Future Kansas University basketball center Joel Embiid blocked a game-high five shots to help the West to a 102-98 victory over the East in Saturday’s Jordan Brand Classic in Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Embiid, a 7-footer from Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., who is originally from Cameroon, had two rejections of Kentucky-bound Julius Randle, who earned co-Jordan Brand Classic MVP honors by scoring 19 points with seven rebounds. The West’s Jabari Parker, who is headed to Duke, was co-MVP with 16 points and seven boards.
Embiid, who had seven rebounds, scored four points in 19 minutes. He hit one of six shots and two of four free throws.
“I go straight up and block the shot. That’s how I do it,” Embiid said during the ESPN2 telecast. Before the game, he tweeted: “I’m in mode dwight howard for this game.”
Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports Network tweeted this about Embiid during the game: “Raw offensively but alters shots at will on D. Has all the tools to be a big time center. Will start for Kansas next year.”
KU signee Wayne Selden of the East had zero points off 0-of-4 shooting in 15 minutes. The 6-5 shooting guard from Tilton (N.H.) School had three rebounds, two assists, four turnovers and one steal.
“Wayne Selden looks like an outside linebacker playing basketball. Built like a blacksmith. Impact wing for Bill Self and Kansas,” tweeted Rothstein of CBS.
Andrew Wiggins, the country’s No. 1 prospect, scored 19 points off 8-of-13 shooting for the East. Wiggins has a final list of KU, Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida State.
“No clue,” he said, when asked his time frame for making a decision during the telecast. “I don’t mind it,” he added of being the last marquee player to choose a school. “It keeps everybody on their feet.”
Embiid in Nike game: Embiid has been added to the international team roster for the Nike Hoop Summit, set for 6 p.m., April 20, at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.
Embiid reported the news on his Twitter account at the Jordan Classic. Embiid, who is ranked No. 37 nationally by Rivals.com, will be a teammate of Wiggins, who is from Canada. The international team will play a U.S. team that includes future Kentucky players Randle, Aaron and Andrew Harrison, plus Arizona’s Aaron Gordon, Duke’s Parker and others.
“Reports out of the Jordan Game on Joel Embiid are glowing. Did so well he was added to International Nike Hoop Summit team,” wrote recruiting analyst Dave Telep of ESPN.
Elijah’s team wins title: Elijah Johnson’s K&D Roundscaping team defeated Travis Releford’s Roger Brown Restaurant squad, 87-78, in Saturday’s finals of the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational for NBA prospects.
Johnson scored five points off 2-of-7 shooting (1-3 from three) with six turnovers, four assists and four steals in 30 minutes. Releford had two points off 1-of-5 shooting (0-2 from three) with two turnovers and a steal in 28 minutes.
Self honored: KU coach Bill Self received the John R. Wooden Award Legends of Coaching honor at the annual Wooden Award Gala on Friday night in Los Angeles. Self was officially named the recipient of the accolade last October. He accepted the trophy at the gala honoring men’s and women’s college and high school Wooden Award winners.
Self has led KU to nine consecutive Big 12 regular-season titles and six league tournament championships in his 10 seasons. He has one national title and one NCAA runner-up finish. His KU record stands at 300-59 and his 83.6 winning percentage is best in program history. KU’s 300 wins under Self are the most of any NCAA Division I school over the last 10 years. Overall, Self is in his 20th season as a head coach with a 507-164 record.
The “Legends of Coaching” award was adopted by the Wooden Award Committee in 1999. The first recipient was Dean Smith of North Carolina. The honorees are selected based on character, success on the court, graduation rates of student-athletes in their basketball program, coaching philosophy, and identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award.
KU’s Roy Williams won the award in 2003. Other winners: Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Lute Olson, Denny Crum, Mike Montgomery, Jim Calhoun, Jim Boeheim, Gene Keady, Pat Summitt, Rick Barnes, Billy Donovan, Tom Izzo and Geno Auriemma.