Ben McLemore Owns The Night In Lawrence
2. There's no way the redshirt freshman will be in college after this year. "He's unbelievable," Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said. "He has the potential to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft." Hoiberg would know -- and not just because he's a former NBA player and front office executive. It was Hoiberg's Cyclones who watched helplessly as McLemore almost single-handedly dug the Jayhawks out of an eight-point deficit before burying a 3-pointer with 1 second remaining to force overtime. Kansas rode the momentum to a 97-89 victory in the Big 12-opener before both schools. But after that game, all anyone wanted to talk about was McLemore, who scored 33 points on 10-of-12 shooting. He made all six of his 3-point attempts and was 7-of-7 from foul stripe. "We had a lot of guys do some great things tonight," said Self, whose sixth-ranked squad improved to 13-1. "But Ben was the star." Coaches throw around that word loosely, but even Self will admit that he hasn't had a talent of this caliber during his nine-year tenure in Lawrence. Players such as Thomas Robinson, Marcus Morris and Wayne Simien were first-team All-Americans. Brandon Rush, Darrell Arthur and Mario Chalmers led the 2008 squad to the 2008 NCAA title and, overall, Self has had 15 players drafted. Still, no one ever predicted that any of them would be special at the next level. No KU player under Self -- and, heck, none since Pierce in the late 1990s -- has ever been pegged as a "star." Until now. "I don't see any reason why (McLemore) can't be the top guy, the No. 1 guy," an NBA scout told me Wednesday night. "The upper part of (this summer's) draft is weak, but that's not the only reason. "He's a freak athlete, he's got a smooth stroke and he handles (the ball) pretty well. And I love his temperament. He's the best player I've seen at Kansas in a long, long time." To read the rest of Jason King's story on Ben McLemore and KU's comeback, click here.
Elite Teams Answer The Bell After Challenges
Home Court Chat
College football is in the books, and college basketball's second half has begun. So with an intriguing slate of Wednesday night games, a few of our writers stopped in for an interactive chat with the readers during a very entertaining round of early-evening games, including the Ben McLemore show in Kansas. Scroll through to see how it all went down:
Gophers Roll On, Win At Illinois
Wednesday's Notable Results
Butler 72, Saint Joseph's 66
Syracuse 72, Providence 66
Louisville 73, Seton Hall 58
Florida 77, Georgia 44
VCU 74, Dayton 62
Kansas 97, Iowa State 89 (OT)
Florida State 63, Maryland 62
Ole Miss 92, Tennessee 74
NC State 83, Georgia Tech 70
Minnesota 84, Illinois 67
West Virginia 57, Texas 53 (OT)
Boise State 63, Wyoming 61
New Mexico 65, UNLV 60
Washington 62, Cal 47
Cuse Comes Back To Beat PC
Michigan Pulls Away
New League, Same Butler
PHILADELPHIA -- You could almost see the old-time members puffing out their collective chests back in October.
You want a piece of this, kid? Think your pretty Final Four rings have any sway here? This ain't no Horizon League, buddy.
And so when the preseason Atlantic 10 polls came out, there was Butler, slated sixth -- behind Saint Joseph's, Saint Louis, Temple, VCU and UMass.
Feel free to chuckle at that stroke of genius now.
Yes, the Bulldogs made the jump from the Horizon League to the more challenging A-10. Yes, Butler played in the CBI a year ago while the Hawks were in the NIT.
Except this is Butler. Anyone been paying attention the last few years?
This league may not run through Indianapolis with the same annual detour as the Horizon, but it will certainly make at least a regular pit stop.
Butler made sure everyone knew that on Wednesday night when the would-be sixth-place finishers disposed of the favorites 72-66 for their first A-10 victory.
It was gritty and feisty, hard-fought and at times nasty.
Butler's way, if not The Butler Way.
"I'm really proud of how we stayed the course," coach Brad Stevens said. "They executed their plan to about a T, but we stayed the course. Nobody panicked."
Read Dana O'Neil's full take on Butler's win at Saint Joe's and arrival in the Atlantic 10 here.
O'Neil With Butler's Rotnei Clarke
Mountain West Primer
Of all the leagues in the country, the Mountain West -- the third-rated league in the RPI -- will get the highest percentage of its members in the NCAA tournament. I said it in the preseason, continued to shout it during the nonconference season and believe it to be true as conference play begins this week. MWC preview »
'Jamaal Franklin Made Dunk.'
It is also 99.999 percent inaccurate. Sure, I saw Franklin take on three defenders in transition, ball-fake one out of his shoes, throw the ball to himself from the 3-point line and then take a Olympic-style running long jump en route to finishing the finest two points we've seen in years. I saw all of that happen, numerous times.
But it would be more accurate to say I saw Franklin dance across the sky of my perceptions while an angel choir hummed the prelude to Bach's "Cello Suite No. 1." That dunk was the first issue of "Watchmen." It was Cid's face in the cornfield in "Looper." It was the Beatles in Hamburg.
For the rest of Brennan's story, click here.
Kansas Rallies To Top ISU
Atlantic 10 Primer
A-10 preview »
Louisville Wins Ninth Straight
For the first time in a quarter-century, the legendary Larry Brown is back on a college sideline. In his weekly look at the national scene, Jason King pays a visit to SMU to see how the Hall of Famer is faring. Also this week: a report card, thoughts from press row, predictions, an all-Roy Williams team and a poll to determine the nation's best freshmen. King's Court »