Thursday, April 11, 2013

NBA scout: Ben McLemore top-2 pick

Kansas guard Ben McLemore and Andrea Hudy, assistant athletic director for sport performance watch the Colorado State and Louisville game as McLemore is stretched in the locker room before the team's practice, Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas guard Ben McLemore and Andrea Hudy, assistant athletic director for sport performance watch the Colorado State and Louisville game as McLemore is stretched in the locker room before the team's practice, Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.



Kansas guard Ben McLemore and Andrea Hudy, assistant athletic director for sport performance watch the Colorado State and Louisville game as McLemore is stretched in the locker room before the team's practice, Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

A lot can, and will, change between now and June 27, the date of the 2013 NBA Draft.

But as of today — well before the NBA combine and prospects’ trips to team camps for individual workouts — things are looking up for 20-year-old millionaire-to-be Ben McLemore.

“McLemore and (Nerlens) Noel (6-11 freshman, Kentucky) will go 1-2 in the draft. Noel will probably be the No. 1 pick despite his injury,” an NBA talent evaluator who cannot reveal his identity (in accordance with NBA rules) told the Journal-World.

Noel is recovering from a torn ACL, while the 6-foot-5 McLemore is healthy.

“McLemore is a better version of Ray Allen. He will play shooting guard the way it is supposed to be played,” the talent evaluator said. “The only negative to his game is sometimes he defers. He could definitely use another year in college to learn to take over games.

“Obviously, he had to go (pro),” the scout quickly added. “The draft is only about potential now.”

This unnamed NBA official said this year’s No. 1 draft pick would be Huntington (W. Va.) Prep senior Andrew Wiggins if players were allowed to head directly from high school to the pros. The 6-foot-7, 190-pound Wiggins has a final list of KU, Kentucky, Florida State and North Carolina.

“I’ve heard 20 teams say they’d take him right now and start him,” the talent evaluator said.

Here’s his view of KU’s other possible draft picks at this early date:

• Jeff Withey: “He will go between 25-30 (in first round). He’d be the tail end of the lottery (top 14) to No. 20 if he could finish around the basket. He’s so good defensively, he will be a first-round pick.”

• Travis Releford: “He is rated higher than (Elijah) Johnson. We think he can defend (at NBA level). I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes in the 40 range (second round). He’s tough. I love his game.”

• Johnson: “He came on strong late in the year. There’s been some question about how healthy he is. That should be addressed during the 1-on-1 workouts. He’s got a chance to go late second round. Personally, I don’t think he has a position. He will get a chance in summer league if he’s not drafted.”

• Kevin Young: “He will not get drafted. He’ll be a good guy to get in a camp this summer. He is going to make a lot of money playing overseas.”

Of future KU guard Wayne Selden, a 6-5 guard from Tilton (N.H.) School, the evaluator said: “I like his game a lot. He’s a big guard who can shoot. He will be in college two to three years.”

Memphis player on market: Memphis forward Tarik Black says he will graduate this semester, then transfer to another school for a final year of basketball. Jeff Goodman of says he’s drawing interest from KU, Duke, Marquette, Miami, Tennessee, Florida State, UMass and 20 others. Black, 6-9, 260 from Memphis, will be immediately eligible at his future school. He averaged 8.1 points and 4.8 rebounds while logging 20.8 minutes a game for Memphis last season.

No announcement on tap: Wiggins, who is ranked No. 1 in the country by, likely will not announce his college choice at Saturday’s Jordan Brand Classic, his high school coach, Rob Fulford, told the Lexington Herald-Leader. Fulford said Wiggins would announce sometime before the end of the spring signing period (April 17-May 15). KU signees Selden and Joel Embiid will compete in the Classic, set for an 7 p.m. tipoff on ESPN2.


Eric TheCapn 1 year ago

The Suns could become my favorite NBA team if they get loaded up with Jayhawks. Maybe I'dwatch a game.


