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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Keegan

Opinion: 7-footer Embiid rare talent among Kansas big men

Kansas center Joel Embiid laughs during warmups before a scrimmage on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at the Horejsi Center.

Kansas center Joel Embiid laughs during warmups before a scrimmage on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at the Horejsi Center.

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It seems a strange thought on a roster that includes Andrew Wiggins, but the player on this year’s Kansas University basketball team with the highest ceiling just might be the guy whose head comes closest to the ceiling.

Joel Embiid, native of the African country of Cameroon, has the least experience playing basketball of anyone in the Kansas program in recent memory, but for reasons that extend beyond his 7-foot stature, he was born to play basketball, the third sport he got around to trying.

I asked Bill Self if there is anything athletically or basketball skill-wise that Embiid is better at than any big man he has coached in his previous 10 years at Kansas.

“He’s got the best feet,” Self answered without hesitation. “When you guys watch Joel play, you’ll say he’s got unbelievable feet. He’s like a 6-footer, the things he can do with his feet.”

Then Self dropped a name that made everyone in the room sit up and lean forward.

“He kind of reminds me a little bit of (Hakeem) Olajuwon early in his career,” Self said. “I’m not saying he’s Olajuwon. I’m not saying that at all. But you know, some similarities when he was real raw when he was young, but always had great feet, light on his feet. I think Joel’s the same way.”

Embiid picked up basketball at the age of 16, long after he had shown his extraordinary grace and speed on soccer pitches and volleyball courts in Yaounde, Cameroon. Initially, Embiid might have more moments where that inexperience shows than early Olajuwon moments, but the mere mention of that name triggers dreams of a very bright future.

“He’s got a long way to go from a strength standpoint and a toughness standpoint to be able to play a ton of minutes his rookie season,” Self cautioned, “but he can do some things and move in a way that very few big guys we’ve had have moved.”

Embiid said that he first picked up a basketball at the age of 12, but until he turned 16 he said the majority of the rare instances he shot at a hoop, he was not holding a basketball.

“Sometimes when we were practicing volleyball we had rims so I would take the volleyball and just start shooting,” Embiid said. “I never played basketball until I was 16.”

It was then, Embiid said, that his first basketball coach in Cameroon — he identified him as “coach Moudio” — gave him a highlight tape of a player that the 7-footer said he still watches, “almost every day.” Interestingly, it’s a tape of Olajuwon, who also came to basketball late after playing soccer.

“I want to learn everything he does, how he moves, everything,” Embiid said of the Nigerian nicknamed “The Dream.”

Embiid said his father thought it was a better idea to continue playing volleyball than to pick up basketball. Embiid said his father’s brother, who had played basketball, convinced him that his son was well suited for the sport.

Embiid attended the academy at which the coach gave him the Olajuwon tape in February 2011, then caught the eye of former UCLA player Luc Richard Mbah a Moute at camp six months later.

The following fall, Embiid moved without his family to Florida and enrolled in the Montverde Academy, described on its website as “an international, coeducational, independent college preparatory school.” He said he moved for academic reasons, but the school also is a basketball powerhouse, and the coach told him he had a bright future.

“Every time in practice I was guarding (Kentucky freshman) Dakari Johnson,” Embiid said. “That’s how I got better, playing other good players. It made me better. That’s why Kansas is the best place for me because we have players like Perry (Ellis), Landen (Lucas), Jamari (Traylor), Tarik (Black). All those bigs, I get to play against them every day, so I will get better.”

In order to apply in games what he learned against Johnson in practice, Embiid transferred to The Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., for his senior season and averaged 13.0 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots to lead the school to its first state title.

Self called Embiid the “most talented” big man he has had at Kansas. That doesn’t mean he’s anywhere near the best yet, but it does mean the fast, 250-pound center who has gained 15 pounds since coming to Kansas has a ceiling too high to see at the moment.

Comments

Dirk Medema 1 year ago

The 250-pound center who has gained 15 pounds since coming to Kansas - the hudization has begun. That is going to be such an amazing frontline by the end of the year, and the wings could/should be even better.

So much fun to be.

flloyd 1 year ago

Is our football team so bad that we are already talking basketball?

Scott Oswalt 1 year ago

Basketball season is about to begin...

