Sunday, July 14, 2013

McLemore struggles with shot in summer NBA debut

Sacramento Kings rookie Ben McLemore shoots against the Dallas Mavericks in the third quarter of an NBA Summer League game, Saturday in Las Vegas.

Sacramento Kings rookie Ben McLemore shoots against the Dallas Mavericks in the third quarter of an NBA Summer League game, Saturday in Las Vegas.


Aggressiveness wasn’t a problem for Ben McLemore in his NBA Summer League debut on Saturday in Las Vegas.

The former Kansas University off guard, who dipped to seventh overall in the 2013 Draft partly because of concerns about his desire to take over games, scored 11 points off miserable 4-of-23 shooting in Sacramento’s 76-73 loss to Dallas.

McLemore — he missed a possible game-tying three from the corner at the final buzzer — went 1-for-11 from three and two of four from the free throw line. He also had five rebounds, two turnovers and zero assists in 31 minutes.

“I wasn’t trying to jack a lot of shots up or anything like that. They were all good shots,” McLemore told NBC Sports’ ProBasketballTalk website. “I feel like they were all good shots; I was just missing. My shots just were not falling. Great shooters have some bad shooting nights.”

His summer league coach, Chris Jent, was not concerned after the 23-shot outing. The most shots taken by McLemore in his one season at KU was 18 versus Chattanooga on Nov. 15 in Allen Fieldhouse.

“He’s got to take good shots. When he’s open he’s got to knock shots down,” Jent told ProBasketballTalk. “He had a tough day today but he’s got to pick his head up and get after it tomorrow. Fortunately we get back in the gym and get some shots up and learn from it. That’s why we’re here, to learn and get better.

“Long term, not worried about him,” Jent added. “As long as a player is willing to put the work in and get better and be more consistent — which he is going to do — you’re not worried.”

McLemore survived a scary moment early in the game when Dallas’ Terrico White fell on McLemore’s left knee. After a few seconds on the floor, McLemore was able to leave the court under his own power and shortly after, return to the game.

He’s signed: The Kings officially signed McLemore to his first NBA contract on Saturday. Terms were not disclosed. However, the rookie league scale reports the 20-year-old McLemore will receive $2,413,300 in 2013-14, $2,521,900 in 14-15 and $2,630,500 in 15-16.

Darnell back in summer league: Former KU forward Darnell Jackson scored 13 points off 6-of-8 shooting with five rebounds and two steals in the NBA D-League Select Team’s 83-81 win over Minnesota. Jackson, who played 23 minutes, played for Reno, Nev., in the D-League last season.

Robinson scores six: Former KU forward Thomas Robinson scored six points and grabbed eight rebounds in his debut with the Portland Trail Blazers — an 82-69 loss to Phoenix. Robinson, recently acquired by Portland from Houston, hit two of five shots and had two blocks in 28 minutes. The Morris twins played for Phoenix. Markieff Morris had 18 points and eight rebounds with eight fouls (there’s no disqualification rule in summer league) in 19 minutes. Marcus Morris had 14 points and five boards.

Releford debut: Former KU guard Travis Releford scored four points off 2-of-4 shooting in Denver’s 88-74 loss to Milwaukee on Saturday in Releford’s pro debut. He had three rebounds, one turnover and no assists in 14 minutes.

Elijah confident: Former KU guard Elijah Johnson, who scored five points with two steals, two rebounds, two turnovers and one assist while playing 16 minutes in his pro debut with the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday, faces tough odds in trying to make the team. The Clippers, who are led by all-star point guard Chris Paul, acquired veteran guards Darren Collison, Jared Dudley and J.J. Redick so far this offseason.

“I’ve been playing basketball my whole life, and you’re always having to prove yourself. This is just another challenge,” the 6-foot-3 Johnson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal after a 90-83 win over Atlanta.

“I’m just trying to make good decisions when I’m out there. But I didn’t think the pace was too fast, not at all. I was very comfortable.”

The undrafted Johnson told the R-J he chose to play with the Clippers because, “they may have a lot of guards, but they didn’t draft any guards.” The Clippers’ only draft pick was forward Reggie Bullock.

Paul walked up to Johnson after the game and told him he played well.

“When something like that happens, it can only help your confidence. It’s nice to know (Paul) was watching,” Johnson said.

