Kansas head coach Bill Self and redshirt freshman guard Ben McLemore met with the media Tuesday afternoon as McLemore announced that he will declare for the 2013 NBA draft this summer.
The decision to go to the NBA comes as no surprise as mock drafts have projected McLemore from the beginning to be a top-three pick. Since Nerlens Noel suffered a torn ACL injury, the opportunity for McLemore to go No. 1 overall in the upcoming draft is possible.
McLemore became an immediate impact player and earned a lot playing time right away. He played at least 30 minutes in each of the first three games of the season.
He finished the season with 15.9 points per game. One of his most notable games came on Jan. 9 against Iowa State as he came through with a clutch three-pointer to force the game into overtime. He finished the game making all seven of his free throw attempts and went a perfect six-of-six from beyond the arc, finishing with 33 points.
Did Ben McLemore make the right decision to declare for the NBA draft?
McLemore’s high of 33 points was shattered nearly two months later against West Virginia at home when McLemore shot 12-of-15, including five-of-six from three-point territory. He finished with 36 points against the Mountaineers.
But McLemore went through a three-game slump in mid-March.
Against Kansas State in the Big 12 Championship match, McLemore scored only five points. In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, he scored seven of his 11 points while trailing most of the game against No. 16 Western Kentucky. In the second round against North Carolina, McLemore was blank from the floor after taking nine shots and made just two free throws.
He finished stronger individually in the Sweet 16 game against Michigan by scoring 20 points despite Kansas losing in overtime.
McLemore earned All-Big 12 First Team honors, a spot on the All-Big 12 All-Rookie team and fell just short of winning Big 12 Freshman of the Year.