AverageCitizen 1 year ago

Basketball season never goes away. It's year round.

Nathan Scholl 1 year ago

I am so tired of posters like you FLLOYD! Just because we are excited about KU basketball 365 days a year, doesn't mean we don't support the football team. Unfortunately, the football team IS completely horrible, so it does make it easier to be distracted by KU basketball, but it doesn't mean we don't support football.

Matt Spitzli 1 year ago

Hey, KU football has a winning record right now! They aint great, but calling them horrible isn't fair.

mattiesdad 1 year ago

I'm offended no one is talking about KU volleyball on the MEN'S BASKETBALL page. That season is going on RIGHT NOW! Did it ever occur to your Scholl that people may support football even if they post about hoops?

omari1911 1 year ago

Umm, we have one of the best college basketball programs of all time. Whether during the middle of football season or any other time, news about the basketball team is going to stir some excitement. Don't think this has much to do with how the football team is playing... which is 2-1, by the way.

Michael Luby 1 year ago

Embiid gained 15 pounds since coming to Kansas!? Thats awesome. Thats beastly. Thats Hudy. Btw, thanks TK for the post. Good stuff.

Doug Cramer 1 year ago

Let's hope he stays in the KU program for a few years...and doesn't prematurely join the NBA.

Tony Bandle 1 year ago

Sorry...no chance..NBA GMs are licking their chops with the chance to grab a young Hakeem!!

Benz Junque 1 year ago

I don't think Embiid will be ready to go to the NBA after this season. With his physical limitations, he may likely want to stay at Kansas another season and continue to develop physically before jumping into the NBA fire. If he leaves after one season it is almost a guarantee in my mind that he won't be more than a backup in the NBA for the forseeable future. The NBA does not develop talent; it showcases it.

Micah Mandy Haase 1 year ago

Although I agree with you, I think young Embiid knows as well as everyone else that next years incoming freshman class are topped with talented big men. If he waits another year his draft stock will drop. I do want him to stay yet I know he will get drafted higher if he leaves after this year.

Jeff Kilgore 1 year ago

It doesn't matter if he is ready or not. It really doesn't. You're not looking at this the way an NBA GM does. He's thinking a) long term and b) who gets him if we don't.

jvhawk22 1 year ago

The NBA drafts on potential and big men with length that have any potential at all will get drafted high. I'd be shocked if he was here 2 years

Robert Rauktis 1 year ago

Al McGuire recognized the potential of transnational African kids before any others. He liked Hakeem for his deft footwork and preached their early training in soccer on that continent as the instigator for these non-Americans seemingly mastering basketball precision.

Wilt always wanted to be a goal keeper.

ParisHawk 1 year ago

Wilt always wanted everything.

Interesting point that soccer teaches footwork. And volleyball teaches... oh, you already read that somewhere?

I think soccer players should do some basketball, too. They always jump too soon on long passes to the head. Some rebounding practice (or volleyball) might help them time their jumps better.

jaybate 1 year ago

“He’s got a long way to go from a strength standpoint and a toughness standpoint to be able to play a ton of minutes his rookie season,” Self cautioned...

This is the only part of the story that matters this season.

He will play 10 mpg, if he doesn't screw up too much.

And the 15 pound gain? Those are KU pounds; that's 5-7 NBA pounds.

Conclusion: Self is not going to play him much this season. Joel has to get stronger and stick two years to get a big investment in PT by Self. Since the NBA is likely to take Joel, Self is not going to radically alter the depth chart for him. Joel gets to get better in practice. KU bigs get to practice against a footer every day. Self gets to go to a zone for short stretches with a squatter inside.

If he were to stay two, he would be the guy Self builds around.

Next.

REHawk 1 year ago

jb, I think that JoJo's minutes will depend largely upon the kid's focus and development. 10 minutes sounds about right until midFebruary. Then we might be moved to reassess. Of course, Tarik's health and optimum effort will affect JoJo's opportunities, too. Landon has enough experience and potential to warrant some playing experience. We appear to be blessed at the five position...if Tarik stays healthy and on course. The threat of losing JoJo to the League in June is very real. But if he and his family evaluate cautiously, he is a potential Top 3 lottery pick after a second year in Lawrence; perhaps an All-American candidate for POY. That kind of status amounts to many more dollars and lots of security, down the pike.