Waylon Cook 1 year ago

Withey is going to look really good in a Spurs uni. Duncan has about 2 years left and Withey will be groomed well.

Jeff is going to show he "can finish" at the next level. All he has done is get better while here.


KemDooKU 1 year ago

Wiggins or no Wiggins - don't matter because there is no better feeling than being a Jayhawk fan - And like the classic song goes ......."if you can't be with the one you want ......then Love the one your with"


BeckP 1 year ago

McLemore is a better version of Ray Allen? Really, how dumb are these scouts. They expect me to believe he's better then the best 3 point shooter in NBA history and you've seen him play 1 college season. He doesn't have that take over factor!


William Blake 1 year ago

Sometimes I feel like the OAD rule is in place to protect NBA management. It's a safer bet for them to recruit based on potential (seeing these kids play only one year of D1 ball means it is all about potential because one in a million are really ready for pro ball). Drafting based on using a crystal ball on potential allows NBA management to displace blame for all the failures that occur after the draft.

There are not many spots open in the league. Talent run amuck and there are other factors that keep players sitting on rosters. A huge factor is being a "known entity." Decision-making on this level comes from banker-mentality execs. The same mindset that decides what movies you watch on the big screen. Rocky 27? You dang tooting!

Everyone is out to save their own skin. The concept that draft position is based on potential gives way too much credit to the minds making the picks. Draft position is based on "picking safe"... saving the pickers' neck by making sure there is a good excuse when the pick fails. The system is built on the concept that the drafted players will fail. Everyone knows Rocky 27 is a dud concept, but it still gets made because the decision-maker is protected.

Bill Self is a rare find. We credit him with having superior abilities to develop players. I'm not refuting that but maybe we should give him more credit in picking potential. If I owned an NBA team I'd try to hire Bill to rate prospects. Bill could turn the worst NBA team into a winner in short order because there is never a shortage of talent out there. Making the right picks is less about an individual's personal potential and more about an individual's potential to help the team.

Knowing that... the draft becomes a big circus of clowns making a show to save their own necks. BMac's draft position should be decided by the first team to pick in desperate need of a good-shooting 2-guard. And it matters what offensive sets they run and the chemistry needs of the team. All the above scout comments are based on BMac's personal potential. Totally irrelevant unless he is chosen as property to be traded again.

What really stinks about the NBA is the teams are not picked and developed by people that really know basketball. It's a game owned mostly by people who have never played real ball. The real tragedy is all the wasted talent left behind. Someone like a Bill Self could build a team full of players that didn't make it and within a short time this team could dominate the league. Problem is... it's a closed league and a few wealthy owners control this game and decide who plays and who doesn't. I'm not a fan of pro ball. I'm an admirer of many players playing in it... but the game itself just gives me heartburn and gas.


truthofthematter 1 year ago

No need to discuss Wiggins because, he is going to Kentucky. Self just doesn't have the skills to complete against Calipari in recruiting as we look at the list of recruits already. Self have been out of the picture of recruiting over the last few years and it now is showing up the the quality of players that Ku is now getting. It is humiliating how Califpari has dominated Self. We can tell that the quality of players just isn't there for KU because, Ku keeps falling out of the picture during the NCAA tournment, Bucknell, Bradley, VCU, and Northern Iowa and then to blow a lead of13 points against Michigan in the last few minutes. Next year doesn't look to be promising with Tharpe as a point guard, no real big men for the center position, no shooting guards with experience. That is probably way Wichita ST. is ranked way ahead of KU.


bennybob 1 year ago

Tarik Black: YES PLEASE!

A top 50 recruit with 3 years at the division 1 level under his belt would be as good a, if not better, bandaid than any OAD to cover the one year dip in front court talent we've got to overcome next year.

He's coming in for a year guys, who cares about attitude problems? we know exactly what were getting with this guy. He's not a program player, hes a solution to a temporary problem, that's all.

Bring him in, exploit his talents, and get him out the door as fast as possible!


