Saturday, July 20, 2013

Basketball notebook: McLemore erupts in summer league finale


Ben McLemore’s fifth and final 2013 NBA Summer League game proved to be his finest on Friday in Las Vegas.

McLemore, a 6-foot-5 former Kansas University guard, erupted for 27 points — 19 in the third quarter — in the Sacramento Kings’ 93-87 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft hit 10 of 21 shots, including two of eight three-pointers, with nine rebounds, four turnovers and no assists.

McLemore also had a highlight-reel dunk following a drive down the lane as the Kings improved to 1-4.

“This whole summer league, my shot wasn’t falling,” McLemore told He had entered the game 16 of 57 from the field for 28 percent. “I had to make some adjustments, get some extra shots in, watch some film. I had to keep shooting the ball. It turned out good for me,” he added.

The key was, “taking my time, letting the game come to me,” said McLemore, who had missed all eight shots and scored just a point in the Kings’ previous game.

Perhaps he was motivated by Kings’ coach Michael Malone’s challenge to McLemore and second-round draft pick Ray McCallum.

Malone told the Sacramento Bee that both players need to be “a lot more mentally tough and focused in what we’re trying to do.” He said some of the work in practice had not been carrying over into games.

“We’ve just got to lock down on defense. That was our biggest thing when we got here for training camp and that coach Malone stressed,” McLemore said.

Eight for Elijah: Former KU guard Elijah Johnson scored eight points and dished one assist against two turnovers in the Los Angeles Clippers’ 91-80 loss to the New York Knicks on Friday at the Las Vegas Summer League. Johnson hit three of 13 shots, including two of 11 three-pointers while playing 18 minutes.

Withey has two blocks: Former KU center Jeff Withey scored four points off 1-of-4 shooting with six rebounds and two blocks while playing 20 minutes in New Orleans’ 78-77 loss to Washington.

Releford goes for two: Former KU guard Travis Releford scored two points off 1-of-2 shooting with three rebounds and two assists against no turnovers while playing 17 minutes in Denver’s 91-84 loss to Memphis.


Alex Wishart 9 years, 2 months ago

OMG Bens the best summer league player EVER! The overreaction on these boards to Bens summer league (that's right summer freaking league) performance is kinda weird. It doesn't help that that after every game there's an entire article devoted to him and his performance. The juxtaposition of the last two Ben articles is the best. Can we all just agree that Ben may have a great game, may have a terrible game, or he might just do ok? I feel like we all just need to watch the Allen Iverson "practice" video (we talkin' 'bout summer league. Not the NBA regular season. The summer league. The summer league) . IT'S. THE. DAMN. SUMMER. LEAGUE. Who gives a care?

Cmill1221 9 years, 2 months ago

People care b/c it's SUMMER!!! There is absolutely nothing else going on! Unless you count the Royals (I don't). I think you are the one making a big deal of nothing. I really dont think people are making a big deal out of this at all. It's just a article of all the players stats from the summer league. The other day Withey was the name in the title, then T-Rob got some love. And considering he was a lotto pic from Kansas it's only natural that people on this site may be curious how B-Mac has done so far. Good news for you is its over now.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

You don't count the Royals ????? Seriously? Wow.

I thought everyone cared about Prince William and Kate........

jayhawkmike 9 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Kit Duncan 9 years, 2 months ago

You cared enough to read the article at 2 o'clock in the morning and then POST about it! Someone either needs a nap or to get off the night watchman schedule.

Mark Lindrud 9 years, 2 months ago

One word Alex, decaf.

In case you haven't read comments in here there's lots of ups and downs no matter the subject. I knew with his inconsistencies that he had not been playing much, but His Rookie Season starts in November. I'm glad he's playing and being coached now. He will be fine and I'm sure will be a candidate for rookie of the season

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

" IT'S. THE. DAMN. SUMMER. LEAGUE. Who gives a care?"

Anyone that wants to take someone else's job, that's who.

And that's everyone in the NBA summer league.

We are talking about players on a narrow path up a granite face trying to climb a mountain. Stay ahead on the path and it leads to good money and a good life. Slip off the ledge and it leads to barely scraping by on a minimum wage for many.

The stakes are astronomically high for all but a few from affluent families.

Frankly, the summer league is a place where the NBA finds out if how tough you are.

