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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Can ‘magical’ McLemore trump Hilton Magic?

Kansas fans reach to slap hands with Ben McLemore as he exits the floor after a 33-point performance and a game-tying three that send the game into overtime on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas fans reach to slap hands with Ben McLemore as he exits the floor after a 33-point performance and a game-tying three that send the game into overtime on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas fans reach to slap hands with Ben McLemore as he exits the floor after a 33-point performance and a game-tying three that send the game into overtime on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

— No Kansas University basketball player, coach or fan ever tires of watching the replay of Ben McLemore’s straight-on, last-second 22-foot shot that banked off the backboard that forced overtime against upset-minded Iowa State on Jan. 9 in Allen Fieldhouse.

“Magical,” KU senior Kevin Young said of the three that sparked KU to an 97-89 overtime victory over the Cyclones in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

McLemore, who scored a career-high 33 points, today seeks an encore in ISU’s Hilton Coliseum, where the Cyclones — 15-0 this season — have been known to perform “Hilton Magic” time and again.

Tipoff for the rematch between the Jayhawks (23-4, 11-3) and Cyclones (19-8, 9-5) is 8 p.m., with a live broadcast on ESPN.

Does McLemore expect the Hilton denizens to try to rattle him?

“I’m sure they will,” McLemore said, smiling. “I’ll listen to my teammates like I always do, and we’ll try to play the best we can.”

ISU’s fans chanted “We Want Kansas” during the final two minutes of an 86-66 home victory over Texas Tech on Saturday.

“I remember it,” ISU coach Fred Hoiberg said to the Associated Press of McLemore’s shot. “I don’t think I’ll ever flush the memory.”

Hoiberg’s Cyclones “are good and they score easier than anyone in our league,” KU coach Bill Self said. ISU hit 14 threes in that OT meeting in Allen. “We have to do a great job individually, defensively, and our ball-screening has to be great. We were fortunate to get a win the first time. I think we have a great opportunity going there to beat a dangerous team. We are going to have to play our best game away from home.”

KU is 7-2 in Hilton Coliseum in the Self era.

“We haven’t really played that well on the road since the Ohio State game,” Self said. “We just hung in there and figured out a way to win like we did on Wednesday night against Oklahoma State. We are going to have to go play a good game in Ames because they have guys that can score. We are going to have to make shots and be efficient. This needs to be a special game that we play on Monday night.”

ISU is led by double-digit scorers Will Clyburn (14.9 ppg), Tyrus McGee (13.1 ppg), Georges Niang (11.4) and Melvin Ejim (11.1).

“They have crazy fans that are very close to the court. It’s a great environment, kind of like the fieldhouse but not as good,” KU’s Jeff Withey said. “It’s going to be crazy up there.

“Historically, we haven’t done all that well in Ames, but this is for a conference championship, and if we win our next couple of road games we should be fine. I think we’re gonna be all right; we’re going to come ready to play.”

So will the Cyclones.

“It’s one of the biggest games of the year to keep us in the hunt for the NCAA Tournament,” ISU’s Chris Babb said.

“We played them well at their place,” Clyburn added. “We can do better here.”

Comments

Beau Woolsey 1 year, 1 month ago

What people seem to forget is that the nba is lacking in talent at the 2 guard and there hasn't been one this talented since Wade BMac will shine on the next level because he is an amazing talent who can dominate on the next level If its the wizards or cavs who get the first pick they won't pick him because they picked Beal and waiters (respectively) but any other team like the bobcats or magic you can bet they will pick up McLemore

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Sally Presson 1 year, 1 month ago

Love Kevin Young, he's such a go-getter!!! Wish we had him next year and of course Ben, another year would really finish him up for the pros, but we'll see. He's a great one and so much fun to watch.

Ames is extremely difficult to play at their house, but we can do it!!! Go Hawks, be ready for a battle and come out victorious!!!

Rock chalk!!!

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RockChalk26 1 year, 1 month ago

"Ben, you are hurting your draft stock by playing well this season. Don't you know that the draft is based on player potential?"

-Kwame Brown

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LLH 1 year, 1 month ago

In regards to Ben's pro status, Yes, I'm sure he will likely decide to go pro, and yes, I'm sure he will likely be a top 5, top 10 pick at worst. Now comes the unpopular part. Is he ready? That's the question everybody asks. Define ready? Does he have NBA athleticism? Yes, undoubtedly. Does he have and NBA jump shot? Yes, undoubtedly. Are any other of his current skills NBA level? Only time will tell on that one. My problem with the NBA is that, once you are there, you really aren't awarded much time to develop any further. These owners are paying these kids tons of money and aren't interested in paying them that much money more than 3 years unless of course they produce fantastic results. It's a business, they don't care if the kid washes out in three years, somebody else's problem then. What most "fans" don't realize is that NBA money is realized once you get the SECOND contract, and are then a "vet". Lottery money and signing bonuses are not what they use to be, and by the time the player pays their agent, handlers, etc, they usually wind up with far less money than the fans think they will. Look, make no mistake, Ben is top 5 material, and when you have a winning lotto ticket, you don't give that up. I'm just saying, there are lessons to be learned by thinking that EVERY top 5 pick is going to be an NBA All-Star, get a second, more profitable contract, and have longevity in the league. I wish Ben well, and thank him for his hard work and dedication as a Jayhawk.

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clevelandjayhawker 1 year, 1 month ago

Looking back at how we played for a 10 day period compared to how we are playing now I really do wonder if we as a team had the flu. I dont think coach Self would admit it and wouldnt want to use it as an excuse, but we lost to tcu....now I dont want to use it as an excuse but it seems like it could have been the cause of why some of our more consistent players were so sub par, it seems like Withey is fully recovered and it is really showing.

