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Originally published November 13, 2012 at 10:23a.m., updated November 13, 2012 at 05:53p.m.

Cameroon center Joel Embiid to play basketball at KU

Joel Embiid. (Rivals.com contributed photo)

Joel Embiid. (Rivals.com contributed photo)

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Late-blooming Cameroon basketball sensation Joel Embiid, who is currently unranked but figures to skyrocket as recruiting lists continue to be amended during the 2012-13 season, on Tuesday morning orally committed to play basketball at Kansas University.

Embiid, who is listed 7-foot, 220 pounds by Rivals.com and 6-foot-11 by ESPN.com, chose the Jayhawks over Florida and Texas. A senior at The Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., he also visited Marquette and Virginia.

“He’s the equivalent of a top-20 commitment,” ESPN recruiting analyst Dave Telep said of Embiid, a former volleyball player — and son of a pro handball player — who has been playing basketball just 18 months.

“Conservatively speaking, he’ll end up in at least the top 35-50 range,” noted analyst Eric Bossi of Rivals.com.

Embiid will sign his letter-of-intent during a Thursday ceremony at his high school. He announced his intentions to the world at 11 a.m. Eastern time Tuesday, typing the words “Proud to be a Jayhawk” on Twitter.

Embiid’s commitment came a day before today’s start of the weeklong early-signing period. The Jayhawks’ recruiting class, which is ranked second nationally (behind Kentucky) by ESPN, consists of big man Embiid, plus Conner Frankamp, 6-foot, 160, Wichita North; Brannen Greene, 6-7, 200, Tift County High, Tifton, Ga.; Frank Mason, 5-11, 160, Massanutten Military Academy, Petersburg, Va.; and Wayne Selden, 6-5, 225, Tilton (N.H.) School. Greene is ranked No. 24 by Rivals.com, Selden No. 25, Frankamp No. 30 and Mason No. 133.

Embiid, who said he was blown away by the 2012 Late Night in the Phog, told ESPN that KU was the best fit.

“When I was visiting schools, I wanted to go and see what they’ve got,” Embiid said. “After my visit, I knew that Kansas was good. Luc talked to some people in the NBA, and they said that the player development was good at Kansas.”

Luc is Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, a fellow Cameroon native who discovered Embiid at one of his basketball camps in Cameroon when Embiid (now 18) was 16. Mbah a Moute, who played at UCLA and now plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, encouraged him to attend Montverde Academy (Fla.), where he played basketball his junior year under the direction of coach Kevin Boyle.

Playing behind 6-10 Dakari Johnson, Embiid elected to transfer to The Rock for his senior year.

“The improvement he made from April to July to now was really staggering. It was like, ‘Wow, how can one kid improve this much in four months?’” Bossi said. “But he’s only been playing basketball for a little bit over a year, period. He is raw, but there is a lot to work with.

“I wouldn’t really call him a shot-blocker. He’s a great rebounder. He’s got good hands. He’s got soft touch. I watched him do some skill work and do things he’s never done before. He seems to pick things up right away. And he’s hungry. He wants to learn. He sees an opportunity to help his family out through an education or maybe one day playing pro basketball. I think he’s really driven to succeed. He’s a really interesting, fun kid.”

The Rock coach Justin Harden said Tuesday: “I definitely think that Joel has every ounce of potential of what the experts say he has. When you hear Bill Self, Billy Donovan (Florida), Buzz Williams (Marquette) and other guys get excited about him, these are guys that have obviously sent players to the NBA. I’m talking about first-round picks and top draft picks, and they get excited and tell you that he can play in the NBA.

“I really believe that Joel has that potential. He can go to any school and make it to the NBA, probably, but it’s a matter of, his hard work is what’s going to determine whether or not he actually makes it to the NBA. He’s got a great coach in Bill Self, along with the rest of the staff,” Harden added, noting KU aide Norm Roberts did a great job recruiting Embiid.

Embiid played this past summer for Florida Elite AAU.

“He learned his foot skills by watching videotapes of Hakeem Olajuwon,” Florida Elite coach Jeff Simmons told cbssports.com. “He taught himself. His footwork is outstanding. He’s still learning the sport. He’s special. He’s going to be good.”

As far as his position ... “I can play center now,” Embiid said. “But I want to be a forward.”

A lot depends on the weight he’ll put on working with KU strength coach Andrea Hudy.

“It’s not like he’s scrawny. He’s 220 (pounds) so he’s got decent weight on him, but in order to battle with the really big guys in the NCAA, he’s gotta probably put on at least 25 more pounds,” Harden told the Gainesville Sun.

