IRVING, Texas — Kansas redshirt freshman guard Ben McLemore has been named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for games the week of January 7-13 in a vote by a media panel which covers the conference, the league announced Monday.
McLemore averaged 21.5 points and 3.5 rebounds as Kansas won its first two games in Big 12 play with a 97-89 overtime win over Iowa State and a 60-46 victory at Texas Tech. The 6-foot-5, St. Louis, Mo., native opened the week by scoring 33 points in the win over ISU on 10-of-12 shooting, including 6-of-6 from 3-point range, along with 7-of-7 from the free throw line. He scored 13 of KU’s final 23 points in the last seven minutes, including the game-tying 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds remaining to send the contest into overtime. It was the most points by a Jayhawk freshman since Danny Manning in 1985 (35 vs. Oklahoma State). McLemore shot 63.2 percent for the week and 60 percent from beyond the arc, while connecting on 86.7 percent of his free throws. He ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring with 16.4 points per game.
The Big 12 Player of the Week honor was McLemore’s first of the 2012-13 season. He was also named Big 12 Rookie of the Week on Dec. 24. McLemore becomes the first Big 12 freshman this season to earn the player honor and the first to win both player and rookie accolades in 2012-13.
Historically, McLemore becomes only the second Jayhawk in the 17-year history of the Big 12 to have earned Big 12 Player and Rookie of the Week in the same season. Mario Chalmers also accomplished the feat during the 2005-06 season. Other eventual Big 12 Player(s) of the Year who accomplished both include Kevin Durant (Texas) during the 2006-07 season and Michael Beasley (Kansas State) during the 2007-08 season.
McLemore becomes the third different Jayhawk to be named Big 12 Player of the Week this season. He joins KU seniors Travis Releford (Nov. 26) and Jeff Withey (Dec. 3). This is the second straight season Kansas has had three different players earn the weekly honor. Last year, KU had four different players named Big 12 Player of the Week – Releford, Withey, Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor – which was a Big 12 first for one season.