Former Kansas basketball star Ben McLemore is playing very well as a rookie in his first preseason campaign. As a Sacramento King, he is showing he was very deserving of the seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft.
With the departure of shooting guard Tyreke Evans, McLemore looks to be the player that will take over as the starter. McLemore is certainly doing his best to ensure no one else on the team will take that spot.
In college he seemed to be unable to produce his own shot, and at times looked like a sub par dribbler. This made it look like he was not ready for the NBA, because it is a league based on creating shots for yourself or others. When he was drafted by the Kings, he was thrust into the perfect situation for him: he has a point guard that will handle most of the dribbling load in Isaiah Thomas. This will allow McLemore to spot up for that flawless jumper of his.
After a rough first showing in the summer league, he has bounced back tremendously. In McLemore’s first outing of the preseason he showed glimpses of his potential, but also had moments of rookie growing pains in their loss to Golden State. Although he scored 13 points, he also had four turnovers in just 24 minutes.
McLemore had his best game of the preseason against the Portland Trail Blazers, scoring 21 of his 23 points in the second half in a losing effort. He went 10-16 from the field and dumped in three triples, but most importantly, kept the Kings in the game.
Overall, the Kings should feel very confident in McLemore’s growth as a player so far. He is doing everything that the Kings drafted him to do, and improving in a lot of his weaker areas. He is in an ideal place for his skill set, and has the talent to compete for the Rookie of the Year award.
Read more Kansas basketball rumors, news and opinion on our Kansas basketball page