“He can run the floor really well and he can get out,” Harden added. “He can catch awkward balls. Some bigs can’t catch a ball unless it’s dropped right in their lap. He can catch balls that are somewhat over his shoulder or behind him. He can make those adjustments.”

Some of Embiid’s future KU teammates welcomed him aboard on Tuesday.

“Welcome to the family big dawg,” Selden wrote on Twitter.

“Shoutout to Joel Embiid for committing to KU! Best recruiting class in the country!” Frankamp wrote.

Comments

ljmhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

welcome aboard!! I'm excited for this years team and the years to come!!

fearthephog512 2 years, 1 month ago

WOOT WOOT!!! Welcome, Joel, you'll be very happy with your decision! Rock Chalk!!!

Alex Berger 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm really pumped about this signing, but because of his size and rawness I'm scared we won't see his best days at KU. The NBA may come calling before that happens.

hawk316 2 years, 1 month ago

YES! A VERY warm and enthusiastic welcome. Joel, so excited that you've decided to become a Jayhawk.

Chris1955 2 years, 1 month ago

Don't worry, they'll find something to bitch about.

Jeff Kilgore 2 years, 1 month ago

Good sarcasm! Watch the film below, and I invite anyone here to tell me what separates him from the number one ranked player. If you didn't know he had only played for a couple of years, you wouldn't know it. He spin moves around a player, he shoots a nice looking jumper, and he is incredibly agile for his size and age. This signee might be the one of the great ones we never forget.

SaltLakeHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Until Bill Self proves he can run a competitive and successful program in the Big 12, and until he consistently puts together good teams capable of winning it all in March, I will NOT be sold on Bill Self as a coach.

Obviously, he also needs to sharpen his recruiting skills. Year in and year out, he brings scrubs to KU. When's the last time KU even made it to the Final Four?

Sorry, I'm just not sold on Bill Self. I'm hearing rumors that Zenger is searching for a more proven commodity, and Frank Haith is among the candidates.

Sincerely,

The Worlds Dumbest Sports Fan

coloradojayhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Until you put Frank Haith in your comment, I was doubting your credentials. I have none now.

jbal32 2 years, 1 month ago

Joel Embiid will be in our Top 100 in January. IMO, he's the equivalent of a Top 20 commitment.

Dave Telep, ESPN

fabian_zimbabwe 2 years, 1 month ago

Not to worry, midwest_muser, I'm sure DRSmith will be along shortly to puke all over our parade. In the meantime, I'm liking this news!

kuballhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

This is a GREAT pick-up. Welcome to the family, Joel! You'll love it here. Rock Chalk!!

Joe Ross 2 years, 1 month ago

Midwest...I honestly had my own concerns because of a ton of recruiting misses. I admit it. But Coach once again makes skeptics eat crow. Or Hawk. Including me. Good get, this kid.

hucking_fawks_rock 2 years, 1 month ago

Rock Chalk baby... the future is bright at KU.

Ethan Berger 2 years, 1 month ago

This is great news. If we can somehow land a highly ranked 4, then holy crap life will be good (or better because life is pretty good)

PayHeedAll 2 years, 1 month ago

Well, looks like we might be okay the next few years...geez

Ludwig Supraphonic 2 years, 1 month ago

Although the article clearly indicates why he transferred to The Rock, I am now sensitized to the NCAAs tendency to be obstructive. Won't stop me from being excited about an athletic, motivated big!

RJ King 2 years, 1 month ago

I hear you. Sounds like he is very academically oriented. Hopefully he had good, accurate advisers along the way regarding courses, matriculation, etc.

joeloveshawks 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes!!! I know that my opinion is just based on Youtube highlights and what I have read but this kid seems like he could be NBA ready in a few years. Huge get for the Hawks. Great day to be a Jayhawk.

Ryan Michael 2 years, 1 month ago

Really excited about this kid! He's got incredible up-side... Welcome aboard Joel!

riverdrifter 2 years, 1 month ago

This Bill Self and his staff are something else.

brooksmd 2 years, 1 month ago

Oh my!!! He's played less than 2 years of bb? My oh my!!! If this don't keep the ticker fluttering thinking about next year's class, nothing will. Just wish we could get a coach with decent recruiting ability. lol

David Brown 2 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for adding this highlight reel. Very smooth player, seems to glide along. From this brief look, Joel plays like a 6'6" forward but in a XXL package. This years KU team and the next 2-3 years are going to be interesting! No guarantees but would think we have the raw talent for more Big 12 championships and Final Four success. Let Coach Self begin molding the raw materials he has assembled. Darn, it's gonna be exciting!

Mark Hopkins 2 years, 1 month ago

Only been playing B-ball for 18 mo. Wow he is impressive!