Recruit likes KU: King McClure, a 6-3 junior shooting guard from Triple A Academy in Dallas, tells that he will attend KU’s Late Night in the Phog on Oct. 4 as part of an unofficial visit. McClure, who is playing at the Peach Jam in North Augusta, S.C., said, “Arkansas and Kansas are coming at me the hardest. I’m still open, but those two have been working the most.”’s No. 16-rated player in the Class of 2015 also has Texas, Baylor, Indiana and Louisville on his early list.


Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 2 months ago

"Markieff Morris had 18 points and eight rebounds with eight fouls (there’s no disqualification rule in summer league) in 19 minutes."
Kieff, way to get your money's worth!!! 18/8/8f in 19min.?? That's being a one-man wrecking crew if I ever lived... BOOM!

THat's what I call Rocking the Chalk!!

JJHawq 9 years, 2 months ago

2 fouls and 2 boards from a triple double

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

• EJ, I don't follow your logic on trying the Clippers, because they didn't draft guards. Hope it works.

• Kieff just keeps getting better. Maybe all the KU guys struggling in the L need b-b guns training?

• Self has been in his Reservoir Dogs recruiting phase signing players with color names. Maybe King McClure signals a monarchical title phase?

• RE: Ben's Bad Night--non shooting arm has the dread hyper extension sleeve and some one jumped on his knee! Wild guess: Maybe he wasn't at his peak physically?

• Travis keep edging your way in like that. It's worked for Brady and everyone was sure he couldn't make it. And remember the NBA has a long history of unorthodox shooting form. Go Travis go!

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Lol, I don't know if the b-b gun training would be the answer or not, but a couple of extra years at KU wouldn't hurt anything !

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Hasn't Brady been playing for an NBA D-league team the last couple seasons?

Did he stop this season?

Joe Baker 9 years, 2 months ago

Tulsa 66ers - He's probably hanging out with D-Man. I could see Brady on D-Man's coaching staff one day soon. He'd be a great guard coach.

Brady Morningstar G

Current Team: N/A

Date Of Birth: Jan 23, 1986 (27 years old)

Birthplace: Lawrence, Kansas (United States)

Nationality: United States

Height: 6-4 (193cm) Weight: 185 (84kg)

Current Agent: Tommy Thomas

Current NBA Status: Unrestricted Free Agent

Draft Entry: 2011 NBA Draft

Early Entry Info: N/A

Pre-Draft Team: Kansas (Sr)

Draft Selection: Undrafted

Draft Rights Trade: N/A

Draft Rights Renounced: N/A

High School: New Hampton School [New Hampton, New Hampshire (United States)]

Benz Junque 9 years, 2 months ago

I don't believe that many would call playing in the D-League as "making it"...

Dirk Medema 9 years, 2 months ago

I believe Ben was 3-9 when he got hit in the knee. That's not great, but a far cry better than the 1-15 after the knee.

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

That’s pretty important info you got there. Should have been mentioned.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 2 months ago

Twenty-three shots!!! Yowza!!! Don't become an Iverson, BMac!!!

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

People need to fuggedabout the negative spin job Hanging Chads Ford did on Ben.

People who give Ford's negative spin credibility wind up looking at Ben, like an time-neurotic psychiatrist looks at his patients.

If they are early, they are obsessive.

If they are late they are passive aggressive.

If they quit they are in denial.

If they are on time they are they are compulsive.

Ben is at a point where no matter what number of shots he takes the Hanging Chad club is going to say it is the wrong number.

Ben took 23 shots, because his coaches have likely said they want him shooting about that number of open-look FGAs to get into the role of go-to.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

P.S.: when was the last time anyone told a rebounder, no, you went after the rebound too many times. Ben's a shooter. He's supposed to shoot when he's open.

wrwlumpy 9 years, 2 months ago

I re-watched the big 12 Tournament. That is where Ben slipped down in the draft. Three teams realized the Ben is not a ball handler and by not letting him shoot off the screen, they basically shut him down. NBA scouting reports and tall quick guards will make this a tough year for Ben. He is a lot like Ray Allen, but Ray could dribble.

JHawk241 9 years, 2 months ago

Here is an article from Durant's summer league and while he scored a lot, it took him a ton of shots. BMac will be fine.

KGphoto 9 years, 2 months ago

“Frenetic”, “no order” and “scrimmages” are pretty accurate descriptions and they are important to remember. When you can’t foul out, you are playing a different kind of game.

Kind of makes me wonder why they do that.

Nutflush21 9 years, 2 months ago

Exactly right. It is pretty rare for a top 10 pick not to get the 120%

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 2 months ago

Yes, they can be paid up to 120% of the rookie scale, provide the agent negotiates the increase. Apparently his agent did not.