If you don't break and run in the summer league, where every long shot dreamer is looking to ace out a hot shot draft choice to get recognized, you might be worth giving a slot in the show to.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

P.S.: slayr woke me up to this recently, though I've expanded a bit on his take. So: he gets credit if you agree, and I get the blame if you don't.

Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 2 months ago

I care. If they wrote an article about Bill washing his car with Ben I would read it. Ease up and relax my friend. I'm just happy they are keeping us in the loop with former Jayhwak stats in the summer league and in this case; a video of Ben posterizing #32. Royals beat the Tigers tonight ; ) RCJH!!!

Tan Hong Woon 9 years, 2 months ago

The first six teams in the draft will regret.

Stu Van Gorp 9 years, 2 months ago

T Rele is going about the business of helping his team. Someday, everyone will notice they have the key to success in their midst. Good luck Travis!

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Copy and paste.

The Patron Saint of Self Defense will find a way, or be a tremendous coach one day.

Gary Wirsig 9 years, 2 months ago

Kinda have a little rhyme goin' there...

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Yes, its true, I do.

But just between us, its something I don't discuss. :-)

Jim Erickson 9 years, 2 months ago

McLemore falling to the Kings could be the NBA version of Rodgers falling to the Packers... Still premature, but a boy can dream!!!

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Ben is going to be a great NBA player. It is unbelievable how much poise, patience, good cheer, and character he has shown at each moment of adversity before becoming eligible at KU now in his transition to the L..

His critics and doubters will be proven to be poor judges of talent and blind to recognizing the intangible trumps of greatness that he possesses in hearts and spades.

Greatness is not about being perfect. It is about great talent overcoming great obstacles to show competitive greatness and perform at levels only the great can achieve.

My money and my mouth are on Ben.

I am nauseated by bottom feeding, fake journalists and incompetent experts that have used the obvious smear techniques of character assassination through inadequately attributed opining, baseless hearsay, rumor mongering, and the Camp Smear equivalents of "talk around the league" to try denigrate this great, young athlete.

Ben is the equivalent of a person starting his junior year in college and he is making it and overcoming mistakes with character and hard work.

His detractors need to begin having reproductive function with themselves.

Rock Chalk, Ben, ROCK CHALK!!

VailHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

+billion. I will always remember how well he handled the idiocy of his being ruled ineligible. He went to class and played hard scrimmaging against the first team making himself and the team better on the way to an improbably runner-up finish.

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

Once in awhile in life there really are bottom lines.

Here is one.

If I recall correctly, Self said Ben had the most talent of anyone he has ever coached.

He did not qualify that.

Self coached a guard at Illinois that has had a long NBA career.

Connect the flipping dots, Chad Ford.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 2 months ago

Ben's 20 years old, so he has plenty of time to learn the NBA game.

Alex Wishart 9 years, 2 months ago

Yes I watch the summer league, and I post at 2am cause on the west coast it's only midnight. I'm not upset or anything... Just think its crazy that every other game posters overreact to summer league games. That's all. Also, as much as I LOVED TRele as a jayhawk I think it's a pipe dream to think he'll play in the league. If you watch any NBA it's pretty obvious that a slowish glue guy won't get much playing time if he even gets a roster spot.

bayareajhawk 9 years, 2 months ago

I agree with you that the first summer league for a first round draft pick is pretty unimportant. Those guys have three year guaranteed contracts. Some guys blow up the summer league every year and don't get any pt during the season. Some guys look hungover the whole time during summer league yet take advantage of their opportunities during the season. Over the years I have learned to place less and less importance on these scrimmages. Performance rarely seems to translate from summer to winter.

As for your T Rele remark, Bruce Bowen vehemently disagrees with you.

Alex Wishart 9 years, 2 months ago

The only problem is that Kenny Gregory and Keith Langford agree with me. Although Bruce Bowen is a great call. If a guy from Cal State Fullerton can make it then TRele has a shot. A long one, but its still a shot. Unfortunately, Bruce "bow tie" Bowen is THE best case scenario, but the more likely route for Rele is d-league or overseas. I wish him luck but I'm not betting the farm.

oldsoul 9 years, 2 months ago

The Morris twins are playing on NBATV right now

Beverly42_1997 9 years, 2 months ago

I love Bmac and the Hawks. BUT in the summer league games Bmac was a ball-hog. No assists. Seldom passed. Had open men under the basket and shot 28 feet anyway. I know he is just a rookie.........but

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