With that said: turnovers, speed of play and making free throws/bunnies....Rock Chalk

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justinryman 1 year, 1 month ago

"Hilton Magic" and now the UNL is moving into a new arena they have been talking about the past and "Devaney Magic" http://www.omaha.com/article/20130223/HUSKERS/702239873/1001#top-devaney-center-moments-and-what-s-next Yeah it's funny how these teams need magic to win games, and they are most notably against KU. KU doesn't use magic to win games, there is no "Allen Field House Magic". KU just wins games. Sure there is a the Phog, but it's not magical, it's legendary.

Magic doesn't exist, it's slight of hand, or a game or a trick. I don't believe in magic.

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Chris Shaw 1 year, 1 month ago

B-Mac is an interesting debate for sure. You can see the "Potential" right before your very eyes. It's hard to turn down the possibility of being a Top 5 pick. I don't think he goes number 1, but his stock has hurt him a little the last few weeks.

You can tell he is trying to be more aggressive, but the problem with being more aggressive is that when your ball handling is suspect, it's hard to get to that extra gear during the season. He'll get better in the offseason regardless, but does that help the hawks right now if he can't find that extra gear? We'll see.

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monkeehawkSL8 1 year, 1 month ago

I don't usually make blanket statements. Things happen outside the box so often. I also try to avoid negative confessions, like "the point guard position is the main reason KU isn't going to go to far in March".

I hope the Hawks play to their ceiling tonight and in every game until the end of the season SOMETIME IN APRIL. The team this year has struggled in other areas. The JAYHAWKS need to avoid the turnover flu, Travis needs to be aggressive on both ends, Jeff needs to avoid playing bang ball, put up about 12 of those jump hooks. Kevin needs to just be Kevin and make the bunnies. Ben, by now will have played in enough pressure situations that he will thrive off the hostile crowd. EJ and Nadir will make plays, drive and dish. Choose their LIMITED shots well.

The bench needs to play solid helpful minutes, The entire team needs to quiet the crowd early, late and often. DEFENSE, REBOUND, only pass to your own team mates.

And FearlessJayhawk may want to consider changing your name to, GlassBroken LiquidAllOverTheFloorI'veCutMyFeetKindaThinkingPerson.

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William Blake 1 year, 1 month ago

I wonder how long BMac's reach is? Anyone know? The photo above gives the impression he has the reach of a footer.

Does anyone know where I can catch the game online tonight?

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nuleafjhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

It sounds like what he's saying is point-less.....

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FearlessJayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

The point guard position is the main reason KU isn't going to go very far in March. Johnson and Tharpe are just too inconsistent. You never know who is going to show up.

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Hoosierhawkfan 1 year, 1 month ago

They want us? They've got us. Lay the wood to 'em guys!!!

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Ken Sedgwick 1 year, 1 month ago

Forty minutes of focus. Give them Kansas!

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Kent Richardson 1 year, 1 month ago

Mr. Bedore, are you the only one who was manning the presses last night?

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Kansas_101_Furman_60 1 year, 1 month ago

KU rarely blows games when a league title is at stake. If we can get this win tonight, we should have smooth sailing the rest of the way in the league schedule.

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yates33333 1 year, 1 month ago

I think we will find out tonight whether McLemore is really ready for the pros. Of course, all the sportscasters that cover KU games are sure he is, as are most newspaper and sports' magazine writers. Hoiberg, who in some respects the consummate NBA student-player now coaching collegiates, will no doubt have a special defense ready for him. A defense that will be much like McLemore can expect once he is a pro with a reputation as a scorer. While McLemore has a fast shot and is an excellent spot-up shooter when compared to several other Big 12 players he has some trouble creating his shot. He also has a bit of trouble driving the ball at times which primarily results from teammates who back up players that McLemore beat. Also, although at much different skill levels I believe college teams clog the box areas against drivers better than the pros. As a redshirt freshman it's not unusual that McLemore fumbles the ball occasionally. We should all be as good as he is at his worst. BTW, I hope he doesn't go pro this year.

I wish announcers, or some of the posters who really understand BB, would comment on Kevin Young's possibilities as a pro. He reminds me a bit of Denis Rodman. I wish I knew their physical dimensions. Is/was Rodman taller and heavier than Young? They both play/played with great enthusiasm and have/had the ability to be in the right place for rebounds. They both are/were moderate scorers and were excellent teammates despite Rodman's showmanship.

Although I believe Withey will be drafted in the first round, he still gets moved around by opponents. The referees let Abron push, pull, tug, etc., him unmercifully Saturday. Will he be able to put on weight and hold his ground as a pro? Having never been, nor expecting to be, 7 foot it must the hard to develop balance at that size. Of course, Wilt and many others have done it. I sure hope Withey can because I think he can be a first class pro with his ability to run the court and his enthusiasm for the game.

Big, Big night tonight!! Go Hawks. Rock Chalk.

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RJ King 1 year, 1 month ago

After catching much of the Oscars, what'll you give me for a B-Mac/Jamie Foxx look alike? Hope to see an Oscar Robertson impression at the Hilton. McLemore Unchained?

McLemore Unchained!

McLemore Unchained! by RJ King

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Michael Luby 1 year, 1 month ago

I hope your avatar shows up in KU's locker room to put some steam into their shorts for the game!

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KUFan90 1 year, 1 month ago

"We Want Kansas" eh ISU fans?

Like my mom always used to say...be careful what you wish for!

Hope Bill reminds the team about this. Its going to be a tough game.

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