Mark Lindrud 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm not worried about summer league ball. It's a chance to play, get some coaching, not that its alot lol. EJ needs to nail a few crotch shots and the Clips will need an extra guard, had to say it.

Doug Cramer 9 years, 2 months ago

Like so many others...Selby, Henry, Wright...BMac had too many people...including the media...telling him that he needs to leave for the NBA ASAP.

I think back to a guys like Chalmers, Collison, and Heinrich...who didn't rush their college careers...let it stew for a while and learn as much as possible from people like Self and Williams that truly cared about their futures.

Allen Shepard 9 years, 2 months ago

lol Chalmers wasn't ready for the NBA when he left. He went cause his stock was high and he managed to hang on and landed in a perrrrrrrffffffect situation.

Benz Junque 9 years, 2 months ago

95% of the guys who leave college early for the NBA would have been better in the long run if they had stayed. The ONLY guys that should be jumping early are the NBA susperstar-type players such as James and Durant. There was not ONE underclassman in this year's draft that shouldn't have returned to college in my opinion.

Look at the HUGE number of KU players that left early that are underachieving at the next level. This is just the most recent...

Markieff and Marcus Morris - BOTH should have returned for their senior season to further develop their game. They are spending the bulk of their three year rookie contract trying to develop as much as they likely would have in one year in college.

Cole Aldrich - No way should he have gone early. Hugely limited offensive game. Only went for family financial reasons. Struggling to stay on a roster. Spend another year as "the man" at KU and work on all those huge holes in his game and he has a great shot at being good enough to stay in a regular NBA rotation. AKA better off financially in the long run...

Thomas Robinson - see Cole Aldrich comments above. Robinson made nat'l POY runner up with a limited skill set. Another year developing as the key player in an offense and Robinson is likely good enough that teams think he is worth what he is paid and don't see the need to trade him 8 zillion times.

I UNDERSTAND the reason why these guys all jump early but it is ultimately VERY short sighted. I truly believe that not taking the maximum amount of time to fully develop your game at the college level (where coaches and programs are truly interested in developing your game) costs the vast majority of guys money in the long run. The most important NBA contract is the one signed AFTER the rookie three year contract.

Millions of dollars is tough to hold off on, but I think it ultimately costs these guys TENS of millions of dollars when they leave college early. Look at the huge increases in skill and ability that each player made from the sophomore season to their junior season. It would not be even remotely unrealistic to envision just as much of a jump after a senior year. Such a shame to see these KU players falling short of what looked to be their potential just so they could grab the NBA dollar as soon as possible.

Doug Cramer 9 years, 2 months ago

This will be Wiggins. Hopefully it's just wiggins...and no one else like Perry or Selden.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago


Take stab at describing the jumps in speed from high school to college, and then from college to pros. Maybe use fractions. One is roughly a third faster the other, or do it whatever other way seems more effective.

I have always wondered about this.

Benz Junque 9 years, 2 months ago

I couldn't DISAGREE with you more. Look at Taylor's last D-League game and here's the "opposition" Maine Red Claws: -Mark Tyndale - mediocre player at Temple -Chris Wright - mediocre player at Dayton -Fab Melo - mediocre player at 'Cuse -Jermaine Taylor - mediocre player at Central Florida -Curtis Jerrels - mediocre player at Baylor - Micah Downs - need I say more? - Garrett Stutz - below average player at Wichita State - Omar Reed - went to some college named Bluefield?!? - Jeremiah Rivers - bad player at G-Town and Indiana -Josh Selby - DNP, coaches decision

Have you WATCHED a D-League game? It looks like an AAU game. Unwatchable hero ball with virtually zero defense or passing. If there was truly a lot of skill and hard work at that level then I would think there would be a lot more players actually developing from the D-League than there are.

Benz Junque 9 years, 2 months ago

Are you talking about the D-League or Summer League? They are two separate things...

Summer League is virtually required for all rookies and most two/three year players unless they are already NBA stars.

"That's why players like Derrick Rose went right to D-league after college... to get in shape for the rigors of an NBA season."

Eh, Derrick Rose did NOT play in the 2009 NBA Summer League. Just an FYI...

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Slayr, great job!

Intensity and skills it is.

Good insight on the human angle of D-League. Some in clover, many in fear.

This incidental remark about the two kinds of players is what sports journalism NEEDS thAt it does not have.

Your mission, Mr. Phelps, should you decide to accept it...

Keep writing!

