When you’re a top-five pick in the NBA Draft, you do substantially more running around than most second round picks. There are trading card signings, promotional interviews, video game appearances and, most importantly, working out for NBA teams. Tracking down a top-five pick during the month of June during his free time can be next to impossible and after a few reschedulings due to workouts with NBA teams, we were able to get up with Ben McLemore in his hometown of STL for a workout.
Training with Corey Frazier of WITTS Training, McLemore went through a shooting workout that showed how special he is at putting the ball through the basket from deep. There were multiple times in which he drilled more than 10 jumpers in a row—whether it be popping out to the wing, shooting on the move or with his feet set. Just as impressive as the clip at which he converted was the ease in which he made it look. Truthfully, I was always a bit skeptical about the Ray Allen comparisons. But after watching the frequency that he hit and the way he grinded, I can certainly see where they come from.
“Ben was great to work with and knows that he needs to get better,” Frazier told us in an interview after things wrapped up. “If he continues to stay hungry, he has a shot to make an impact immediately.”
Shooting aside, McLemore spent the rest of his time working on his game off of the bounce. Considered his Achilles heel by most scouts, the KU freshman worked diligently through the myriad of drills that he was put through. There were a bunch of drills performed to improve his hand-eye coordination. Instead of spending time in the weight room, Frazier beat Ben with MMA gloves to simulate the contact that he’s going to receive in the League. There were certainly times the ball was lost, but a progression was evident.
Blending Ben’s shooting and handle together, the WITTS group then had him work on a series of off-the-dribble moves. He worked both off of a live dribble and from the catch. It’s clear that he still has some work to do if he hopes to be an elite isolation player, but the pull-up that he exhibited certainly has the chance to be a deadly weapon in his offensive arsenal. The amount of moves he adds to his arsenal off the dribble could take him to the level of elite scorer.
“Being able to get better off the dribble is the key to his success,” explained Frazier. “If he improves, watch out.”
With the Draft just a few days away, McLemore still has no sense of clarity as to where he’s going. He had an impressive workout for the Cavs and could go to just abut every team in the top five. Regardless of where he lands, though, his trainer feels that he will make an immediate impact. “I can see him averaging 12-15 points per game initially during his rookie season,” he said when asked to predict what McElmore’s debut campaign will be like. “As the season goes on, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was in contention for Rookie of the Year.”
That makes two of us, Corey.