Beau Woolsey 1 year ago

Wiggins is so much Tracy McGrady like it's crazy He could be Tmac or he could be Demar Derozan either way Wiggins will be very good at both levels Ku getting him would be nothing but good for the program he is very good


Jack Wilson 1 year ago

I have to ask, what makes anyone think that Wiggins is coming to KU other than the "I wish it were true" factor? And remember, logic doesn't play when analyzing this stuff. More than any other topic discussed here in quite a while, this is the most speculative.

Logic said Randle should have come to KU. Big, big miss.

Even trying to think this through logically, I don't see it with Wiggins. Seems many more factors weighing against us on Wiggins than some of our other top 10 misses. But that is wild speculation too.

I'm pretty sure that no one even remotely has an idea what this kid is going to do.


KemDooKU 1 year ago

Three of the top players last year are returning to Kentucky along with six highly rated McDonald All Americans. If Wiggins does go to Kentucky then I hope he gets a seat cushion because those benches hurt the rump when your sitting on them for a long period of time- even if he is a stud he can't expect more than 15 minutes a game because there are to many others expecting to get major minutes - after awhile it gets to be ridiculous with that many OAD players - I think it shows that he can't coach unless he has six NBA 1st rounders - how pathetic to not make the tourney with that much talent last year -


Ron Franklin 1 year ago

The "Experts" are split between FSU and KU for Wiggins.

So you know what that means? He's headed to UK!!

I don't believe Wiggins really wants to play defense as he would have to for Self or Hamilton.


Steve Gantz 1 year ago

Someone else alluded to this but I get tired of the 'he's better than Ray Allan' type statements that are made about these kids. I hope he is because Allan's a potential HOFer. We've all commented on the dearly departed Rio "reminds me of DWade' comment made by his old coach.

Danny Manning was the next Magic Johnson I remember people saying, and he was (without the flashiness) until the knee turned him into just the next well any number of players.

I don't recall all of the other 'next' so and so statements we've heard through the years on our players, but we haven't put out a whole lot of next anyone's at KU, just a lot of kids who are very good ball players at this level and generally competent ones at the next.


KansasComet 1 year ago

I am really looking forward to next season. No doubt that we were a Final Four Team, it just didn't work out this year. Can't wait to see 3 point shooting next year!


texashawk10 1 year ago

Saw this on Facebook and this pretty much sums up what's wrong with basketball today.

This is by far the most delusional and funny story of the day:

Kentucky-bound recruits Dakari Johnson and Andrew Harrison said that they'd beat MICHAEL "HIS AIRNESS" JORDAN in a 1-on-1 game in his PRIME.

Said Johnson: "I’m taking him to the post every time. He’d stop me a couple of times, but I’d just keep going back down there. I’d just contest his jump shots and pray that he’d miss. I think in the end, I’d get him though. I’m too big down there."

Said Harrison: "I think he’d get a couple buckets here and there, but then I’d start to lock him down and give him buckets. Yeah, I think I’d get him."

A couple buckets here and there?! Seriously?!

Johnson is an elite center and Harrison is the nation's most coveted point guard, but the idea they'd get more than a bucket or two off early-90s MJ is laughable. After all, 50-year-old MJ reportedly had his way with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist recently, and I'd take my chances with Kidd-Gilchrist against either Johnson or Harrison in a game of one-on-one right now.

Some of these kids arrogance, ignorance and stupidity is beyond me.


jaybate 1 year ago

Thx for the local angle on TB; that's one of the great aspects of this web site. KU nation is everywhere.


texashawk10 1 year ago

I would not be in favor of bringing Tarik Black into KU next year. His production has gone down every year and I've read that his work ethic is not the best in the world and on a team without much in the way of senior leadership, that's not the type of player KU should bring in with the amount of youth KU is going to have next year without much in the way of leadership. If next year's team had the experience of last seasons team, then I wouldn't be opposed to the idea of bringing Black in for depth, but I just don't see it being a good fit next season.