Chad DeShazo 2 years, 1 month ago

Awesome! Welcome aboard the NBA big-man express. We're happy to have you.

d_prowess 2 years, 1 month ago

It says he needs to put on about 25lbs... Andrea Hudy time!!!

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

If he's 6-11 in high school, he's easily 7-1 at KU, even if he doesn't grow an inch. :-)

Super news.

Jonathan Allison 2 years, 1 month ago

he'll grow one adidas inch, and one KU inch at least

STLrockCHALK 2 years, 1 month ago

In some way, this guy's as good of a get as anyone in the '13 class for the Jayhawks. Should be fun watching him develop into a big time player. Welcome JoJo!!!

HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

“I conservatively guessed it as top 50 to 75, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was more top 25 to 50."

Here's one instance where we can't really rely on rivals rankings to give us a good idea of where Embiid is from a skill standpoint. You're telling me he's unranked right now, yet he could be as good as a Top 25 future NBA star, but maybe only as good as a Top 75?

Translation: Nobody knows how good Embiid will be. He's too unproven to tell right now. He is clearly impressing people with his size and ability, but he's severely lacking in the experience department.

It seems, though, that experience is one of his only weaknesses. He can rebound, he's athletic, he's a great finisher and he even has a soft shooting touch.

I'm stoked to have Embiid and Lucas battling it out for that center spot when Withey heads to the pros. It sounds like they're both going to be "projects," but the upside is huge with Embiid. As others have said, it's a great day to be a Jayhawk.

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Even better, imagine two years down the road with jamari fully seasoned, and Embiid and Lucas with a year of play under their belts, and rotating, likely with one more good get in the paint either this year or next. Talk about savory. Hmmmmmmm, good!!!!

And, yes, I'm fearing Perry may be an OAD, or a TAD (two and done). I know he's very bright, and loves academics, but he is a bouncey, very polished player with good upper body strength and a fine shot already. By the end of the season, barring injury, the first 15 pro teams will have a hard time doing better than Perry. Perry CAN get his degree while in the pros. It will just take longer. What he couldn't replace would be the emotional development of the college experience, and for that reason I hope he stays at least one more year. But, I play the probabilities. And D1 is now so rough, and the season is now so long, and apparently the wear and tear on bodies is so great, that the sooner a player can get to the pros, if he is fundamentally sound with a good J, and emotionally mature, the better for his long term well being. I worked eight years and went back and got my master's degree. Going back to school is not bad at all.

But back to Embiid.

6-11 Embiid and 6-10 Lucas patrolling the paint season after next...that's some length for opponents to deal with! And Jamari to go short with?!!!

Yeeeee hawwwwww!

HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

I agree with your assessment on Ellis. He's very polished for being a freshman and if he comes back to KU for a sophomore season he will probably be passing up a pretty sizable NBA contract. I wouldn't blame him one bit for jumping to the big leagues.

Jamari, Embiid, Lucas and even Peters...yes, I'd say that lack of depth from last season has been sufficiently eradicated with the two most recent recruiting classes. "Reloaded," if you will. Good for Bill Self.

Robert Murphy 2 years, 1 month ago

You have a college degree, even a Masters? Congratulations, you had me completely fooled..

Alex Resnik 2 years, 1 month ago

You hit the nail on the head with Joel and Landon battling it out!!! I am very excited to see this guy in the Crimson and Blue! Exciting next few years!

Robert Murphy 2 years, 1 month ago

Imagine playing together. What a high/low this will be.

Max Walker 2 years, 1 month ago

Rock Chalk Jojo! Such a stacked class coming in next fall! I love the bunch we have now, but I'm already looking forwards to the most exciting recruiting class in some time! Great job HCBS on dispelling any notion you lack in recruiting, not that there should have been one in the first place.

litlmikeyb 2 years, 1 month ago

Awesome news! Incredible recruiting effort by the coaching staff... As if we needed anything else to get us more excited for KU before the game tonight... Rock Chalk!

Ron Prichard 2 years, 1 month ago

He's got nice touch and some mobility. If he could tighten down his ball handling and consistently hit for range, with his height the sky would be the limit, ala Dirk Novitzky (sp?).

HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

If you watch his high school highlights, Embiid has some pretty decent handles. I could see him playing a little PF eventually.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 1 month ago

I saw a couple fo the videos a while back. It's really what sold me on him. Any 7 footer that has enough coordination and hang time to take the ball between his legs on a dunk is someone that has some skills. I think his handle is okay, but I expect that if he puts it on the ground much in the Big XII he'll get his pocket picked frequently. There's just too much distance for the ball to travel when he dribbles. One on one or in space I think he may be able to get by his man. In traffic, I don't see it yet.

HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, I'm totally with you there. He's no point-center, that's for sure. I would just say that he isn't as bad a ball-handler as I would expect an inexperienced seven footer to be.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 1 month ago

Totally agree. I'm really pumped on getting this kid. With the amount of skill he showed in his videos and as little experience as he has, his upside is huge.

texasjayhawk91 2 years, 1 month ago

Nowitzki* Sorry, I had to.

Rock Chalk and Go Mavs!

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

What rap said.

Though I haven't heard anyone say they expect him to be the awesome outside shooter than Nowitzki has always been.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 1 month ago

I don't expect him to become a Nowitzki clone, I just couldn't think of anyone with that much height that plays that far from the basket. I do think this kid is way, way underrated. I'm guessing top 25 by the end of the school year.

Jack Wilson 2 years, 1 month ago

Don't ya know, guards want to play center, centers want to play guard, forwards want to bring the ball up and post up on the box, 5s wish they were 4s, 4s wish they were 3s, 3s say they were 2s, and 2s say they're combo-guards. And that's only half the story.

SaltLakeHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Fans want to coach.

Analysts want to be journalists.

Furries want to be mascots.

RJ King 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm getting a good visual of an Embiid cover of Nowitzki's cover of "We Are The Champions."

Robert Brock 2 years, 1 month ago

Interesting get. Now, I hope that we have one more scholarship to give in April. This could be a sensational class!

David Leathers 2 years, 1 month ago

Hell yea, my gut feeling was right! Welcome to the Fieldhouse Embiid...Oh how amazing we'll be.

JHawk06 2 years, 1 month ago

Rock Chalk, seems like a good kid with a TON of upside. Here's to our coaching staff truning another hungry kid into an NBA player

JHawk06 2 years, 1 month ago

Rock Chalk!! seems like a good kid with a TON of upside. Here's to our coaching staff turning another hungry kid into an NBA player!

Sally Presson 2 years, 1 month ago

Wow, how exciting, Joel, you'll never regret choosing KU, it's the best place on earth with the best coaches EVER and our players will be your best friends and brothers. the Jayhawks are a family and will welcome you with open arms!!! Rock Chalk Joel and welcome to KU

clevelandjayhawker 2 years, 1 month ago

Never been excited about Late Night in November.....until now!!!!!

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

"Outlier Post Regarding Ben Fouland, Shabazz and Breakdown of NCAA Sanctions of Coaches/Schools by ShoeCo Contract Type"

First, I'm not a Ben Fouland fan.

Second, nevertheless, Ben seemed perhaps for a time to have joined what I have speculated on might be an unofficial alliance of coaches "trying to do it the right way."

Third, on the heels of Ben's problems with his AD last spring/summer (regarding losing control of his team), I wondered (probably wrongly) if the UCLA AD were keeping Ben around to ice Ben's incoming class (Shabazz et al), so he might then have more to offer an incoming coach sometime this season, if the AD were to S-Can Ben, finish with an interim, and along the way ink a new future coach in order to get a head start on recruiting for a following season.

But, now I cannot help but recall that UCLA is an Addidas school.

And I cannot help but notice that that Ben makes another coach at an Addidas school the NCAA has sanctioned.

And I cannot but notice that it seems, at least anecdotally, like maybe more Addidas coaches/schools have been getting sanctioned by the NCAA than Nike coaches.

Has anyone read anything about the way NCAA sanctions against coaches/schools break down by ShoeCo contract?

Since Nike reputedly has a much larger percentage of coaches/colleges under contract than Addidas, Russell, or Under Armor, one would--other things being equal--expect Nike contracted coaches/schools to be sanctioned for violations much more frequently by the NCAA than, say, Addidas contracted coaches/schools.

If anyone has any data on this, please post it.

justinryman 2 years, 1 month ago

So are you trying to say in a round about way that NIKE is in bed with the NCAA?

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

justin,

No, not without reliable data.

My anecdotal recall has been proven wrong enough times that I never jump to conclusions.

I'm just wondering if anyone has seen any data that might lend credence to such an inference.

And even if such data did lend support to such an inference, it would still require alot of further analysis to determine whether the inference were valid, or if there were further factors the data were not accounting for.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 1 month ago

Not only would you have to factor the number of schools wearing Nike v. Adidas v. Converse v. And1 v. UnderArmour v. etc, but you would also have to build in some sort of variable for WHICH programs are wearing what brands. I am guessing the top 20 or so programs receive more scrutiny from the NCAA year in and year out. Further, the incentive and opportunity for Indiana or UCLA or Kenstinky or even KU to push or bend the rules are probably much more than the incentive or opportunity for SMSU or Northern Illinois, etc. If UCLA bends the rules, they may win a NCAA Championship. If SMSU bends the rules, they win one or two more games. Only one of those seems worthwhile.