Joel Beard 9 years, 2 months ago

I know it's just one summer league game, but Ben's first game was not pretty. It's not just that his shot wasn't falling; he was taking a lot of bad shots. If he had been, say, 4-16, I wouldn't be concerned, but 4-23, with two of his four makes dunks, has me a bit worried. Again, I know it's just one meaningless game without much team cohesion, but at this level you can't just play based on the fact that you are supposed to be a great shooter and forget about shot selection. He took a number of step back jumpers, fade away jumpers, and well-guarded threes (all shots he almost never took at KU), in addition to some open looks that just didn't fall, and any time he tried to create his own shot he ended up creating a very difficult shot.

He is young and has a lot to learn and no doubt will play better and smarter as he adjusts to a new situation, but raw talent isn't enough at the NBA level. He needs to add some more savviness to his game, not to mention better ball-handling skills, as is frequently noted. Thankfully he was the number seven pick and will get a lot of opportunities and time to develop, but I think he needs to forget that he was the seventh pick and the assumptions that go along with that about how good he is and just play smart basketball. He seemed liked he was trying to prove that he was the best player on the court because he was the highest draft pick in the game by dominating on offense, but that obviously didn't work out.

Again, just one stupid meaningless poor-shooting game, and I'm going to just assume he was a bit over-eager to prove himself. I look forward to seeing him develop and play better in the future.

Alex Wishart 9 years, 2 months ago

George Hill shot 0-24 combined in his first few summer league games. What does that mean now? Absolutely nothing. The guy is an AllStar now. I'm guessing having someone land on your knee early in a game is going to mess with your shot. Maclemore will be fine. Who honestly thinks this game is indicative of a career? If someone's first summer league game has you "worried" you're an idiot.

Joel Beard 9 years, 2 months ago

"On July 14, 2008, in his first summer league game as a Spur, George Hill scored 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds while holding fellow draft pick O. J. Mayo to 5-of-17 shooting en route to a victory for the Spurs. Throughout the summer league Hill struggled with his shooting, making only 2 of 25 shots (8.0%), and one of six three-pointers (16.7%). Hill played in all but one of the four summer league games for the Spurs; he finished averaging 8.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in 31.7 minutes per game." [from Wikipedia]

A slightly better debut than Ben's. Also, George Hill is a point guard, not a shooting guard. But you're right, "worried" is too strong a word. Disappointed would be better. I just want to see Ben play smarter because he obviously has the talent to be great.

Joel Beard 9 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, George Hill was a shooting guard at the time. Also, It's taking a lot longer for these to post than I expected, so I repeated some of the same information in another reply below.

Joel Beard 9 years, 2 months ago

Can I be "a bit worried"? George Hill scored 17 points off of 2-9 shooting with 7 rebounds in his debut, while playing excellent defense on OJ Mayo. And Hill was drafted 26th and wasn't supposed to be an All-Star. But right, he was terrible shooting in his three games, going 2-25 overall, so I shouldn't be worried about McLemore's shooting after one bad game. I'm just a bit worried about the other aspects of his game where he hasn't yet shown himself to be NBA-caliber.

Joshua Hann 9 years, 2 months ago

George Hill is not an All-Star.....and he's not a true point guard either. He's a 2 guard that has an IQ high enough to manage running the team. There has been talks over the last two years about whether he should continue to run the point, here in Indy. While I don't agree with that he doesn't put up the huge assist numbers that your prototypical point does. He's a score first guard that plays hard-nose defense that gives other points, particularly smallers ones, a ton of trouble. -Jayhawk fan in Pacer land

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Notice the photo top of story of Ben shooting. His form is terrible!

The ball is too low too and too close to his forehead. And his elbows are spread waaaay too wide! This is not close to his textbook form at KU.

Ben needs to look at some old video.

It appears the hyperextended left elbow is keeping him from bringing his left elbow forward and left hand upward, so his shooting right side elbow is bowing out and his shooting hand is being lowered too. Weird.

But this not the form of the Ben we watched last season.

And I don't see how Blackstock can be the cause of it, so don't start, Chad.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 2 months ago

Ben commented before his last game, after a series of poor shooting games, that he had gone back to the film room (?with 1 of the coaches?) and watched his shooting form, found a minor correction, and was confident he would be shooting better.

8-15, 4-8, 0-0 (ouch!) vs. 0-9, 0-6, 2-2 & 2-5, 0-2, 7-8 & 2-7, 1-4, 0-0

Maybe he needs to spend some time in the film room with you Jaybate :-)

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago


He needs a MAJOR correction according to this photo!

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