Ron Prichard 1 year ago

I couldn't disagree with you more, jaybate. If Self thinks Embiid will help KU win, he will play, end of story. If he doesn't, then he'll sit. KU has two other incoming freshman that will likely be gone after this year in Selden and Wiggins. Wiggins will play, and the factors there are multiple and obvious: ability, recruiting pitch, example for future OAD's Self is recruiting, etc. But if your theory on Embiid is true, then the same would go for Selden. Why put any effort into improving Selden's game and giving him significant minutes over Greene or White or Frankamp if he is going to be gone next year but those three will likely be back? The answer...because he will help you win, and you do everything in your power to win and win now.

If we know anything about Self, it is that he wants to win every game. But he most definitely wants to win another Big XII championship and another National Championship. If Embiid will help KU win, then he will play.

Benz Junque 1 year ago

Self is saying that Embiid is NOT ready to help KU win (at least not as much as the people ahead of him on the depth chart). Self has no need to give him extended minutes that he isn't ready for to try to develop him because he has a better player available in Black. Embiid will develop more in practice and in the weight room than he will in games. If he is starting to develop enough lower body strength by conference season, we may start to see him pick up more minutes. But that is no easy task.

Jeff Kilgore 1 year ago

I watched Embiid block Randall, Wiggins, and Parker in one of the many all star games this summer. He did this in five minutes. KU will play many teams this year without a single player as good as any of these three. Maybe his offensive skills need a little work, and maybe he needs to be tougher, but Self has to know that this is very likely Embiid's last year. The NBA doesn't wait. That alone leads me to believe that Embiid will be used increasingly throughout the year.

Jonathan Allison 1 year ago

Looking at the pictures, I don't know if he looks 250, but he does look a lot stronger than in his recruiting photos.

He's definitely not a telephone pole anymore.

Brett McCabe 1 year ago

Also a good reason to pick up the transfer from Arkansas. If Embiid is drafted, then we'll have some immediate help next year.

Benz Junque 1 year ago

I agree jaybate. Odds are that Black is MUCh farther along and ready to help the team than Embiid. I would frankly be shocked if Embiid leaves for the NBA after this year.

Joe Baker 1 year ago

OMG...Black is light years along. I love Embiid and he's going to be phenomenal. If he is smart, I think he is, he'll stay at least another year. HCBS is talking code. I think Embiid respects Self. If he is patient, this kid will be an outstanding player, but...he has to do it HCBS style.
If Embiid bolts, which may be a bit premature at this time, he will struggle at the NBA level. He will be owned by those men. He will have to mature too rapidly.

Jeff Kilgore 1 year ago

I have read over and over about how Embiid is "not ready." I either listen to you or I listen to Louisville's own Rick Pitino who predicts that Embiid will be taken number two. So, is anyone on the board confident enough to say that Pitino doesn't know what he's talking about?

I get the wishful thinking. I really do, but Embiid's potential is too much for the NBA to ignore. This isn't 1980, even if Embiid does remind some of Olajuwon.

jaybate 1 year ago

PLaying other sports does not explain why guys are good basketball players. It explains why it takes them so long to become good basketball players. If Joel had played hoops from the start, he would be a starter this season.

bjdku 1 year ago

You seem to forget he is from Cameroon. In the very off chance he played basketball his whole life and had a mentor/coach that taught and drilled footwork and blocking skills, I agree with you, he would be probably be a known one and done. But, he probably didn't have access to those resources and discipline so volleyball and soccer is a fine substitute for learning those standout skills. Shooting a basketball is mostly an either you have it or you don't ability. Besides he was shooting volleyballs :-). What he needs to catch up on is learning plays and schemes and getting in elite basketball shape.

VaJay 1 year ago

I say put him in at defensive end till the season starts!!

REHawk 1 year ago

Good article, Keegan. I hope to see much more of you as this highly entertaining KU hoops season approaches.

Robert Brock 1 year ago

This kid has hardly played any basketball and there is a lot more to the game than being tall and swatting a few shots. He hasn't shown much and Tarik Black will be the starter at center for the Hawks this season. Expect Embiid to return for his sophomore year.