jay381 1 year ago

Tarik Black is not someone I would think we want at KU. Living in Memphis I have been aware of the soap opera that is Tarik Black for the past few years (hard to read the paper and not be aware of this kid) and it is not good. He has created turmoil at a practice by walking out on the staff in a tiff. He is only a 59.1% free throw shooter. Has been suspended from games by the coaching staff for problems. He is more likely to get a foul than a rebound. It is too bad because coming out of HS he was a top 50 recruit and somewhat of a local hero that many thought would lead the team back to the Calipari successes. That has not happened despite his obvious physical abilities. Unfortunately he is a product of the Memphis Public School System where there is little possibility of personal development and an attitude of athletic entitlement. Self is a master at reclamation projects (learning from the old master of project rebuilding Eddie Sutton) involving transfers however; I would sure be very apprehensive about this athlete because of attitude not athletic abilities. Frankly most of the sports reporters and by implication the coaches were frankly glad to see the cancer that is Black go elsewhere. Coach Pastner in an uncharacteristic manner of sarcasm (no fan of Memphis but Pastner is a good guy) when ask where he might transfer gave a look and responded I have no idea that indicated what he wanted to say was I could care less as long as he is gone. One of the things I have appreciated most is the team cohesion Self has achieved with his teams. Based on his actions here Tarik Black would not know the meaning of team cohesion.


Jason Sinclair 1 year ago

Would have liked to have heard his thoughts on P Ellis. In my opinion, he is the perfect college recruit/player, because although he has elite skills for a PF, he has - for the NBA - a SF's body. He'll play in the NBA, but will stick around longer than he would've if he was a few inches taller (or significantly more explosive).


741hawk 1 year ago

Where do Wiggins' parents live? (Could be a factor)


REHawk 1 year ago

A Black/Wiggins signing probably would make for a daily double recruiting hit either at KU or FSU. If true that Wiggins' parents are pushing hard for their alma mater, Leonard Hamilton is probably scrambling to enhance his accompanying stable of support players.


Alex Resnik 1 year ago

I honestly think that Kentucky is not in Wiggins' thought process. (mostly because I detest what the Cheater has done to the college game) and because I think he is deciding between KU and FSU. If Wiggins wants national exposure, ability to shine and the ability to win a championship he will come to KU. Honestly I think it makes the most sense (I know I have not posted too many times on here, but I usually think more level headed than this). If he goes to FSU then he risks losing all of the national attention that the non-con, conference, and a deep run into the tourney brings. If he goes to FSU all of that becomes in doubt. The only time I have seen FSU on TV is when they play NC or Duke. So that's a guaranteed 4 games nationally a year. If he goes to KU there are probably only 6 games all year that will not be picked up nationally (I live in Michigan and thank God everyday that KU is a national program because if not I wouldn't be able to watch) Ok.. I rambled on long enough.. here's some cliff-notes.

He is not thinking of Kentucky If he goes to FSU he risks losing out on a deep run in the tourny and nationally televised games If he goes to KU, he turns us into instant title contenders. Only 4-6 games will not be nationally televised.


KemDooKU 1 year ago

I got nothing to say at this point in time - maybe I will have something on the next article!


Scott Smetana 1 year ago

I just don't understand why the NBA would want to pay millions to take a chance on a 'potential, developing star'. Most early entries hardly play. The NBA wins by having them develop in college for FREE. Us NCAA fans benefit also. The minimum age should be 21!


Michael Luby 1 year ago

We all knew that Ben was going to the NBA, Withey too for that matter. Im just glad that Travis is getting some recognition. It was also very nice to hear what he said about Kevin Young. Way to go fellas! RCJHGOKU! Could we use Tarik next season? Hell yes we could. If he can defend his position good enough to meet Coachs high standards then he would start. How could you not start a 5th year big like him? Especially since we will be so incredibly young next season.


otaKU 1 year ago

Let me get this straight - Withey would be in the tail end of the lottery if he was better offensively, but Noel is the top #1 pick even though he's not that great offensviely either?

