtime loss to Michigan on Friday, March 29, 2013 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

March 29, 2013

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— With his legs fidgeting from side to side and a blank look of shock on his face, Kansas University red-shirt freshman Ben McLemore was asked multiple times in the KU locker room whether Friday's 87-85 overtime loss to Michigan in the Sweet 16 was his last appearance in a Kansas uniform.

His answer never changed.

“At this point, I really don't know,” he said. “I'm kind of emotional, but I'll sit down talk to my mom and see what's the deal. But, at this time I'm really not focused on it.”

McLemore, who led all Jayhawks with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting in the loss to fourth-seeded Michigan, said he had thought very little about the NBA during his first full season of college basketball even though many analysts and projections have him as a sure-fire top-five pick in this summer's NBA Draft.

“This year, I was just focusing on playing college ball and getting better each and every day,” he said.

Asked if the outcome of Friday's game could impact his decision on whether to return for his sophomore season, McLemore said, “I really don't know. ... It's a tough loss, but I know it's an even tougher loss for the seniors.”

McLemore's big night came after rough outings in the second and third rounds last week in Kansas City, Mo. It didn't necessarily look as if it was headed that way, though. McLemore missed his first five shots of Friday's loss before catching fire after watching a three-pointer from the corner settle in the bottom of the net.

“I felt comfortable,” he said. “Getting the ball moving around, my shot was falling, and I just went out there and tried to play like I played in the beginning of the season, play free, having fun, with a smile on my face.”

McLemore was one of several Jayhawks who took a turn at guarding Michigan guard Trey Burke, and that, too, left him shaking his head after the game. After going scoreless in the first half, Burke scored 23 points in the second half and overtime, including a three-pointer with four seconds left that tied the game.

“Trey Burke stepped up late, hit a huge shot,” McLemore said. “He's a great player. He's definitely, definitely a great player.”

Comments

msezdsit 1 year, 8 months ago

Ben, thanks for a great year. You made the Jayhawk nation very proud of you and I will always remember you as a "class act". Take that with you and keep it no matter where your life takes you. Wishing you the best luck and again, Thanks.

rgh 1 year, 8 months ago

This young man has proven himself and needs to take care of his family as he's wanted to do now for years. We were fortunate to have had you this year and when Coach Self says he's a better person than basketball player, you can bank on it. Lawrence will always welcome you and best of luck in the NBA.

drillsgt 1 year, 8 months ago

Ben..your not ready..give it one more year...you know this because your not in balance...think about it

fourkitties 1 year, 8 months ago

He's not ready. AND our soldiers should be getting paid more than professional sports players.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

"If the government can dictate your healthcare, "

I take that you would rather that the corporations who cause healthcare costs in the US to be the highest in the world, by a sutbstantial margin, dictate your healthcare. (And we don't even get the best or are the most comprehensively covered for those substantial premiums.)

sully97 1 year, 8 months ago

Ben,

Whatever you decide to do, everyone here in Lawrence loves and supports you. I know we all would love to have you with us as long as we can but that is selfish fan speak. You do what's right for you and yours. If that means the NBA or if that means staying with school, it is your decision. If you do go to the NBA, please please please negotiate it in a manner that will provide for your education in the future in case you get injured. There is a great personal benefit that I didn't realize until years after I finished, which includes knowing when I'm being taken advantage of by those who purport to have my best interests in mind. Above all though, do what's right for you personally and professionally. You're a great example to us all and thank you for representing us and giving your all to us, your team, and your school with such class. You always have a home here.

PS. Please Elijah my best as well. If the flagrant was intentional then he has some reflecting to do, but he too has given us his all. I don't fault him for anything else though. My thanks to him and his effort. Each of you gave your heart and soul to us. You guys did great this year!

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