Ben McLemore Will Enter NBA Draft, he announced Tuesday.
Ben McLemore sat aside Coach Bill Self and announced he will forgo his remaining college eligibility at the University of Kansas and enter the NBA draft.
"I'll miss my coach, teammates, and definitely going to miss the fans," McLemore said.
"This is not bittersweet. It's sweet-sweet," said Coach Self.
Ben McLemore and Coach Bill Self met with with reporters at 2:30 on Tuesday afternoon.
There are dozens of NBA mock drafts out right now, and the majority have McLemore as the #1 overall pick while almost all of them have him in the top 5.
McLemore scored more points than any other freshman in KU history, including Danny Manning.
"I really like Miami Heat but I don't have a preference just yet," said McLemore.
"I don't think you're gonna slip to 30, bud." Bill Self interrupted.
Kansas’ Ben McLemore Declares for the NBA Draft
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas redshirt freshman guard Ben McLemore declared for the NBA Draft at a press conference in Allen Fieldhouse Tuesday afternoon.
“I want to thank my teammates a lot for supporting me and always pushing me each and every day at practice,” McLemore said. “I love those guys. It was great playing with those guys. I want to thank my family and the coaching staff, too, but most of all I want to thank the KU fans. Without the KU fans, Kansas wouldn’t be like this. The KU fans are great and I’d like to thank them a lot for cheering me on and cheering this whole program on. I love that about Kansas. That’s the reason I came here.”
A Consensus All-America Second Team selection and All-Big 12 First Team honoree, McLemore led Kansas in scoring in 2012-13 with 15.9 points per game, which ranked third in the Big 12. The 6-foot-5 St. Louis, Mo., native led the Big 12 with an 87.0 free throw percentage and also ranked among the league leaders in field goal percentage (eighth at 49.5), three-point field goal percentage (second at 42.0), three-point field goals made (sixth at 2.0) and rebounds (20th at 5.2).
McLemore’s 15.9 points per game this season broke the KU freshman record of 14.6 ppg posted by Jayhawk legend Danny Manning in 1985. McLemore’s 589 points and his 87.0 free throw percentage also broke KU freshman marks.
During the 2012-13 season, McLemore was a three-time Big 12 Rookie of the Week and one-time league player of the week. He became only the second Jayhawk in the 17-year history of the Big 12 to have earned Big 12 Player and Rookie of the Week in the same season. Mario Chalmers also accomplished the feat during the 2005-06 season.
McLemore had 11 games of 20 points or more in 2012-13, including three 30-point contests. His 36 points against West Virginia (3/2) broke the KU freshman single-game scoring record and his three 30-point efforts also set a KU freshman single-season mark.
Ben McLemore 2012-13 Postseason Accolades
-Consensus All-America Second Team
-Associated Press All-America Second Team
-John R. Wooden Award All-American
-NABC All-America Second Team
-Lute Olson All-America Team
-USBWA All-America Second Team
-USBWA Freshman All-America
-Third Team All-America by Sporting News
-All-Big 12 First Team (Big 12, AP)
-Big 12 All-Rookie Team
-John R. Wooden Award Final Ballot
-Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week (3/4)
-USBWA Oscar Robertson Player of the Year Finalist (1 of 14)
-USBWA Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Finalist (1 of 8)
-Naismith Award Top 30 Candidate
-Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week (1/21)
-Sporting News Mid-Season All-American
-Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week (1/14)
-Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week (12/24)
-CBE Hall of Fame Classic All-Tournament Team
Kansas freshman record-wise, McLemore's:
...589 points are a Kansas freshman record. He is the only KU freshman to have scored more than 500 points.
...15.9 ppg set the KU freshman record of 14.6 ppg held by Danny Manning in 1985.
...87.0 free throw percentage is first on the Kansas freshman list.
...73 three-pointers made in 2012-13 are third on the KU freshman list (Jeff Boschee, 79 in 1999 and J.R. Giddens, 74 in 2004).
...42.0 three-point field goal percentage is fourth on the KU freshman list.
...5.2 rebound average rank 11th on the KU freshman list.