Jeff Kilgore 1 year ago

I wish I had a 100 dollar bet for every person here who would bet me. The NBA doesn't wait. Every NBA scout knows that Embiid will improve--either with their franchise or with another!

Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year ago

You know....I was pretty frustrated a month before football season started, and this Web site kept pumping out nothing but basketball.

But now....given the embarrassing train wreck our football team is yet again....I welcome them with open arms.

Bring us more basketball!!!!

Rock Chalk!

Benz Junque 1 year ago

When football earns some respect, it will be given it.

Dear KU Athletic Department, can you at least give the football stadium a nice power wash and a fresh coat of paint? When I drove past (on my way to a basketball game last seasons) It looks like an abandoned building from the show "Revolution".

Doug Cramer 1 year ago

Reuben - I thought this website was pumping the KU football kool-aid a month ago. Tait had everyone thinking we had a shot at a bowl bid before the season started :) love ya Tait !!!

Brett McCabe 1 year ago

Did the season end and someone forget to tell me? We have nine chances to win four - a long shot for sure - but not an impossibility. Win two more and the season is an unqualified success.

Benz Junque 1 year ago

Show me four more wins on their schedule and I might pay attention. Good luck.

texashawk10 1 year ago

Did anyone predict the near misses against OSU, Texas, or Texas Tech last year? Right now, WVU and ISU look to be winnable games. Aside from those two, nothing immediately jumps out, but that doesn't mean KU won't sneak up on a couple of teams they aren't expected to be competitive with. Texas Tech has a pair of freshmen QB's running so you never know what could happen with that. KSU hasn't looked good so far you never know. TCU hasn't looked very good either so the potential is out there for four more wins for KU. I personally don't believe it'll happen, but I think 4 wins total is doable.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 1 year ago

Near misses, brother....but misses nonetheless.

How many "almost got 'ems" is it gonna take for you to realize that maybe football just isn't our forte?

God help me, I wish it was.

Tony Bandle 1 year ago

OMG....7'-0" tall soccer players in Cameroon??!!

Soccer and volleyball are more a function of economics than choice in Africa. All you need is a ball, a net and a field and both sports are covered.. Every other sport requires so much more.

Can anyone name a major league baseball player or football player from Africa? I couldn't.

Ron Prichard 1 year ago

Christian Okoye, The Nigerian Nightmare!!

tulhawk 1 year ago

I loved watching that guy power through the line...

Scott Smetana 1 year ago

Until he met Steve Atwater. Go Broncos!

Ron Prichard 1 year ago

Your post got me thinking and so I did a little internet search. While I think as a general rule your post is pretty accurate, there are some African NFL players out there. Two other pro-bowl caliber names are Osi Umenyiora and Joseph Addai.

My quick searches didn't yield much at all for MLB, although I am sure there are a few.

ku_foaf 1 year ago

There was the LB from Louisville who graduated at age 19 and was with the Texans. I don't know where he is now.

Houston area has a lot of Nigerian kids, some of them are great athletes. It seems like you see more and more in the news. Texas had a Nigerian bb player from the area. His younger sister was the top bb recruit nationwide in the mid 2000s, I believe.

JayhawkRock78 1 year ago

In 1975 KU Track Coach made this prediction. In 20 years, soccer will be the most popular sport for kids in the USA, because all it takes is a soccer ball and open field. He was right on.

COHawk10 1 year ago

Not to mention Tamba Hali is Liberian. He did play in college at Penn State. I think you pretty much have to play college to have any hope of being drafted in the NFL though.

jaybate 1 year ago

bjdku, u seem to misapprehend that I do not forget JE's off shore hood. Frankly awareness of where did the head first tack down the birth canal was central to my remark. :-)

jaybate 1 year ago

Brock, u rite but for the bones. In present worth of bones, it almost never pencils to forego a big lump sum now for two in the bush. If there were a serious shot at Lebron bones in one year deferral, then yes. But over ten to twenty years the lost compounding on foregoing a million now is absolutely brutal. As Einstein said, his formulas were as nothing in effect compared to compound interest formulas. But calculus aside, I'm on board with what u r saying.

Benz Junque 1 year ago

I don't agree. I think that a large percentage of these kids that go "too early" are paying dearly for it in the long run. When most of these players rookie contracts end, they have not shown enough developmentally to prove worthy of a substantial second contract. If they had spent their developmental years in college, they would likely produce at a much higher level in those first three NBA years and would be able to sign a MUCH larger second contract.

