|Ben McLemore showed off his athletic ability that's led him to a possible No. 2 pick numerous times throughout the college basketball season. (nba.si.com)|
Position: Small Forward
DraftExpress Prediction: No. 2 in first round, No. 2 to the Orlando Magic
Synopsis: The good for Ben McLemore is very good. He broke the KU record for most points in a game as a freshman with 36 against West Virginia and scored 33 against Iowa State in Lawrence, including hitting a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime. He's a tremendous athlete with quite possibly the smoothest jump shot in college basketball (drawing comparisons to Ray Allen) and can jump out of the gym with a 42-inch vertical. McLemore averaged 15.9 points per game during his freshman season as a Jayhawk, shooting an efficient 49.5 percent from the floor, 42 percent from behind the arc and 87 percent from the free-throw line, while also grabbing 5.2 rebounds and staying out of foul trouble with less than two fouls per game.
There's a lot to like about McLemore, both on the court and his personality and the well-known story of his hardships growing up. That's why he is likely going to be a top-three pick. But even top-three picks in this draft have questions surrounding them, and McLemore is no different. One concern was his lack of scoring consistency last year, especially on the road, and how he would seem to get lost during games while going long stretches without taking a shot. Off the field, McLemore signed with agent Rodney Blackstock, who reportedly payed McLemore's AAU coach to move McLemore in the direction of Blackstock. Still, watching McLemore in college, it was clear he belonged at the next level and should be worth the top-three pick. If he can get anywhere close to the comparisons to Ray Allen, he'll be a very good NBA player.
Quote to note: "I definitely can compare myself to Ray Allen, especially with the shooting ability. I don't know about the athleticism anymore. But I definitely can say I compare myself with him a lot as far as getting myself open, coming off screens and little things like that." - Ben McLemore on the comparison's to Ray Allen via the Orlando Sentinel.