Dec 27, 2012 1:25 PM EST
Ben McLemore models his game after Paul Pierce and LeBron James.
“Junior year in high school, I went to LeBron James’ camp and to Paul Pierce’s camp,” McLemore said. “First time meeting Paul Pierce, watching his footwork and style of play, I said, ‘That’s how I play. That’s my game.’ I started moving in slow motion just like him, told myself, ‘I need to imitate his game and see how far I can go with this.’
“My senior year in high school, I tried to put those two (Pierce and James) together and play my game of basketball,” McLemore added. “I have the same mind-set of both players, and I try to put them together as me.”
McLemore also has studied LeBron’s game.
“He’s such a great player, offensively and defensively, giving 110 percent every night,” McLemore said. “He’s just aggressive every night. He’s 6-8, what, 250? And he’s so quick on his feet. Awesome player. I really like his game. He’s always in attack mode. He’s strong, and he’s fast, and he’s ready to play every time.”
Dec 27, 2012 1:02 PM EST
John Calipari wants Alex Poythress to play with greater focus for longer stretches of games.
“Play the whole game the way you’re playing in spurts,” Calipari said. “Just do it.”
Poythress has looked nearly unstoppable at times.
“I see where he’s coming from,” Poythress said. “Sometimes I do have mental lapses. I’ve just got to decrease those mental lapses and I should be fine. (During such lapses) I’m just thinking more instead of reacting.”
Dec 22, 2012 10:00 PM EST
Michael Carter-Williams shot just 3-of-17 from the floor as Temple focused its entire defense on turning the 6-foot-6 point guard into a scorer.
“They were denying the wings and not letting me kick it out,’’ Carter-Williams said. “They were trying to force me to finish and that’s what I tried to do.’’
Carter-Williams finished with 13 points for the Orange, who struggled to find space outside and consequently shot just 2-for-12 from beyond the arc.
“They didn’t try to come off to help,’’ coach Jim Boeheim said. “He’s got to finish those. He missed some good looks. He got some good opportunities.’’
Carter-Williams won’t be surprised if more teams dare him to score.
“I think a lot of teams are going to start doing that,’’ the sophomore guard said. “They see that I pass the ball. I’ve got to get used to it.’’
Dec 22, 2012 12:21 PM EST
Michigan ranks fifth nationally in overall field goal percentage at 51.1 percent.
"I don't like to compare teams because all the other guys get mad at me," Wolverines coach John Beilein said Thursday. "But this is a good shooting team, as good as some other teams we've had. The ones that were really good could shoot."
Michigan’s overall shooting is boosted by Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. having career years.
Burke is shooting 8 percent higher than last year (52 percent) and Hardaway Jr. 5 percent higher than ever before (47 percent).
"I will say I never coached against a team who can shoot the ball at such a high rate as Michigan does," Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy said after the Wolverines’ 93-54 win over the Eagles on Thursday. "Every position except for the five man (center) can really shoot the basketball."
Dec 21, 2012 10:19 PM EST
Myck Kabongo's suspension has been reduced to 23 games.
Kabongo, sophomore guard for Texas, had been suspended for the entire season.
Kabongo is eligible to return to the Longhorns on Feb. 13 against Iowa State with eight games remaining in the conference schedule.
"Kabongo accepted airfare, personal training instruction and then provided false and misleading information during two separate interviews with university officials," the NCAA said in a statement.
Dec 21, 2012 7:28 PM EST
Ben McLemore is shooting 68.8 percent over his last four games on catch-and-shoot jumpers, a 39.6 percent increase over his first six games of the season.
McLemore has connected on 11 of his last 16 catch-and-shoot attempts, with the vast majority being uncontested.
In his first six games, McLemore was guarded on two-thirds of his catch-and-shoot jumpers and often misfired, making just 7-of-24 attempts.
McLemore is a projected lottery pick on some boards.
Dec 21, 2012 7:18 PM EST
Kentucky gains possession an impressive 59 percent of the time when Nerlens Noel blocks a shot.
Noel ranks fifth in the country in blocks per game (3.9) and 17th in block percentage (12.6).
Dec 21, 2012 7:16 PM EST
Julius Randle offered an answer that could hint at his eventual college destination when he was told he could pick any player to join him at the Division I level.
