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KU's big men battle for No. 2 spot behind Ben McLemore

Kansas guard Ben McLemore looks to maintain possession against Texas Tech players Daylen Robinson, left, and Toddrick Gotcher during the second half of the second round of the Big 12 tournament on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas guard Ben McLemore looks to maintain possession against Texas Tech players Daylen Robinson, left, and Toddrick Gotcher during the second half of the second round of the Big 12 tournament on Thursday, March 14, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. by Nick Krug

1. Ben McLemore: An elite shooter when he has his feet set on the perimeter. McLemore helped KU get off to a good start with hot shooting, posting a game-high 24 points on 8-for-12 shooting, which included 4-for-8 accuracy from three-point range. The freshman also added four rebounds, an assist and steal to go with a turnover.

2. Kevin Young: In a game where three guys could make a claim for the second spot, Young takes it with an efficient line. In 21 minutes, the senior made all three of his field goals to finish with nine points, which tied for the second-most among KU's regulars. Young also had three assists, two rebounds, a block and a steal to go with a turnover.

3. Jeff Withey: For the second straight game, Withey only shot three field goals but made all of those attempts. Withey struggled early against the physical Jordan Tolbert inside, but he also scored KU's final five points of the first half to give the Jayhawks some breathing room at the break. The senior added four rebounds, three blocks, two assists and a steal but also had a team-high four turnovers.

4. Perry Ellis: Another encouraging step for the freshman, who posted eight points (3-for-5 shooting) with a team-high seven rebounds. He also had one assist and no turnovers in 14 minutes.

5. Travis Releford: Quiet game for Releford, who scored six points on 2-for-4 shooting with five assists and three turnovers in 31 minutes.

6. Jamari Traylor: Didn't miss a shot, making both of his field goals and all three of his free throws to finish with seven points in 11 minutes. He also had no turnovers.

7. Elijah Johnson: Led KU with three steals, but he wasn't efficient offensively on an afternoon when his team shot 66 percent. The senior made two of six field goals for four points with four assists and two turnovers.

8. Naadir Tharpe: Angered KU coach Bill Self with some poor passes, but the sophomore's final line wasn't bad: five points, 2-for-3 shooting, three assists, two turnovers and two steals in 13 minutes.

9. Rio Adams: Great game for Adams, and the only reason he's not higher on this list is that his offensive production came when the game was already decided. Still, scoring 11 points in five minutes on 4-for-5 shooting (2-for-2 three-point shooting) is tough to do regardless of the circumstances.

10. Andrew White III: The freshman doesn't hesitate to fire up threes, and that's a positive since his main purpose on the floor is to produce offensively. White made two of three three-pointers to finish with six points in six minutes. That ends a mini-slump, as he'd missed seven threes in a row before Thursday.

11. Justin Wesley: Made both field goal attempts, had two rebounds and two assists to go with a turnover in five minutes.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (259 points)
2. Ben McLemore (248 points)
3. Travis Releford (232 points)
4. Kevin Young (195 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (180 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (158 points)
7. Perry Ellis (142 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (105 points)
9. Andrew White III (51 points)
10. Rio Adams (36 points)
11. Justin Wesley (22 points)

Big 12/Postseason Standings
1. Jeff Withey (168 points)
2. Ben McLemore (159 points)
3. Travis Releford (147 points)
4. Kevin Young (136 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (104 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (97 points)
7. Perry Ellis (90 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (64 points)
9. Andrew White III (28 points)
10. Rio Adams (21 points)
11. Justin Wesley (15 points)

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Comments

yates33333 1 year, 7 months ago

I don't know if anyone is going to agree, but I thought the refereeing was poor in this game. Withey got banged more by the double team that guarded him than the rest of the KU players combined. He also got a couple of sweat fouls called on him. The game plan apparently wasn't to get the ball to Withey which if so made sense because McLemore showed up big time for this game. Both Johnson and Releford had subpar games. I hope they play lights out against ISU. Young was, well, Young. Ellis was very good.

I don't understand how the Big 12/Postseason Standings points are given. I thought today's game was the first post season game. How could Withey have more points than McLemore and McLemore be rated #1, which seems correct.

nwhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Big 12/Postseason includes conference regular season and postseason.

Michael Luby 1 year, 7 months ago

Our guards need to step it up if we are going to survive tomorrow. Travis, EJ, Naadir, come on guys, light that fire now!

texashawk10 1 year, 7 months ago

Jeff Withey should not be #3. He was non existant again today on offense. I understand him being double teamed freed up Ellis and Young, but occupying space was all he did today. I would honestly have him at 4 or 5 behind Ellis for sure and possibly Traylor who I think should have been ahead of Releford today. Speaking of Mr. Releford, does anybody have an idea about what's up with him on offense lately because he has been MIA for about a month now on that end of the floor.

ParisHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

And when he does attack the basket, he is still the Ghost. He came in from the right side one time and juked the defender as usual. He just doesn't like to create.

John Randall 1 year, 7 months ago

"... being double teamed freed up ..." would seem to negate your own opinion. Is it that hard to understand team play, or do you only give credit to individual stats? It is a lot more effective to take advantage of opponent's strategy than just plow ahead for your own double-double.

texashawk10 1 year, 7 months ago

Do you actually understand how these ratings work? Individual stats play a significant part in how Jesse comes up with his order and Withey was not the third best player yesterday for KU.

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