Another factor, but certainly not the only other factor, would be the multiple schools that have coaches that were not employed there when the shoe contracts were signed. If KU signs a multi-year deal with Adidas, Self leaves and we hire Johnny Sleazeball, he's much more likely to bring down an investigation than Self was. Is that because we're Adidas or because of Johnny Sleazeball?

There are so many factors at play in that analysis I don't know how you would be able to break it down enough to get a legitimate correlation or answer.

gdkadjayhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

I don't know why, but somehow this whole ShoeCo thread struck me as hilarious today. Jaybate has a dizzying intellect, no doubt, but this one's pretty off-the-wall. If the ShoeCo theory turns out to be right, I'll eat my laughter, but for now I'm just enjoying the chuckles.

NotWiller 2 years, 1 month ago

sorry, messy post- see my thoughts just below

NotWiller 2 years, 1 month ago

Careful w/ your logic, Bate. Having NCAA investigations be directly proportional to the division b/c Nike vs. Adidas schools assumes that cheating is uniformly distributed across the population of teams. But there are lots of reasons why this wouldn't be the case. You can do a simple correlation b/w being an Adidas school and probability of being investigated, but in order to do an actual explanation you'll need LOTS of other data. There's a lot of empirical research on fraud that would suggest it could be a number of other things. Allow me to expand on Rap's list:

  • As Bate suggests, there is a bias against Adidas schools and therefore they draw more attention/scrutiny from the NCAA and are more likely to get punished. But if this is the case, we'd need the explanation about why. Does Nike pay off the NCAA? Does the NCAA buy into Nike's status and therefore work on its behalf, keeping those other companies pinned down? Does Nike pay off AAU and high school coaches/programs (directly or indirectly)- this seems to be Bate's main suspicion. But if it's not Nike paying off high schoolers, it's not clear why there would be either a pro-Nike or anti-non-Nike bias.
  • More generally, it could be that some schools just draw more attention, like how red cars get more speeding tickets than other colors. Maybe flashy California or New York schools draw more attention, and they just happen to also be Adidas schools? You'd want to look at media market size or something like that- maybe Adidas doesn't have many schools, but they have really big/catchy ones? Kansas is flashy on the court, but not so much off the court. Maybe this works in our favor and keeps us off regulators' radars more than other schools?
  • Among top performers there is tons of pressure to retain position at the top, which is extremely difficult to do consistently w/out bending/breaking rules (think Enron- they were making so much money, they had to cheat in order to keep it up b/c otherwise profits would have gone down and shareholders would have been pissed; and yes, we're all thinking Calipari here....and no, this doesn't really work for UCLA at the moment).

NotWiller 2 years, 1 month ago

  • A school underperforms relative to aspirations/expectations; this is a relative argument- you would be just as likely to cheat if you expect to get into the NIT and don't make it as you would be if you don't make the Final Four but expected to (this probably does apply to UCLA at the moment).
  • Adidas schools underperform relative to Nike schools, even though they think they should be at least equal; therefore, they bend rules in order to close the gap (watch your kids cheat at simple games when their sibling starts winning- it's ok to cheat b/c it gets you to a justifiable outcome).
  • Nike schools have more resources (e.g. higher budgets, more connections with pre-college coaches, etc.), so Adidas schools actually do have to cheat more in order to make up for it (similar to #4).

Note that all of these except the first are explanations about how a school actually WILL cheat more when under various pressures. Only Bate's "there's an anti-Adidas bias" or "Nike is corrupt" arguments suggest that Adidas schools are victims of a Nike-led corrupt system. Which is entirely possible, and I'm not saying that's not the case. Just saying that a good explanation will look beyond just the shoe label- the label is likely to be an indicator of a deeper problem. But proportions of Adidas schools under investigation relative to Nike schools doesn't tell us anything about what's actually going on.

And then underlying all of this, and making it extremely difficult to look at data, is that you're relying on investigations and sanctions as indicators of who is actually cheating. In reality, these are only indicators of who gets CAUGHT, so you're stuck in a pretty unsolvable problem of data validity. Take it from one who works in this area: trying to explain cheating is a methodological quagmire, wrapped around a minefield, surrounded by an alligator-filled moat.

But it does make for fun speculation!

trustyourSelf 2 years, 1 month ago

Yes! I just wish Coach Manning was still around.

dylans 2 years, 1 month ago

Fantastic news! Welcome into the fold of the best team and fanbase in America, Joel.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 1 month ago

Bill Self and Kansas CANNOT RECRUIT!!!!