The interest on the millions of a rookie contract are pittance when compared to the TENS of millions gained in a nice post-rookie contract.

ALL of the recent early KU defectors are struggling post-rookie contract. Henry, Aldrich, the Morris twins. Robinson will be next. They are likely leaving a LOT of money on the table in the long run.

KGphoto 1 year ago

Examples? Show me one player who got a monster second contract because he stayed in school an extra year.

wrwlumpy 1 year ago

Kirk and Nick. $54mil and $45mil.

Benz Junque 1 year ago

No problem...

Tim Duncan Roy Hibbert Kenneth Faried Damian Lillard (hasn't gotten to his next contract but he is going to get PAID) David Lee Tayshaun Prince Danny Granger Shane Battier David West Steve Nash

shall I go on?

justanotherfan 1 year ago

This is assuming that these players would have excelled at the NBA level had they stayed an extra year.

Take Henry. Would another year (or two or three) at KU have kept him healthier during his NBA career? If not, he probably banked more money by jumping.

Or Aldrich. Would another year at KU have made him a high level scorer at the NBA level? If not, he gains nothing from an extra year at KU.

Those guys were lottery picks and therefore correct to jump, unless they could be a top 5 pick by staying.

Joe Baker 1 year ago

just- Your point is interesting. However, Aldrich is not Embiid and versa-visa or however you say it...seriously, my answer is a big fat NO to Henry or Aldrich. Embiid has much more potential than Henry or Alrdrich at this point. Embiid has more talent than Henry and is more talented than both Henry and Aldrich.
Embiid's biggest opportunity is his strength. He needs to get bigger. He may get that in the NBA, but the question is, will he get it before he get's owned and dumped into the NBA OAD dumpster, because he didn't come in ready to compete? If he stays, Self and Hudy could have this guy ready to at least hold his own with much bigger bigs in the NBA. I can't imagine Embiid going against a TRob, Twins, or any other big for that matter. They've all gotten bigger by Hudy. They have the body and the muscle, but now they have to have the talent. If Embiid stays until his junior year like TRob, watch out. This guy will be unstoppable. He will have size and talent. He can pick-up where he leaves off from the NCAA to the NBA and not miss a beat.

justanotherfan 1 year ago

I'm not suggesting that Embiid is Aldrich or Henry or the Morris twins, or Robinson. The key is what a player can become.

Let's take Brandon Rush for example. Everyone hoped that Rush would become a dominant scorer. Unfortunately, that's just not Brandon's game. He's a shooter more than anything. That didn't change in three years at KU, and his NBA career has followed that path. Unfortunately, his career has also been plagued by injury, but unless Rush had become a premier perimeter scorer, his ultimate value at the next level remains unchanged.

As another example, let's look at Thomas Robinson. In college he developed from being just a rebounder to a player that could handle the ball, rebound and shoot a little bit. Unfortunately, he's not going to be a primary, or even secondary scorer in the NBA. His offensive talent isn't on that level. Another year at KU would not have made him into a Tim Duncan, or even an Elton Brand. Therefore, his value at the next level would not have increased had he stayed for his senior year.

What does this have to do with Embiid? Well, the question is going to be whether Embiid can become a legitimate low post threat in the vein of Tim Duncan, Hakeem Olajuwon, etc. If the answer is yes, he should stay at KU and develop that. If the answer is no, then he goes to the next question.

Can Embiid become a dominant low post defender like Tyson Chandler? If the answer to that is also no, then Embiid is in a position where his ceiling is solid starting center, but not a star in the NBA. That will keep him around, but it won't net him huge contracts.

Jacque Vaughn was supposedly going to be a lottery pick after his junior year in college. He stayed, got drafted late in the first round and proceeded to have a solid career as a backup PG. However, the difference in salary from being a lottery pick to being a backup probably cost him a couple million dollars.

Most college players will NEVER EVER be NBA stars. That big payday is never coming. However, if they land a good rookie deal from the lottery, they can bank a pretty decent chunk before a team has to decide whether to sign them to a second deal, which is why its always smart to go if you're a lottery pick.

jaybate 1 year ago

Oooh, you two are way better than me at making this case. Thanks.