I'm not saying Withey should be the #1 pick my argument would be then why Noel?

In other news, I would be interested to see if Tarik Black comes to KU. I had heard that he is pretty high on KU (nothing credible--just some friends I've talked to in the Memphis area).


rockchalkchalkin23 1 year ago

"I'm so sick of coaches telling me that they got nobody on the bench. You know what, yeah you do. You got 4 or 5 guys on the bench, but you're to chicken to play em, because these other 5 guys or 6 guys are better than they are, and you don't wanna give them an opportunity to get in the game." Bruce Pearl Monday on 'The Herd'


bradynsdad 1 year ago

I believe the only reason Wiggjns is waiting is because he wants to go to UK and his parents want him to go to FSU. His parents are probably trying to convince him that he won't be able to shine as much at UK. Personally until UK starts playing and winning games I think people need to calm down. I saw an ESPN article that said if Wiggins goes to UK then the NCAA should cancel the season and give Kentucky the trophy. Ridiculous. I watched an interview of Brannen Greene yesterday and I will take this kid over a one and done any day. He plans on being at KU a couple years and he is truly a very smart and nice young man. I think Self is 100% right in saying next years recruiting class is very underrated!


hawksince51 1 year ago

Pierce played 3 years at KU, plenty of time to show more than just potential. And he has been the most successful KU player in the pros in a long time, maybe moreso than Manning due to Danny's injuries. I agree to some degree with Brock that the NBA has fleeced college ball with the OAD rule. I also think they have needlessly thrown a lot of money at players who never earned it. Wright comes to mind, and Selby looks like he will follow. But, I really do not have much doubt that Ben will do well in the NBA, but probably not until he develops better ball-handling skills and improves his D. Sure I would prefer he did that at KU by staying another year or two but that is not how the system works today. Good luck Ben. It has fun watching you this year.


Robert Brock 1 year ago

LOL at the NBA. I remember a time when the NBA only selected seasoned, proven veteran players at the lottery level. Since they have fleeced college ball entirely, they are down to drafting the most untested players imaginable based on their potential upside - which is really a wild reach in many cases. It is only going to get worse. And college ball is so barren of talent that it is getting rough to watch. The game is soiled.


Beate Williams 1 year ago

When Paul left his ball-handling was not a handicap; that was a first year problem.


jayhawkinATL 1 year ago

I believe the only reason BMac doesn't go #1 is the fact that the Bobcats need more help in the post (i.e., Nerlens).


doolindalton 1 year ago

Ben also needs to mature physically and learn to play better defense. Frankly, it's hard to envision either Noel or McClemore as the two top picks, but it is what it is.


Michael Pannacciulli 1 year ago

Interesting how the scout doubts EJ's health...I don't see him getting drafted. He too could make great money overseas.

Also, I don't know how Wiggins is holding out...the questions he must get on a regular basis and the non-stop recruiting must be exhausting. I fully expect he picks FSU. Kensucky a close second.


Michael Sillman 1 year ago

As the NBA scout said, McLemore has to go now to be an overnight millionaire. Only time will tell us if he went too early to truly make his mark at the next level.

I am a bit surprised that a tweener with questionable ball handling skills will be the number 2 pick. But then I've never really understood the NBA.

Regardless I wish McLemore all the good fortune in the world. He seems like a great kid.


Sam Constance 1 year ago

"“I’ve heard 20 teams say they’d take him right now and start him,” the talent evaluator said. [about Wiggins]

Proof that NBA talent evaluators are barely a step above drunken idiots at a roulette table. I'm sure Wiggins is an outstanding athlete, but give me a break.

Almost as stupid is the idea of taking a toothpick of a freshman who had almost zero offensive ability and happens to be coming of major injury/surgery.

It's like Apple (or some other tech giant) hiring a freshman because he/she got straight A's in his first year of getting a computer science degree.


Larry Smith 1 year ago

Easy top 5 pick. For those of you who says he is not ready....You are Cray


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