McLemore Has Some Serious Springs

Ben McLemore

If you haven't seen Ben McLemore yet, you're truly missing out.

In getting my first live look at Ben McLemore, it quickly became clear what he loves best – dunking. It doesn't matter if he's in the open court or facing a lane of opponents and teammates, McLemore is looking to bring down the house.

After opening the afternoon game with a corner trey, McLemore got in the open court seconds later and threw down the dunk of the day – a monster one-handed windmill dunk off two feet. Moments later, McLemore was the recipient of an inbounds pass above the rim, only to be fouled on the dunk attempt. He would only attempt one other three in the lopsided win, but he spent the rest of his brief time on the court looking to jam on anyone – on either team. His final line looked like this:

20pts off 6-8 FG, 1-2 3FG, 1 REB, and 5-7 FT

An impressive scoring line, especially you consider that he probably only logged 10 minutes of actual game time on the floor.

The scouting report on McLemore doesn't end with the leaping and the dunks. He already shows confidence in his jumper, which looks smooth and consistent both inside and outside of the arc. His free throw release is identical to his jumpshot release, which is a good indicator of his fundamental mechanics (it doesn't hurt that he looks like a natural shooter when at the line). Aside from his scoring, McLemore also looks to make passes and shows very nice vision for a big guard. He can make flashy passes and the easy ones, and generally looks like a player that will consistently get his teammates involved. Given more time with his current AAU group (I believe it's only his 3rd event with the Eagles), it won't be surprising if McLemore and teammate Brad Beal slowly begin to get a stranglehold on the AAU circuit this summer.

Defensively, however, McLemore is a work in progress. While he certainly won't be confused with Brandon Rush on the defensive end, it's clear that he has the lateral quickness and length to be a disruptive force as a collegiate defender. If anything, it simply looks like McLemore just needs more quality time with coaches looking to teach him how to defend and there is no reason to believe he won't end up as a high quality perimeter defender. The tools are certainly all there.

At the end of the day, McLemore is a no-brainer as a prospect given his abundant athleticism and absurd leaping ability. He already shoots and handles the ball well too, which should eventually make him an excellent fit as a guard in almost any system.

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