Kansas freshman guard Ben McLemore and senior center Jeff Withey were chosen to All-America teams released Thursday by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
McLemore, an All-Big 12 first-team selection, was selected to the NABC’s second team, while Withey landed on the third team.
Withey, the most outstanding player of the Big 12 tournament, is averaging 16.5 points and 11.5 rebounds in KU’s two NCAA Tournament victories, including 16 points and 16 rebounds against North Carolina last Sunday at the Sprint Center. McLemore is Kansas’ leading scorer despite scoring just two points on zero-of-nine shooting in the round-of-32 victory over North Carolina.
The teams were voted on by member coaches in the NABC, which is headquartered in Kansas City.Confidence in McLemore
Kansas freshman guard Ben McLemore is averaging 6.5 points while shooting just two for 14 during his first two NCAA Tournament games. The top-seeded Jayhawks will likely need those numbers to improve if they want an extended stay in the NCAA tourney, but KU senior Kevin Young said his teammates had pretty simple advice for McLemore, KU’s leading scorer during the season.
“You just tell him to keep shooting,” Young said. “He’s gonna show up. He’s Ben. He knows that this means a lot to all of us, and it means a lot to him as well.”
KU's Jeff Withey added that he wasn’t too concerned with McLemore’s slow start.
“When he’s just playing and (having) fun playing, he’s one of the best players in the nation,” Withey said. “And I think he’s gonna be fine. He’s young; he doesn’t know how the tournament goes yet.”KU’s Lucas watches and waits
KU freshman Landen Lucas spent last year as a spectator during the Jayhawks’ NCAA Tournament run. He’s a spectator again this year, but he’s a lot closer to the action. Lucas, a 6-foot-8 forward, decided to redshirt and has spent the last four months practicing against Jeff Withey and Kevin Young.
Lucas, a native of Portland, Ore., said he’s also concentrated on getting stronger with Andrea Hudy, KU’s strength and conditioning coordinator.
“That was a huge key,” Lucas said. “I wanted to be able to come in and right away make an impact at my position. My body is a big factor in that, and I feel like I’ve concentrated a lot on that.”