Michael Luby 1 year ago

I really really hope JoJo doesn't declare for the League after 1 year. Sounds like he needs 2 at the very least.

jaybate 1 year ago

Reuben, many a jayhawk has been seduced and frustrated by the latest football coach KU has hired the last 100 or so years. It is part of the crucible of the path to basketball enlightenment. The wise leave KU football in the hands of fickle gods.

jaybate 1 year ago

Raprichard,

U r not disagreeing with me on this. U R disagreeing with Self. It is Self that thinks JE won't play a bunch of minutes, because of strength and toughness issues. I just put it in a rational context. I agree with Self.

justanotherfan 1 year ago

I think Embiid plays quite a bit this year, actually. This KU team is perfectly suited for him, in all honesty.

Think about it. The most difficult thing to learn in basketball is offense. That's the skillset that takes the most practice to develop. The dribbling, footwork, ball handling, shooting touch, that all takes a lot of time to develop in a way that is useful in live game action. JoJo hasn't had that time. Fortunately, his soccer and volleyball background gives him an edge on footwork. Unfortunately, his lack of basketball experience hurts him in the shooting, ball handling and passing areas.

Defensively, though, he can be a beast right away. We saw how much the volleyball experience helped Jeff Withey. And JoJo is much more mobile than Withey. Soccer players have to develop a keen sense for angles and the mobility to cover lots of open space. Most basketball big men struggle in space because they were parked in the paint at a very young age and never had to venture very far defensively.

Think about a guy like Anthony Davis. He was a guard for most of his life, then grew 8 inches while in high school. He defends a lot more space than a lot of bigger guys. Same with a guy like Kevin Garnett. He was a guard for a while, then grew and ended up being a PF.

JoJo actually benefits in that respect from taking up basketball much later, because he avoided getting parked in the paint as a 10 year old swatting every shot that came his way, while losing that good footwork development. By developing footwork first, he is a much more versatile defender than he may have otherwise become.

As for the weight and strength, let's remember that Withey wasn't 250 when he graduated, so I think JoJo is already big enough to play here. I would expect that he will be well above average defensively this season, but not very strong offensively. My guess is that he plays a lot with the best three scorers (Selden, Wiggins, Ellis) and doesn't play a lot with the more defensive minded interior players like Black and Traylor. Since Wiggins, Selden and Ellis will likely get the most minutes of anybody, I wouldn't be surprised to see JoJo grab 20 or so mpg.

Also, he appears to be ambidextrous, as he blocks shots with both hands and has both a righty and a lefty jump hook already.

Benz Junque 1 year ago

Good footwaork is only a positive if you know where it is supposed to take you and are strong enough to get there without getting pushed off your spot. Embiid lacks those skills, so he will not see the floor much until he improves greatly. I doubt if we see meaningful minutes from Embiid in the non-con season.

He may pick up end of game garbage minutes to give him time to gain some experience, but he has a long way to go from the sounds of it.

jaybate 1 year ago

Dang, jaf and 2coach both make good cases. Now I will have to think more. That will hurt good. :-)

Benz Junque 1 year ago

Ultimately, Embiid will get the playing time he deserves and that will be the most beneficial to the team winning games. Self has always made decisions on PT based on who he felt was going to best help the team win NOW. He hasn't always been a stickler for giving guys PT now to help them develop for a following season. He knows that is what practice and offseason is for.

If Embiid can handle the level of play and lights it up, he will play more. If he struggles, he will be used sporatically. I know KU fans are just excited about the dreaded 'p' word (potential) but that is the most dangerous word in athletics. To get anything out of your 'potential' you have to put in a lot of time and effort.

Keith Gellar 1 year ago

this couldn't have come at a better time..given how our football team is doing, we need to do everything to distract everyone's attention and move their eyes of the eyesore that is KU football.

clevelandjayhawker 1 year ago

Im guessing Embiid plays around 7-12 mins a game and comes back for year 2. Or we are sitting on a goldmine.

My worry is the freshmen wall, if Joel can do what he did this spring and summer in the all star games we will be fine. What is crazy is this time last year he was ranked around #80 in his class and had to transfer schools for playing time.

