The Kansas Jayhawks won their ninth straight Big 12 championship thanks in part to the redshirt freshman Ben McLemore. McLemore has been a phenomenal player for the Jayhawks this season. He has had a rough time on the road but has been sensational at home.
McLemore should be considered as the overall Player of the Year not just in the Big 12, but all of college basketball. We can spend all the time looking at his stats and his numbers, but what is more important is the way he plays and scores for his team. He has really been the catalyst for the Jayhawks this season. In the Baylor game he passed Danny Manning to become the all-time leading freshman scorer in Kansas history with 517 points during the regular season.
McLemore just recently was selected on the All-Big 12 First Team and the All-Rookie Team. He has played some terrific games this season to save the Jayhawks from losing, like the Iowa State game in the Phog where he hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
At home he has had some monster games scoring double figures in most of the games this season. He scored over 30 three times against West Virginia, Iowa State and Kansas State. He plays with a smile in every game and had some highlights that were on ESPN Sportscenter. He still hasn’t reached his full potential yet and still has some games to show us his skills.
Mclemore has been one of the keys for the Jayhawks’ run to nine straight Big 12 championships. So why not pick a guy who will be the number one NBA draft pick this summer. Mclemore should have won the Big 12 Player of the Year because of what he has done in the record books, on the court and the talent he has, but Marcus Smart came away with that recognition. In only four games this season he scored under 10 points, but it is his enthusiastic spirit that has helped him leave his legacy at Kansas.
Look for him to be one of the driving forces for the Jayhawks this postseason and that starts on Thursday in Kansas City at the Big 12 tournament. Mark it down now, McLemore will score 44 points in his next game to show that he should have won Big 12 Player of the Year.