  • 2003 - ranked #8, * 2004 - ranked #2, * 2005 - ranked #4, * 2006 ranked #12, * 2007 - Not ranked [ the team was full of stars that would win a National Championship the next spring but a freshmen named Cole from that class did a little bit to help the Hawks on!!], * 2008 - ranked #2, * 2009 - ranked #6, 2010 - ranked #23, 2011 - ranked #29, 2012 - ranked #10, 2013 - currently ranked #3 with potentially four 4 stars recruits...and counting.

Frankamp, Greene, Embiid, Selden and maybe Robertson....whomever quotes the first sentence of this post, from now on, automatically becomes douchebag of the week!!!!

championhawks 2 years, 1 month ago

ranked #23 and #29 in 2011 and 2012... what the hell is that?!?!

Ron Prichard 2 years, 1 month ago

Clearly Coach Self lost his ability to recruit. He had it in his pocket and then put it somewhere and couldn't remember where. Then he found it again, so we're fine. I think it probably fell between the couch cushions, but that's neither here nor there.

Tad Shurtz 2 years, 1 month ago

Anybody know how to pronounce Embiid? Em-Bid? Em-beed?

justinryman 2 years, 1 month ago

Just not In-bred.

then he would be from missouri or kentucky.

milehighhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

It's Em-Beed -- at least according to Rivals/JayhawkSlant

Robin Smith 2 years, 1 month ago

righto

the two i's makes a long e sound

Ray Winger 2 years, 1 month ago

Would bet that Strength Coach Andrea Hudy's reputation for results was a significant factor in the process.

REHawk 2 years, 1 month ago

JoJo, welcome aboard! Already, Jayhawk fans are gathering unbridled interest and intensity to watch your game develop. Andrea Hudy and her KU training staff probably are looking forward in eager anticipation of your June arrival. Your physical and skill development will be one of the paramount features of Jayhawk Basketball in oncoming months and years. Thanks for choosing to join this extended family.

jhawk613 2 years, 1 month ago

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was his advisor during the process. Seeing that he's been in the NBA I think he knew Kansas can prepare a big man better than Florida or Texas who are typically more guard-oriented offenses.

jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

Could Embiid reclassify to last year's class and suit up tonight for MSU? :-)

Another footer never hurts. :-)

Timmay97 2 years, 1 month ago

Let's shock the world........Andrew Wiggins........come on down!

jhawk613 2 years, 1 month ago

If we land Randle, Gordon, Roberson or Dakari, then Embiid redshirts just like Lucas is redshirting this year.

Next year would be Peters, Lucas, Ellis, Traylor, Wesley and our last recruit (one of the 4 listed above) and Embiid would have a year to hone his skills in practice and add bulk with Hudy.

Then he would emerge as a fixture in the rotation.

Luca Rossi 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm really hoping we land Gordon, I think the kid would be a great fit at KU.

Also, I disagree with you and don't think that Embiid will redshirt. At his current rate of development, with another full year under his belt before he hits KU he will be ready to be a big contributer next year on the court.

Stoked to see Jo-Jo coming to KU, Gordon would be the icing on the cake!!

Ethan Berger 2 years, 1 month ago

I honestly don't think Randle or Gordon will come our way. I have a feeling both will be 1 and done. With Ellis probably being a 3 year guy, that means neither of these guys will see as much court as they should. I have a feeling Randle will stay home and play at UT and get a lot of PT, Gordon will probably go Washington. That leaves us with possibly somehow one more spot (Bill will find a way). Wiggins goes Florida also I bet. Now this is just a gut feeling, so don't take this to seriously. But there are some 4 star guys who are interested, and right now it doesn't matter what spot they play. We need some depth for 2013.

Zstegs 2 years, 1 month ago

Joel, meet Andrea Hudy. She is your new best friend.

Zstegs 2 years, 1 month ago

"Of Embiid, Harden told ESPN.com: “He’s every bit of 6-11. He can do a lot of good things with the ball. He’s only been playing 18 months. He was a volleyball player before that."

Hmmm Seven-Footer...Ex-Volleyball player...needs to put on some weight...who does that remind me of........

Patrick Bryant 2 years, 1 month ago

Any chance Manning is 1 and done @ Tulsa and then comes back to be around his boy for 3 years?

mattiesdad 2 years, 1 month ago

Seriously. We need him back. We're gonna miss him more than we care to admit.

jayhawkinATL 2 years, 1 month ago

Selfishly, I thought about Manning tanking at Tulsa. But I would rather have him be super-successful as a coach with the chance of him coming back to KU to eventually replace Self (whenever that happens).

Michael Auchard 2 years, 1 month ago

Back up to #2 over on ESPN's top recruiting class list. Take that Memphis (again)!

Ryan Zimmerman 2 years, 1 month ago

The best thing about his MixTape Highlight video on Youtube is that it starts with an ad mentioning University of Florida:) Sorry, Gators!!

