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Ben McLemore gives Pierce-ian performance against Iowa State

1. Ben McLemore: Was it the best individual performance in Allen Fieldhouse since Paul Pierce scored 31 against Oklahoma? The freshman hit the game's biggest shot — a banked-in three with 1.3 seconds left in regulation to tie it — and ended with 33 points on just 12 field-goal attempts, making six of six threes and seven of seven free throws. That was the most posts by a KU freshman since Danny Manning had 35 on March 2, 1985.

2. Jeff Withey: Made the most of a tough matchup and played a big role in keeping Iowa State below its season average percentage-wise in offensive rebounds. Withey posted 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting with 12 rebounds and three blocks in 38 minutes. The senior also had a crucial steal in the second half that helped end a long KU field-goal drought.

3. Kevin Young: Like Withey, he battled hard on the boards, grabbing 12 rebounds in 30 minutes. He also had 10 points on 5-for-10 shooting to go with an assist, steal and two turnovers.

4. Travis Releford: His biggest play was setting a solid screen in the final seconds of regulation to free up McLemore, who knocked in the game-tying three. The senior wasn't great defensively — posting no steals against a team that was careless coming in — but he did have 12 points on 3-for-6 shooting with 6-for-8 accuracy from the free throw line.

5. Elijah Johnson: Made great decisions to keep KU in it late, driving hard to the rim to get fouled with 21 seconds left then putting in a short shot with 14 seconds left to cut the deficit to one. It's time to start getting concerned about his turnover numbers, though. Johnson had six of KU's 14 giveaways against ISU, which makes 11 in his last two games and 16 in his last four. For a guy that doesn't have the ball in his hands as much as someone like Tyshawn Taylor, that number needs to come down. The senior added 12 points on 4-for-10 shooting (2-for-6 from three) with 10 assists and three steals.

6. Jamari Traylor: Provided crucial scoring in his nine minutes, contributing five points on 1-for-1 shooting with 3-for-4 accuracy from the free throw line. He also had two rebounds to go with an illegal screen foul.

7. Naadir Tharpe: The sophomore took one very ill-advised three that stands out, but I thought many of his field goal tries in the lane were aggressive plays where he didn't make the shot. The final line still looks pretty ugly: eight points, 2-for-11 shooting, 0-for-5 shooting from three with one turnover and one steal in 23 minutes.

8. Perry Ellis: Missed both field goals but made both free throws in his eight minutes.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (100 points)
2. Ben McLemore (97 points)
3. Travis Releford (93 points)
4. Elijah Johnson (82 points)
5. Kevin Young (69 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (65 points)
7. Perry Ellis (55 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (46 points)
9. Andrew White III (23 points)
10. Rio Adams (16 points)
11. Justin Wesley (7 points)

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Comments

Eric Sorrentino 1 year, 3 months ago

Going to be an interesting race in these ratings between Withey and McLemore all year.

Jesse, I love the question of best performance in recent fieldhouse memory. McLemore and Collison have to be up there as probably the top two. Are we strictly talking about KU performances? I don't think I've ever seen anything like Kevin Durant at AFH in 2007 (at least for one half). KU fans even applauded when he returned to the court from injury after the first half. That game was so memorable when KU came back and won.

Being there last night to witness Ben's performance in person was pretty special. Not a top 10 Rivals guy like Henry or Selby, but I'm convinced Ben is already better than both of those two dudes in the NBA right now. Haha.

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Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 3 months ago

As Self said, our defense was overrated. Lots to work on, but what a NICE win! Of course, this should serve notice how tough the away game in Hilton will be. Clones play like an NBA team, philosophically speaking. This Hoiberg is a very, very interesting (and welcome) addition to the BigXII. Worthy competitor who is successfully proving his concepts thru his team's play. After losing Royce White, IowaSt remains a legit foe. Got my attention and respect.

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jhawkrulz 1 year, 3 months ago

I thought the problem was ISU's 3 point shooting, not our offense, scoring 75+ in regulation should be enough to win any game we play.

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Jim Roth 1 year, 3 months ago

3 double-doubles in one game is pretty cool - Withey, Young & Elijah. I wonder how often that has happened in KU history?

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Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year, 3 months ago

As on the other article...I have but one thing to say.

"Put ya shoes on!" -Elijah Johnson

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KUFan90 1 year, 3 months ago

I hope Self has the team practice nothing but boxing out for the next week or so. Ridiculous how many box outs we missed. Releford had the best seat in the house watching his man blow by him for offensive rebounds. Withey missed several. For something I have my kids 2nd grade basketball team practice, not sure how such a basic skill was so lacking tonight.

We sure dont need overtime if we had been more fundamental and aggressive on the offensive glass tonight.

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Michael Luby 1 year, 3 months ago

Yeah man, this kid is something special. Really hope he sticks around another year. It would be awesome to see him go to the League as the #1 pick too though.

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kuae99 1 year, 3 months ago

1) You've got to put up Collison's 20-20 Vitale standing-o game higher than this. Definitely the best offensive performance, but not both ends. I was thinking more of the NBA (Finals?) game where Jordan shrugged because of all the shots he was making.

7) As our offense looked anemic in the second half and the Clones came back and took the lead, I was wondering if it was because Naadir was at the point instead of EJ. But we got the W.

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Suzi Marshall 1 year, 3 months ago

Nadadir's "bad game" is the kind you like to see from a guy playing agressive winning ball. Hope he keeps it up because when he lines out at that level, he will be sensational. As for BMac, with his skills, I'd love to see him shooting 25 a game. Same goes for Releford...eithere the number of shots go up or the shooting percentage comes down.

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Scott Smetana 1 year, 3 months ago

BMac's game reminds me more of Kobe's game. Except with lots more class.

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Steve Kubler 1 year, 3 months ago

That was a quiet 15 pt night for Withey, I did not realize he made double figures scoring, did notice he was doing ok on the boards.

Naadir's stats are not in agreement with the feeling I had that he had a solid game. He seemed to play under control for the most part, his TO was an overly aggressive pass underneath. He also seemed decent on defense, but I will admit to focusing on how Withey was doing as I expect to see a lot of teams trying to pull him out of the middle.

Nice write up Jesse, Thanks.

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Dirk Medema 1 year, 3 months ago

EJ's TO's are a lot, but so are the A, especially on a night when no one else has more than 2.

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Phil Leister 1 year, 3 months ago

Excellent assessment of Tharpe, Jesse. He can get to the rim in a hurry, and I have no problem with him taking those shots in the paint. Unfortunately for his stat line, he missed quite a few of them tonight. He jacked up so ill-advised long balls, but he's a good shooter, and you have to like the confidence. Ugly stat line, but I liked the things he did for the most part.

On a side note, did Pierce foul out of that game mentioned?

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cuellarku 1 year, 3 months ago

My buddies and I were trying to think of a nickname for Ben McLemore, and the best we could come up with is McLamazing. Anyone else on board?

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