LAWRENCE, Kan. The knock on Ben McLemore is that he's too "nice" for the NBA, and just because that statement sounds a bit absurd doesn't make it any less well, true.
"Ben's the most talented kid I've ever worked with," Kansas coach Bill Self said Tuesday, as he watched his best player, McLemore, declare for the NBA Draft after a remarkable redshirt freshman season with the Jayhawks. "And he might be the nicest kid I've ever worked with. I don't say that strictly as a positive."
He'll learn. He'll have to. McLemore will be running with grown men from now on, cynical, hardened professionals who won't stand and watch with awe as he soars above them like a pterodactyl in high-tops.
"Growing up, I wasn't that kid, to be a fighter like that," McLemore said.
His coach's quip was a backhanded compliment, in a way, but a fitting assessment of perhaps the most gifted first-year player and most unfulfilled potential in recent Jayhawk basketball history. Self respects talent. But he va...