Kansas redshirt freshman guard Ben McLemore declared for the NBA draft on Tuesday. “I think that’s the best opportunity to me to help me and my family out,” McLemore said, according to the Kansas City Star. “Now I have the opportunity to do that.” SI.com’s Chris Mannix had McLemore in the No. 1 spot on his most recent big board, in mid-March, before the start of the NCAA tournament. Most executives who have been following him — and that list covers any team that thinks it will have a mathematical chance to land a top-three pick — see McLemore as a rock-solid starting shooting guard, and the freshman has done little to dissuade that opinion. He put up a season-high 36 points (knocking down 5-of-6 three-pointers) against West Virginia and followed it up with 23 in a disappointing loss to Baylor two games later. With prototypical size, strength and shooting stroke, McLemore is being referred to by more than one executive as “can’t miss.” McLemore, 20, averaged 15.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists for the Jayhawks, who lost to Michigan in the Sweet 16. He had 20 points (on 8-of-15 shooting) in the loss to the Wolverines after scoring two points and missing all nine of his field-goal attempts in a third-round victory over North Carolina. Overall, McLemore shot 49.5 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range, earning first-team all-Big 12 and second-team AP All-America honors.
Kansas’ Ben McLemore declares for NBA draft
SI | May 5