Kansas’ Ben McLemore might have won freshman race by breaking Danny Manning’s record

Ben McLemore scored 36 points in a win over West Virginia on Saturday breaking Danny Manning's single-game freshman scoring record at Kansas and possibly nailing down a few national Freshman of the Year awards.

McLemore was amazingly efficient in writing his name in the record books making 12 of his 15 field goal attempts, including five of six 3-pointers. He broke Manning's old record of 35 points exactly 28 years to the day from when it was set March 2, 1985 against Oklahoma State.

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He had been in a bit of a slump in his previous three games, scoring a combined 28 points in those outings and making nine of 28 shots.

McLemore has made game-winning and game-tying shots. He pulled off an in-game 360 dunk and he is the biggest reason Kansas went from a darkhorse to a serious national title contender. Plus, the guy can dance.

Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart might be McLemore's only remaining competition for the award now that UNLV forward Anthony Bennett is fading down the stretch of the regular season because of a nagging shoulder injury.

Smart is a serious contender who also has a strong case for the award. He's averaging 15 points a game compared with McLemore's 16. They have similar rebounding numbers, but Smart is a much better distributor dishing out more than four assists per game. Smart does back flips


Both players have two games remaining in the regular season. It would be fun to watch them battle head-to-head again in the Big 12 tournament. The Jayhawks and Cowboys split two meetings with the two freshmen producing similar numbers.

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