Ben McLemore searches for consistency

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The Sacramento Kings’ list of needs coming into this offseason is long.  They have another lottery pick, some cash to spend in free agency and a few assets they can move via trade.  But the real potential for improvement may come from within.

We have already brought you an exit interview with Nik Stauskas, but he is one of two young shooting guards the Kings are counting on coming into next season.  After a rough rookie campaign, 22-year-old Ben McLemore showed major improvement in his sophomore season.  He is primed to take another leap in year three.

Can McLemore build on his 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 32.6 minutes a night?  The Kings hope so and so does the former Kansas star.  Known for his hard work on the court and his charitable contributions off, here is Ben McLemore with Cowbell Kingdom.

CK: Walking into this offseason, what is it that you hope to focus on?

BM: I want to focus on getting better and working on my all-around game and just locking in this summer.  I think this is going to be a big summer for me, so I want to just lock in and get to the gym.  And also, get some me time and some time with my family too, but dedicate myself in the gym.

CK: Your upbringing is well chronicled, you’re a guy who’s had a rough go.  Are you learning to say no and learning to manage your off-the-court life?

BM: Definitely. I’ve learned a lot.  I have good family members – my mom and my sisters and brothers help me a lot.  Like you said, just growing up from the environment that I grew up in, it’s hard to say no.  But I’ve done a great job with it.  People need to understand that I’m out there on that court everyday working my tail off.  If you can’t accept the fact that I can’t help you here or you get upset because I said no, then it’s got to be a problem.  At the same time, I have good people around me that help me and help me learn and understand as far as off-the-court stuff.

CK: What is it going to take for you to take that next giant step forward in your development?  You took a big step forward this year, but what is it going to take for you to reach that upper echelon of NBA shooting guards?

BM: I think focus.  Focus and determination.  Locking in and just being ready.  And confidence, I think confidence is going to be the big key for me next year.

CK: Consistency is something you’ve struggled with, how do you find that balance?

BM: I think it’s focus.  Focusing on things I want to improve on for next year.  I want to be a consistent guy, going out there every night on the defensive end and the offensive end.  I know I’ve struggled a little bit with that in my first year and I proved a lot this year, but this summer and next season, the biggest thing is finding consistency.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is the senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news since 2010. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also contributes to ESPN.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".