Leading up to the 2013 NBA Draft, which takes place Thursday, June 27 in New York, ArizonaSports.com will run features the likely candidates for the Phoenix Suns to consider with their 5th overall selection.
Ben McLemore - Kansas - Shooting Guard
Ben McLemore started his high school career at Wellston High School in the St. Louis area and averaged over 28 points per game as a junior. But his stock really soared after Wellston closed and he transferred to basketball factory Oak Hill Academy in Virginia for his senior season. But there, McLemore was kicked off the team for a violation of rules. He ended up at Christian Life Center in Texas and was arrested for not showing up to a court date for a minor in possession of alcohol charge.
McLemore didn't qualify academically to play as a freshman in 2011-12, but when he did get on the court as a redshirt the following season, the 6-foot-5 guard immediately opened eyes around the country. McLemore scored 25 points in his third collegiate game -- a 69-55 win over Chattanooga. In fact, he'd go on to lead the Jayhawks in scoring at 15.9 points per game.
McLemore was a second-team AP All-American and helped KU advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Ben McLemore Highlight Video
McLemore Scouting Video
Scouting Report Snippets
Chad Ford of ESPN raves about McLemore's athletic and shooting ability, calling him an "explosive leaper" and an elite shooter with deep range and a quick release. But Ford also references the most popular knock on McLemore -- the fact that he can disappear in games. The 20-year-old had just 7 points in the Big 12 Tournament Championship Game against Kansas State, and went 0-for-9 from the field in an NCAA Tournament win over North Carolina.
Draft Express lauds McLemore's shooting mechanics and athleticism but says as as ball-handler, he's very much a work in progress. They say he has the potential to be a terrific defensive player.
Ben McLemore Combine Interview
Phoenix Suns Connection
"It was kind of hard working out by yourself, but I pushed myself through it and coach (Jeff Hornacek) helped me through that, talking to me and getting me through it. It was a great workout. My time here has been great so far." -- Ben McLemore
June 24 - Chad Ford of ESPN told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 620 that McLemore "struggled" in his Phoenix workout and wasn't in great shape.