“I guess…you know a point guard is pretty important, so I like Andrew, Andrew Harrison,” Randle said.
Andrew Harrison and his twin brother, Aaron, both top five players in the class of 2013, committed to Kentucky in October.
The 6-foot-9 Randle has narrowed his list to six: Kentucky, North Carolina State, Florida, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.
Dec 21, 2012 12:16 PM EST
Jabari Parker plans to get his degree from Duke even if he leaves early for the NBA.
"I made a deal with Jabari that if he is going to leave early, you've got to have that degree, and seven years is the deadline," Jabari's mother, Lola Parker, said. "The schools have been very accommodating where they have personalized Jabari's schedule so if he does decide to go pro we've done finance classes and a lot of media and TV stuff.
"We are preparing him for the next phase. If he does decide to go pro, he will need to go to summer classes. Whatever city he ends up in, he still takes classes during the season. I will create a tutor to travel with Jabari."
Parker indicated he might play two or three seasons in college.
"I'll go off of how I do," Parker said. "You never know. I may play in college for two or three years. It doesn't matter to me. I want the college experience, but the most important thing is getting a degree. I want to go to school. That's important to me, just going to school."
Dec 21, 2012 12:12 PM EST
Nerlens Noel is the early favorite to grab the No. 1 spot overall in the 2013 NBA draft.
“There just isn’t a player that’s out there that has his upside,” said Chad Ford, ESPN’s NBA draft analyst. “Nerlens isn’t like Anthony Davis last year where every person agreed … but to me he’s got the best shot of being the No. 1 pick. The majority of NBA guys that I speak to have him there.”
Noel is averaging 10.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.9 blocks, 2.8 steals and 2.1 assists -- numbers reminiscent of Davis' effort over the first quarter of last season in Kentucky.
But despite his top prospect status, Noel will be one of the more debated 2013 picks because he has elite athleticism and a high motor for the game but lacks offensive versatility.
“The way that some made it sound coming in was that he was going to struggle, and I don’t really think he’s struggled," Ford said. "He clearly doesn’t have a polished offensive game, but he’s found ways to score the basketball.
“When you talk to the sabermetric (advanced stat) guys in the NBA, they will say that Noel, along with Cody Zeller, are the guys,” Ford added. “When you pick up blocks and steals at that rate together, that is the biggest statistical indicator of elite athleticism. And that’s probably what carries Noel to the No. 1 pick.”
Trey Burke is helping to bring out the best in his teammates.
Jabari Parker also considered Michigan State, Florida, Stanford and BYU.
Tyus Jones is the top-ranked player in the class of 2014.
Tony Mitchell and C.J. McCollum are projected as potential lottery picks in the 2013 draft.
The NCAA has investigated whether Myck Kabongo received impermissible benefits from agent Rich Paul.
The Heat could conceivably have had a Big 4 if they would have drafted someone other than Michael Beasley in 2008.
Andrew Wiggins was heckled at a tournament in Ashland, Kent.
Bill Self envisions a larger role for Perry Ellis.
Nerlens Noel is on pace to etch his name in the Kentucky record book.
Jabari Parker is still recovering from a fractured right foot.
Shabazz Muhammad is down to 222 pounds and seems to be rediscovering his athleticism.
Dec 14, 2012 | Chad Ford/ESPN
Cody Zeller is in the top-3 of every NBA general manager and scout that ESPN's Chad Ford has communicated with.
Anthony Bennett is leading UNLV in scoring and rebounding.
Gorgui Dieng is projected as a mid-first round pick in the 2013 NBA draft.
The Blazers had drafted Clyde Drexler one year earlier and Michael Jordan wasn't even on their radar.
Jabari Parker will choose either Duke, Michigan State, Florida, BYU or Stanford
Rudy Gobert is a center currently playing for Cholet where he is averaging 8.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 19.6 minutes per game.
Michael Carter-Williams and the Syracuse police have denied social media rumors that Michael Carter-Williams was arrested for an alleged incident at an area department store.
Nerlens Noel indicated the condition has not significantly inhibited his play.
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An MRI on Mike Moserís left leg confirmed a mild strain of his hip flexor.
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