McLemore Emerges In St. Louis

Ben McLemore appears to be emerging in the 2011 class. A 6-foot-5 athletic wing, McLemore is having a monster junior season and people are beginning to notice.

A few weeks ago, Ben McLemore had a few high major schools showing interest, but majority of his college looks were from mid-level programs.

Quickly that is changing.

McLemore put together a monster outing over the weekend, going for 32 points and 17 rebounds. Recruiting Analyst Eric Bossi was on hand for the big time performance.

"He's a big, physical, athletic and strong off guard who can attack you from all over the floor," Bossi said.

"He's still a little rough around the edges with his decision making but his ability to create his own shot for himself or others, defend and rebound make him a guy with a pretty high ceiling," he added.

But Bossi isn't the only one that thinks highly of the 6-foot-5, 185-pound wing out of St. Louis (Mo.) Eskridge.

"I'm from St. Louis and I've been around high school basketball for the past 22 years and in my opinion he's the best ball player that has come through Saint Louis," Eskridge coach Jeffrey McCaw said.

That's high praise, considering Larry Hughes and David Lee are both products of the Gateway City.

In 8th grade, McLemore stood just 5-foot-8. He began to grow as he reached high school and during his sophomore season he was stuck in the post and averaged 15 points and 10 boards a game.

Then at the beginning of his junior year, McCaw was hired at Eskridge and he began the transition to playing on the wing.

"I asked him ‘what position do you think you play?,' McCaw said. "He said he was a four, and I told him ‘no, you're a guard.' If he wants to prepare for the next level he had to become a guard."

"He's getting more and more acclimated with the system and more comfortable," the Eskridge coach added. "His court awareness is better and I'm bringing him along because I played point guard. I'm helping him process to know what he's doing."

With the move to the wing, McLemore has put countless hours in the gym, and it's beginning to pay off. In fact he's nearly doubled his point production, as he averages 28 points, 13 rebounds and just over six assists per game.

McLemore, who just turned 17, had interest from Mississippi, Providence, Missouri, Missouri State, Southern Illinois, St. Louis, TN-Martin and Tennessee State prior to this weekend. On Sunday and Monday a few high majors tossed their hats in the mix.

"I've had Arkansas call, Kansas State call and I just got off the phone with Ohio State," McCaw informed "Everything has just sped up."

Although he's flown under the radar, McLemore, who does have some academic issues he'll have to work out, will likely make his move this spring on the AAU circuit, playing with the St. Louis Eagle. His stock is likely to grow and his recruitment will continue to gain notoriety.

"It's just the beginning," McCaw said. "I think the madness is just beginning."

Sounds like that is just the case.

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