In The Spotlight: Freshmen Marcus Smart And Ben McLemore
I wrote about the Jeff Withey-Philip Jurick matchup for Saturday’s paper, considering it a vital piece of the puzzle in any OSU upset hopes.
Jurick doesn’t have to win the matchup, just prevent the Jayhawks center from being an overwhelming factor.
Another obvious pairing – and it’s one the TV guys will surely focus on – is the freshman faceoff: OSU’s Marcus Smart opposite KU’s Ben McLemore.
They are a pair of top talents, each projected for the NBA Draft lottery. They’re jockeying for the Big 12’s Freshman of the Year award, if not Player of the Year, before it’s all said and done. They were both Sporting News Midseason All-Americans.
McLemore leads KU in scoring at 16.1 points per game, which ranks second in the conference. A redshirt freshman from St. Louis, McLemore is dynamite from 3-point range, ranking second in the Big 12 at 45.1 percent on shots from the arc. He also leads the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 86.7, so it doesn’t pay to send him to the line.
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