There really wasn't a question as to what Ben McLemore was going to say heading into the press conference today. Everyone has been expecting McLemore to declare for the NBA draft and Bill Self has more or less indicated that this was coming. Still it's always nice to give a player that moment and give the fans one last chance to hear a player reflect upon their experiences at Kansas as they look toward the future.
McLemore did just that today thanking various friend, family and other involved in his development while announcing his intention to enter the NBA draft. McLemore is projected as a top five pick and will mark the sixth time in seven years that Kansas has placed a player into the NBA in a lottery draft position. Last year Thomas Robinson took his turn and was drafted in the number five spot by the Sacramento Kings. McLemore has a chance to go just as high and perhaps even higher marking the highest draft pick during the Bill Self era at Kansas.
Kansas has of course had one number one overall draft pick and that was Danny Manning. There is still probably an outside chance that McLemore could do the same, but more likely he'll hover in that top five range where Robinson, Raef LaFrentz, Drew Gooden and Wayne Hightower were all selected out of college. Paul Pierce has been the most successful NBA player in recent memory from the Jayhawk program and McLemore has the potential to be right in that mix as one of the best pro's to enter the league as a Jayhawk.