Todd Mobray 2 years, 1 month ago

I am going to keep expectations low and say that he looks like a cross between Kevin Durant and Ralph Sampson.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 1 month ago

With a little Hakeem "The Dream" thrown in for good measure.

dustfan 2 years, 1 month ago

And the swagger of Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo.

Duane Rice 2 years, 1 month ago

It cracks me up that this article came out at 10:38am and most of us have him in the NBA already. Just remember Moulye Niang. I'm sure Embiid will be better but the same things were said about Niang.

Hawk_Star 2 years, 1 month ago

i'm right with you, even though I think its a little unfair to include him in with Moulye already. Although it is a generalization, it seems that these types of players usually have great footwork, but sub-par hands. Hopefully this staff is prepared for atleast 2-3 years of development with this kid.

mattiesdad 2 years, 1 month ago

Did anyone notice he's shooting with both hands after playing for such a short time? Very rare. Justin should feel lucky they already shot the Wilt video!

RJ King 2 years, 1 month ago

a two-handed shot might be a more instinctive touch after years of volleyball . . . ?

Ryan Knuth 2 years, 1 month ago

Who knows... Ellis is a pretty good student so maybe he could just switch over from an athletic scholarship to an academic scholarship. Even if it doesn't pay all of his expenses and he needs to take a loan out I feel that once he gets to the NBA he could pay that back pretty quickly, maybe all at once.

ohjayhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm pretty sure the NCAA counts any type of scholarship (academic, athletic, or otherwise) against the allotted scholarship player limit. If they didn't you would see that exact thing happening more often. For example, with his grades, I'm sure Perry would be eligible for enough academic scholarships to have been able to attend KU at no cost regardless. If it were allowable for a player to have an academic scholarship to "walk-on" and not count against the player limit, I would think that would've happened already.

milehighhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

It has happened already - look to Brady Morningstar

ohjayhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for the info KD. I found a site (I think it was Washington State) that made it sound like, if you were recruited (even a recruited ("preferred") walk-on), and you got a full ride, it didn't matter where that full ride came from, it would count against the limit. You are very correct in that it is very confusing. I did check out the NCAA website, and it wasn't any help at all.

Jack Wilson 2 years, 1 month ago

Pursuit of that post guy will continue .. but if we have Peters and Ellis starting next season, Traylor and Embiid/Lucas off the bench, that may not be opitimal, but it is what it is. If Ellis leaves and we don't get another top commit in the post, we could be in for some rough times down low. But Ellis isn't leaving.

Then a perimeter rotation of Tharpe, McLemore, Greene, White, Selden, and/or Frankamp (5 of the 6) .. that's solid.

I could definitely see us going "Missouri' on some of the time with only one true post player for stretches -- say, Tharpe, Selden, McLemore, White, Ellis.

But adding a D. Johnson, or Randle. That's magic. You look at our roster. Players that may permit that addition are Lucas or Adams. Where does Adams fit with our incoming players? If McLemore doesn't turn pro, perhaps Adams decides to go (and that rhymes with JoJo).

But maybe Adams proves his rotation-worthiness this season. That's a very good scenario, too.

Timmay97 2 years, 1 month ago

I found this somewhat ironic that CNN posted this article on the day that Joel Embiid commits to KU. There is a ton of truth to this article. I hope this kid pans out......could mean good things for KU in the future.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/13/opinion/masai-ujiri-africa-basketball/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

Enjoy!

clevelandjayhawker 2 years, 1 month ago

Nice article, reminds me of that Kevin Bacon movie from the early 90s.

Jack Wilson 2 years, 1 month ago

There is a huge, huge difference between Embiid and say, Milton Doyle.

"Justin Harden, Embiid's coach at The Rock, sees a hungry, intelligent diamond in the rough."

If this were said about Doyle/Lindsay/Traylor/Adams/Anderson, we'd be in for a day of back and forth, etc. We remember the drill. That won't happen today.

Embiid is different. See, he really is possibly .. possibly .. a diamond in the rough. His rough was freaking Africa, not Chicago. Long plane ride, and maybe a mule or something to get there. And Embiid doesn't look like anything we'll have on our roster.

Let's just keep expectations for this kid at a reasonable level. Shall we say -- rotation time next season? Possible starter his sophomore year? Those should be considered high, but for some reason that seems reasonable.

With this kid, like nearly all others, rankings mean something. Let's see where he's ranked. And that is exciting. Why? Because that's where the experts peg him. That's how valuable he is to coaches. All of the evidence says this kid is (likely) a top 50 player. Telep at ESPN says possibly a top 20 talent. But the knowledge base on this kid is much thinner than nearly every other top 100 guy.