BucknellJayhawk3 1 year ago

Depth chart game:

Will see action: Wiggins, Ellis, Selden, Tharpe, Embiid, Black, Mason, Traylor. n= 8

Work to do: Lucas, CF, AW3, BG. n=4

Sounds like a few of these guys won't get in there. Can Lucas beat anyone out? Can BG or AW3 get 10 mpg? Can't wait to see who brings the most to the table.

Joe Baker 1 year ago

Lucas will be up with Black. Lucas played with Withey and has lost baby fat, for some lean muscle. Lucas "Is a load." He isn't too bad on the O-end either. Lucas will be ready and think he'll surprise some people. I see Lucas and Black getting some pt based on their size. I can't imagine playing against these two bruisers.

Annette Lee 1 year ago

I think the best thing is the ones going against the twos.. Tarick and Perry learning how to get past Jo Jo and Lucas or Mickelson ..iron sharpening iron..

Annette Lee 1 year ago

Sorry Tarik I'll get it right..

Joe Baker 1 year ago

Yes jhawk, Embiid is a true Cameroon footer. He is the Dream 2.0. Every site you read has him at 7 foot. There's a consensus among all the bball sites about his height.

Scott Smetana 1 year ago

I'm amazed how he towers over Ellis in the team photo.

Ryan Houston 1 year ago

Embiid is a raw talent no one can deny that. There are a few question marks surrounding his game. First off, can he block shots at the college level? Kansas will need an insurance policy at the rim this year. Because Kansas has such a young group of guys who are bound to make mistakes. Is he a physical type player? Or is he going to be like withey, and get bumped around in the paint? Embiid supposedly has a pretty solid offensive game. Mystery still surrounds his shooting ability. It is still questionable if HCBS will even allow him to take many mid rang shots. And will he dominate the post? That all depends on if he will play physical enough to do damage below. Will the depth of Kansas has at big man position be a key component in March? The 2011 team had plenty of big men but still got edged out by VCU in the Elite 8. With being such a young player; will he get to a point where he can handle a load, and start? Will Embiid get rapidly better as the season progresses? With his lack of basketball knowledge, this could be a big learning curve for the young Embiid. The main question is will be able to pull it all together by March, and compete for a national championship?

REHawk 1 year ago

I liked the way he went after Randle in the premier spring contests. He looked mighty tough, tho quite raw, in those games.

baldwinbulldawg 1 year ago

hope he stays more than 1 year, not nearly ready physically or mentally, NBA big's will eat him alive inside

Tippyhawk 1 year ago

Can anyone direct me as to how to bypass or eliminate the Google survey. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

BainDread 1 year ago

There are browser add-ons that do this. I use Ghostery, but there are others too. Gets rid of a lot of other annoying stuff too. Occasionally it interferes with stuff you want to see or do on some sites, but it is easy to disable/enable.

1 year ago

Ironically, if you access this website using Google's Chrome browser, I believe it blocks the surveys. Apple's Safari browser (utilized by the iPhone and iPad, etc) works great as well.

AJ Vanderhorst 1 year ago

Access the site via an iPhone. Voila, no ads.

mattiesdad 1 year ago

But the ap on my iphone also takes out all the comments. Any fix for adding comments and deleting the dumb survey? \

Jeff Kilgore 1 year ago

I have no idea what "raw" means to everyone on this board. Embiid's potential, whether he plays 10, 20, or 30 minutes has little to do with the 2014 draft. If he shows much at all, he's gone. I hate that, but the NBA just won't wait!

Would LOVE to be wrong.

jaybate 1 year ago

Pre season player of the year is like pre love making female orgasm of the year. A lot don't quite reach crescendo and become as memorable as expected.

Curtis Stutz 1 year ago

I didn't read all the other posts, so maybe someone has made a similar comment, but...I hope he has some footage of Hakeem before he started taking extra steps. Best turn-around jumper from any center ever possibly, but later in his career he was definitely shuffling those feet a lot. I haven't seen much of Olajuwan's Phi Slamma Jamma days; I'm sure there's some impressive footage out there.

Steve Reigle 1 year ago

Hey, Tom, Matt, Jesse, or someone at kusports/ljworld, how about producing a pronunciation guide to help us with those players whose first and/or last names are not obvious how to pronounce? That would be very helpful to me, at least. Thanks in advance.

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