College basketball roundup: McLemore, Smith, Oladipo declare for draft

The SportsXchange

Three players who had key roles in the NCAA Tournament announced Tuesday they were leaving college to enter the NBA Draft.

Kansas University guard Ben McLemore is leaving after setting a school scoring record with 15.9 points per game as a freshman.

The 20-year-old was a first-team all-Big 12 selection and second-team All-America selection by The Associated Press. His scoring average bested the freshman record of 14.6 points per game set by Danny Manning in 1985.

He scored at least 30 points three times, including a 36-point effort against West Virginia that set the school freshman single-game record.

McLemore is projected as a top-five pick by many NBA draft experts. He would become the 10th KU player coached by Self to go in the first round.

Meanwhile, the father of Louisville Cardinals junior guard Russ Smith Jr. said his son will leave for the NBA.

"I told him, 'Man, this is how you go out,'" Smith Sr. said. "All the people who doubted you since high school, you proved them wrong. You have back-to-back (Big East) championships, then you come back and win the national championship. All that hard work comes from working you out since you was three years old, running the beach, running the stairs, running with medicine balls, a boxing bag, it paid off."

Smith Jr. led Louisville in scoring this season.

"When you go out, you want to go out with a national championship," Smith Sr. said. "He's got five rings: back-to-back Big East, back-to-back Final Four, national championship. What other way to go out?"

Asked if Smith Jr. was "gone," Smith Sr. replied: "He's gone."

And Indiana first-team All-American Victor Oladipo also will skip his senior season.

The Hoosier made his decision official at a news conference. An honors student who earned his degree in three years, Oladipo is projected as a lottery pick. He was the team's second-leading scorer this season, averaging 13.6 points per game.

Sophomore center Cody Zeller is also weighing whether to leave for the NBA, and could decide as early as Wednesday. Zeller led the team in scoring and rebounding.

--CBS scored a 14.3 overnight Nielsen rating for Louisville's 82-76 win over Michigan in Monday's NCAA men's basketball title game, according to Sports Business Daily.

The rating was the best for the championship since Duke-Butler in 2010 earned a 16.0, and represented an 18 percent increase from the 12.1 overnight for Kentucky-Kansas last year.
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