2013 NCAA Tournament: Kansas’ Ben McLemore Needs to Have a Monster Game in Sweet 16

Peter Aiken-USA Today Sports

Kansas freshman Ben McLemore has been struggling through the Jayhawks’ first two games of the NCAA Tournament.

The good news is that Kansas has advanced forward to the Sweet 16 despite his struggles, but if the Jayhawks intend on getting past No. 4 Michigan, McLemore must succeed.

McLemore scored 11 points in the Jayhawks’ Round of 64 victory over No. 16 Western Kentucky, but he took only five shots and Kansas never really shut the door on the Hilltoppers until the final buzzer sounded and they were the team that advanced. Things got even worse in their third round when McLemore shot 0-for-9 from the field, finishing the game with just two points.

So here are the facts — McLemore is averaging a whopping 6.5 points per game in the NCAA Tournament and then is approximately ten points below his season average. This is a 6-foot-5, high-flying athletic specimen who is shaping up to be a top five selection in the 2013 NBA Draft. In fact, McLemore will even have the opportunity to be the first name called in June.

For now however, McLemore has been struggling in the tournament and his mini-slump needs to stop now if the Jayhawks are hoping to advance past the Wolverines. Michigan is the four seed in the South Region, but they have certainly looked good in the first two rounds of the tournament. Kansas needs its superstar to shine — that’s the bottom line.

McLemore is 2-for-14 from the field in two NCAA Tournament games. He averaged ten shot attempts per game during the regular season. Something must change when the Jayhawks and Wolverines hit the hardwood on Friday night.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS

 

Around the Web