But even better. He has tremendous upside. Now, if we can keep the NBA dogs off of him at least until he gives us a full season of top line play.

I had said our "perfect" class (with Frankamp and Greene already committed) would be Frankamp, Greene, Anthony Barber (NC State), Karviar Shepherd (TCU) -- and maybe REHawk as the fifth .. meaning the 5th didn't matter much if we got those last two. Selden, Embiid and Mason round the class out nicely. For some reason, I kind of like Selden and Embiid over Barber and Shepherd now. A grand slam, best class ever? Exchange Mason for Barber and that's a slam. But grand slams are rare outside of Lexington nowadays.

We do have some weakness in the post for 2013. A lack of highly skilled, game ready guys That's a weakness. Ellis is one .. the only one. We know that. My guess is that Self will be working on a Johnson or Randle, or some other spring surprise. And who knows, we could have a 13.3% in our midst -- Peters may be that guy.

Regardless, glad we have this Embiid in crimson and blue. Excellent recruiting class.

Ron Prichard 2 years, 1 month ago

Nice analysis. I completely agree with you on Embiid. The kid is Raw, with a capital "R", but I don't think that equates to him being a "project." He has a lot to learn, but he's got some serious skills. I know it is called a highlight video for a reason, but just watching some of the things he can do with as little experience as he has is impressive.

I don't know if I would say this is a grand-slam class, but it is definitely a three-run homer. I was excited to see this year with all the new players, but I have been impatiently waiting to see Frankamp and Greene in Crimson and Blue. Add Selden and now Embiid and I'm practically giddy. I feel like Peter on Family Guy when he has a secret he wants to tell and just starts giggling and shaking his arms.

Who knows, maybe Mason will turn out to be a stud as well. In any event, I love this upcoming recruiting class and can't wait to see if Coach Self can land another guy in the spring. Even if he doesn't, this has rounded into a fantastic class.

soapisurfriend 2 years, 1 month ago

Jo is better than Shepherd right now. And AW3 has called Mason the best PG he has played with or against. That is a talented group that includes Barber and Stockton-like Ty Lewis.

RJ King 2 years, 1 month ago

Oh, there you go again, making perfect sense.

HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

Could be a Top 25 guy. Could be Top 75. Might be Top 50. May be Top 20. Right now unranked.

With that much of a variance, this is one player that I will definitely wait to see in a KU jersey before I get too high or too low on his ranking. It'll be sweet if he ends up in the Top 20, but regardless of where he lands we all know that he's got a lot of progress to make before he sees much of the court.

Tony Bandle 2 years, 1 month ago

Well..if Landon Lucas has to transfer, there's a pretty decent big man coach somewhere down Tulsa way!!

Cody Riedy 2 years, 1 month ago

On paper, this is the best class since 09's class of Xavier-Withey-EJ-TRob. Too bad Xavier didn't stick around another year or two with TRob. Can't imagine what last year would have been like with Tyshawn, TRob, and Xavier starting, or the year before for that matter with the twins...oh well, probably not worth thinking about.

clevelandjayhawker 2 years, 1 month ago

Withey was at Zona so not sure that really counts as our 09 class.

1jhawk2 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm not as excited. The kid can run, dunk and block shots against smaller players. How well could he do against others like Nerlens, Withey, Zellers, Jordan Enriquez, Thomas Gibson and a few others? We see Lucas red shirting this year since he doesn't have that much experience. I'd been happier with Randle, Roberson or Gordon. We need the stud post player to go along with Ellis.

HawkKlaw 2 years, 1 month ago

How the f--- do you print on a twitter account?

Kay Jensen 2 years, 1 month ago

Huge HUGE pickup!!! Rock chalk!!! Beat the Spartans tonight!!

wrwlumpy 2 years, 1 month ago

I see where Gonzaga beat Big 12 power West Virginia by 34 points. Welcome back Huggy.

Curtis Stutz 2 years, 1 month ago

Somebody on here scoffed at my mention of Zaga as possible 1 or 2 seed as far as West Coast teams that might be on those lines. Don't remember who it was, but I'm guessing it doesn't look quite as silly to them now.

Joe Baker 2 years, 1 month ago

ATTENTION RECRUITS:

“When I was visiting schools, I wanted to go and see what they’ve got,” Embiid said. “After my visit, I knew that Kansas was good. Luc talked to some people in the NBA, and they said that the player development was good at Kansas.”

Steve Jacob 2 years, 1 month ago

Always afraid of guys with multiple high schools being eligible.

vd 2 years, 1 month ago

Where is Danny Manning when we need him????

rrwisecup 2 years, 1 month ago

Can anybody tell me if they know if Zak Peters is going to play this year?

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