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NCAA Basketball Kansas Jayhawks

Ben McLemore Now Lock To Be No. 1 Overall Pick in NBA Draft

Ben McLemore Kansas Jayhawks

John Rieger-US Presswire

Kansas Jayhawk fans better start appreciating Ben McLemore, because his time left to play in Phog Allen Fieldhouse is dwindling rapidly.

The superstar freshman is having an amazing year, and he has helped lead the Jayhawks to a 20-4 record and a Big 12 conference lead. McLemore is shooting 51.3% from the field, including 43.5% from three-point land and 87.5% from the foul line. McLemore is averaging 16.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game.

By all accounts, McLemore is a top-three pick in this June’s NBA draft.

Unexpectedly, something big happened to McLemore draft stock.

The Kentucky Wildcats Nerlens Noel suffered a season-ending injury two nights ago against the Florida Gators, while running down a play trying to contest a layup. Noel did block the shot, but he also slammed into the basketball support system, and tore his ACL in the process.

Noel, who is the nation’s most dynamic shot blocker and continues to improve on the offense end of the floor, was considering by many to be the top pick in the NBA draft. However, with Noel’s injury, some NBA General Managers may get cold feet into drafting a player that will probably not be ready for the start of the regular season.

McLemore is a smooth shooting guard who can attack the rim with ferocity and shoot the ball from behind the arc with deadly accuracy. His jump shot has been given the ultimate comparison, being compared to Ray Allen’s. McLemore’s shot is explosive, compact and efficient. He just turned 20 years old on Monday, and also has an incredible work ethic which head coach Bill Self has raved about this year.

Although McLemore needs some working on his left hand penetration, that will not deter scouts from now selecting him number-one overall.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo