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Friday, February 14, 2014

Jayhawks: Embiid definitely ‘beat up’

Kansas center Joel Embiid, right, draws a foul charge as he drives into Baylor player Rico Gathers during the first half on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

Kansas center Joel Embiid, right, draws a foul charge as he drives into Baylor player Rico Gathers during the first half on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.

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Brannen Greene disagrees with those who say some of Kansas University’s first-year players, including center Joel Embiid, have hit the fabled “freshman wall.”

“Joel has had a great freshman year. So has Wiggs (Andrew Wiggins), Wayne (Selden). All of us have had a pretty good freshman year. I’d say he’s just a little beat up. He’s got to get into rehab and get healthy,” Greene, KU’s freshman wing from Juliette, Ga., said Thursday.

Seven-footer Embiid, who hasn’t practiced since Monday’s loss at Kansas State, has been resting and rehabbing all week.

“Definitely,” Greene said, asked if he can tell if Embiid is ailing. “He’s always complaining about his back (that he hurt at end of the West Virginia game Saturday). He’s going to treatment every day, though, so hopefully he’s getting better with that. It’s pretty obvious he’s a little beat up.”

Senior power forward Tarik Black noted: “Jo Jo is legitimately hurt. He’s nicked up, bruised up. He’ll be ready to play soon. Everybody in college is nicked up and bruised up. Look at every team, every roster. Everybody is hurt (at this stage of season).”

KU coach Bill Self said hours of treatment have helped Embiid, who also hurt his knee vs. TCU on Jan. 25. “He’s had Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday off and he feels better,” Self said. “The MRIs tell us that there’s a good chance he’s going to get better quickly, that it’s not something that should linger too long, if, in fact, we treat it and rest it appropriately now. If he’s able to practice (today), then he’ll play (Saturday against TCU, 3 p.m., Allen Fieldhouse), and if he’s not able to practice, then I would say he would not play.

“Of course you think long-term, but also, you also know he’ll have a better chance to perform in games in the future the less time he’s off now, too. We’re not going to do anything to jeopardize him at all, but based on the doctors and the trainers, they’ll make the call along with Jo on him being honest with us and how he’s feeling. A lot of times there’s no reason to hold guys out if they’re healthy, too.”

Greene said it’s obvious the Jayhawks are much better with a healthy Embiid on the floor.

“He’s a rim protector — obviously an inside presence. If you throw it in the post he’s a great finisher,” Greene said. “He’s one of the top two picks in the draft, so obviously we lose a lot. He’s a great player.”

Greene had one of his best games Monday at K-State. He had a basket off a rebound followed by a steal and hoop in KU’s late-game comeback that forced overtime.

“I tried to bring energy. I felt that is what would keep me on the court and it did,” said Greene, who had 10 points in 15 minutes.

Traylor to play: Sophomore forward Jamari Traylor will play in Saturday’s game, Self told the Journal-World on Thursday night. Traylor had been held out of Monday’s loss because of disciplinary reasons. Self, who met with Traylor before practice on Thursday, had no comment on the matter except to say Traylor would play.

Midseason list: Embiid and Wiggins have been named to the list of 30 candidates for the Naismith College Player of the Year award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced. Other Big 12 players on list: Melvin Ejim, DeAndre Kane, Marcus Smart.

Tyler has surgery: KU sophomore Tyler Self had foot surgery Wednesday and will be sidelined four to six months, Bill Self said, noting the surgery was to fuse bones in his son’s foot. Tyler tore ligaments in the top of his foot in October. He will red-shirt this season.

Recruiting: JaQuan Lyle, a 6-5 combo guard from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, will attend the Feb. 24 KU-Oklahoma game as part of an official recruiting visit, Zagsblog.com reports. He’s considering KU, Providence, Oregon, Oklahoma State, UConn and Memphis. He’s ranked No. 22 in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com.

NBA players in house: Self said he wasn’t sure which of KU’s players in the NBA would attend the TCU game. It’s believed Nick Collison of the OKC Thunder will be in the stands.

Self on former KU coach Larry Brown’s SMU team being ranked: “I think it’s awesome to see where they’ve been and to see the interest level and the new arena and bringing college basketball excitement back to the metroplex I think is really cool. And to be ranked and everything, that’s quite an accomplishment in a short amount of time. Of course, everybody that knows him knows that it would happen.”

Comments

Bryce Landon 5 years, 9 months ago

Just sit him out this Saturday. This is TCU we're talking about here. We could still run circles around those guys without him.

John Randall 5 years, 9 months ago

Every day Joel is not on the court is a day he's not getting the reps leading to the improvement we've seen. Unless the risk of further injury is pretty great, he's better off pushing himself because playing through minor, nagging stuff is one part of his continued development.

Decisions on playing time and how hard to practice aren't only about W-L record. You may think otherwise, but I want the program to be about the players, not just to provide bragging rights for fans. The most important quality I learned from athletic participation was that I am able to do things whether they are easy or not, and the ones that weren't easy mattered a lot more.

Shawn Otrimble 5 years, 9 months ago

This may sound a little crazy, but I would love to see the Big 12 go to 16 and I think this year would be the year to do it by adding: Cincinnati, Louisville, SMU, Memphis, Connecticut, and Houston all from the American Conference. It would help West Virginia's travel schedule and all teams are good in basketball and football and could come in and immediately compete. We would be a force in sports for many, many, years. The way it is now we are too small and hurt each others chances to compete in big bowl games and NCAA tourney. I know we make good money now but I would hate for us to be the odd man out if in the near future there is a shift to power conferences.

Kye Clark 5 years, 9 months ago

Louisville would have been the team to get, but this is their only year in the American. Next year they join the ACC.

John Randall 5 years, 9 months ago

Looks to me that you are making her point for her ...

Jim Stauffer 5 years, 9 months ago

Obviously we know the decision makers are profit and Texas. Until this conference decides as a group it can do things against the will of Texas, it will remain as Texas wants it. Further, the others are not going to take a pay cut to admit anyone. The only TV sets you have added are those in Cincy, 'Ville, Memphis and UCONN. I don't know what those numbers would do financially but doubt they bring enough to add them.

I said from the beginning we were fools to turn down Louisville which has a top notch BB program and one of the all time great coaches plus one of the best AD's in the country, but all anyone could think of was FB. The media did our thinking for us and look where it got us. The same place it has our country by following the thinking of the medial

Len Shaffer 5 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for sharing your political views, Jim; it's always so good to know that on a sports board.

Mick Allen 5 years, 9 months ago

Be careful Len. If Rodney Crain reads your post he will lecture you about trying to tell someone what they can or can not discuss on a KU sports site. He will tell you that you can't separate sports and politics in today's society. I have been down this same road with him. I share your sentiments.

Rodney Crain 5 years, 9 months ago

Mick Mick, Mick, you stumble again. So much to do where do I begin. I can only focus on helping you, one step at time, one step at a time.

John Randall 5 years, 9 months ago

You mean the media influences sports and politics? Who'd uh thunk?

Joe Baker 5 years, 9 months ago

He could heal against TCU and TT. Lucas, Black, and Traylor are capable. He needs to heal really well for the back stretch.

Get healthy JoJo and we'll see you back in action soon.

Oh no, here we go with the tv $$ again. I thought Self addressed this during the last go around and said the conference was fine where bball was concerned. I think Self was happy with the numbers. But if more $$ is involved, well, why not get some pie. Otherwise another program will take it. KU might as well get some.

Bill Corey 5 years, 9 months ago

It seems to me that JoJo has been less than 100% lately mostly due to the un-whistled throw down during the Texas game. Seems like it really shook him up. Dunno..... Welcome to the Big 12.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 9 months ago

OAKVILLE ODDITIES:

1] I wonder, if Jo Jo was 100%, would Jamari be suiting up on Saturday??

2] I don't care if Joel can do back flips on Saturday morning....SIT HIM OUT!! I totally agree with Bryce...Landon, Tarik and Jamari will take care of business just fine.

3] Isn't JaQuan good friends with either someone on the team or one of our committed recruits?

4] Let's see, Black gone, Alexander onboard...Wiggins gone, Oubre onboard.....if Lyle gets onboard and Selden stays as he should, who'se gone??? AWIII, we hardly knew ye.

5] Would someone please just shoot me..here in St.Louis we're going to get the LSU at Arkansas game in lieu of KU/TCU...luckily, I will be able to slingbox to my brother's set in Lawrence, but, come on..there's a ton of KU alum in this area!!

6] I almost threw up in my mouth reading more about potential conference rearrangement!

7] For those who are saying Jo Jo hit the freshmen wall, go back and review the tapes,..,he hit the Court Floor...HARD!!!

8] People sitting courtside whom I would like to see hit in the head with a loose ball......Ashley Judd, Pants On Backwards, Billy Packer, Jim Boeheim, Calmari, Taylor Swift, Vlad The Putin, Flo from Progressive Insurance, Brucie Weber[really hard], The Biebs[beheading hard] and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Erich Hartmann 5 years, 9 months ago

Oakville:

1] If Jojo is 100%, and is doing backflips by Saturday--> then he should play, as we all know he needs confidence here lately, and also needs to keep working on his game. Just like Self says, KU will take its cue from the medical staff and trainers if Jojo can gogo, or is still a nogo.

Same thing applied to EJ last year. Man, there was no more knee issues. His was all mental, as both Self+EJ's trainer+ EJ himself knew.

4] Will wait and see what happens with AW3. His mpg simply have been eaten up by the slightly better Greene.

5] Ashley Judd is a has-been. Gottlieb will get his mouth shut a 2nd time by KU as KU whips OkieState in Stalewater. Gottlieb would do well to support his fellow OSU alum Bill Self--he just might learn a thing or three about the game. Billy Packer got shut up by KU vs UNC on Apr.5, 2008. Hats off to Boeheim's record, but that's it. I no longer have any ill will towards John Calipari. Let him run his system--it serves as a contrast to what Self, Kryzycewski, & Roy are doing. Instead of dinging Taylor Swift, how about we ding Kanye West twice with the basketball--that was one of the most embarrassing public moments in 10yrs! Putin is simply not to be trusted, depending on which side you are. If you are a Russian nationalist, all is good under Vladimir. Not so much if you are an opposing nation. History repeats, only the names change...what else is new? Agree about shelling Brucee Weber, maybe it will alter his vocal tone. Get Sammy Sosa to knock Bieber back over the border. Finally, I find it hard to be too harsh on eye-candy Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts...), I dont agree with her politics, but I could stare at that red-carpet look all day.

9] How about asking Shaquille O'Neal to bounce a bkball off Miley Cyrus, the artiste-degenerate-d'jour formerly known as the talented Hannah Montana?

RCJH.

Benz Junque 5 years, 9 months ago

1] Probably not, no. 2] Agreed. Get the big man some rest so he is ready for the Texas game. 3] He is buddies with Cliff Alexander 4] KU won't sign anyone unless either Embiid or Selden leaves for the NBA. 5] Bummer about the game. They cater to the Mizzou side of things in that town so you are stuck with the mediocre SEC. 6] Agree. I ignored it completely. 7] Yep. Embiid is banged up and sore. Bodies aren't meant to be 7 feet tall. He bound to have a sore back from time to time, especially banging with Traylor and Black all day in practice. 8] Can't argue with any of those. Add Dickie V. and Bill Walton.

Priest Fontaine 5 years, 9 months ago

Flo is the worst! thanks for that Oakville!

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 9 months ago

Must add my own rebuttal to this list!!!

1 & 2) If Jo Jo is healthy...play him. I came all the way from Houston for the game and movie. TCU can be a huge confidence booster for him.

4) Hush hush about that AWIII stuff. I hope things work out for AWIII, I'm a huge fan of his. If Embiid goes to the NBA, we need to go after Turner, although a big guard like Lyle is also a good target.

5) I sympathy from all of us here in the Oread Bird Nest bar about your telecaste. By the way....have a look at the attached photo...read 'em and weep bro.

6) The conference rearrangements should try to re-unite some of the great rivals such as KU-MU, UT-TAMU. I would never do it on my own and vocally oppose such a move but would be very excited about the consequences. I would love to get back to hating MU like the old days.

7) Was at the KU-TCU game and watched Embiid go down 30 feet in front of us!! Talk about sick feelings.

8) Not a bad list except Cal. I've got to bring you around on that one. All the players from the end of the Owen and Brown era love the guy. His wife went to KU. Rupp went to UK and Owens held a special "Adolf Rupp Night" in AFH when they visited. UK and Cal are integrated into the Naismith/Allen family. I tend to view KU-UK in the same manor as how Texans view New Yorkers.

Benz Junque 5 years, 9 months ago

Just a reminder to Coach Self that KU is now 0-3 in games where he decided to "make a point" with a player. He benched Tharpe and gave Mason the start in the Colorado and Florida games and benched Traylor in the K-State game, all Kansas losses.

Erich Hartmann 5 years, 9 months ago

And Mason spent too much time on the bench due to 3 fouls in 6min...and Selden, our bigMickeyD, spent a LOT of time on the bench vs. KSU due to poor play. When we are 5 DEEP on bigs, sitting 1 shouldnt cause an effort type of loss that KSU loss most certainly was. KU didnt even deserve to go to OT, as that was a gift from KSU and Brannen Greene. But in OT, we cant get 1 stop, and our "defense" makes Spradling look like 60%3gunnin', clutch assistin' champ...(team loss). Team loss. Yes, Traylor could have helped, but I havent seen a 10deep (minus 1 player, Traylor) play as lackluster. Especially a Bill Self team...other than maybe the TopekaY version that showed up at TCU last year. IF we dont figure out the SelfBall101 "defensive instensity" thing in a hurry, we will be bounced out of March, in a hurry...

John Randall 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm tninking 'bounced twice' – at Kemper and then again two weeks (maybe only one week) later.

defense, DEfense, DEFENSE, dammit!

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 9 months ago

The point disciplining a player is to show them their actions have consequences, just like in the real world. Traylor made a poor decision, and that decision impacted not only himself, but his teammates as well and ultimately played a significant factor in the KSU loss.

In the case of Tharpe, he wasn't valuing the basketball and was making poor decisions on the floor and Self benched him to show Tharpe just how much this team needs him to play well in order to achieve its goals for this season. Mason is a good player, but he's just not the type of point guard this team needs this year. Say what you want about Tharpe's defense, but he's the most important player on this team and KU is a much better team with him on the floor than with him on the bench.

Bill Self has a standard he expects his players to live up to. When those players fail to meet expectations, there are consequences those players have to live with. Those consequences also impacts their teammates and puts more of a burden on them. When we screw up in the real world, there are consequences and those consequences impact the people we deal with in our personal or professional lives. Bill Self is teaching these kids about accountability which is something many people in this world have a minimal amount of.

Rodney Crain 5 years, 9 months ago

In Traylor's case he has to sit him, it was not a level of play issue but some violation off the court. Tharpe's benching seemed to help him for a while but maybe pick some other lesser teams to make his point I agree.

Rob Byrd 5 years, 9 months ago

I thought the same thing, but I am going to trust that our coach cares more about helping prepare these young men for the future and encouraging them to be men of great character, even more than he cares for a W.

John Randall 5 years, 9 months ago

"even more" ??? Would you settle for "just as much" ?

Tom Richmond 5 years, 9 months ago

For the first three quarters of the K-State game our offense stood around like Chinese Terracotta Warriors. They finally got some urgency in the 4th but the Wildcats still out-hustled them. Would Coach Self please stop the cross-court lob pass? Three things can happen – all bad. 1. Pass gets to our guy with plenty of time for the defense to get in his face. 2. Lob pass goes out of bounds. 3. Lob pass is intercepted and they score. Never let a cross-court lob pass happen again – get Direct TV.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 9 months ago

OK, JUST ONE SIMPLE QUESTION...YES OR NO:

Will this KU team be in the Final Four??? No rationalizations, no hedging.....just a simple yes or no.

I'm afraid I say NO..reaching the Elite Eight will be a tribute to Bill Self.

If I am proved wrong I will happily buy everyone a beer at The Wheel.

Len Shaffer 5 years, 9 months ago

Much as I hate to say it, I think you're right.

Garrett Coleman 5 years, 9 months ago

I'll take you up on that beer Oak. We will turn it around. We are too deep and too talented not to.

John Randall 5 years, 9 months ago

Numbers and talent are just raw material without fortitude – that stuff between the neck and the crotch.

Garrett Coleman 5 years, 9 months ago

They showed they can play with some fortitude on monday, unfortuantely it was only for the last 90 secs. You're right though they do need to develop more of that and if they can. We will be just fine come April. We will see how they play tomorrow against a team they know they should beat. Even though TCU is a weaker opponent someone needs to step up and show that will kill mentality. Maybe it will be Traylor after his benching and letting his team down

Garrett Coleman 5 years, 9 months ago

They showed they can play with some fortitude on monday, unfortuantely it was only for the last 90 secs. You're right though they do need to develop more of that and if they can. We will be just fine come April. We will see how they play tomorrow against a team they know they should beat. Even though TCU is a weaker opponent someone needs to step up and show that will kill mentality. Maybe it will be Traylor after his benching and letting his team down

Brian Mellor 5 years, 9 months ago

If it's okay, can I wait another 6 weeks to give you a definitive answer to that? I think that by then I'll be able to say for sure.

Aaron Paisley 5 years, 9 months ago

If healthy yes KU can reach the Final Four.

Rian Ankerholz 5 years, 9 months ago

No. Although Andrew Wiggins will have flashes of basketball brilliance, his innate lack of aggression on offense will cost us over the tourney stretch. He will develop that toughness over time, but not this year. His lack of experience as a freshman causes him to stand around the perimeter instead of moving without the ball to make himself the unstoppable force that he would be as a junior or senior. The lack of a true point guard stagnates our offense, and makes the ball stick to such an extent that a high quality defense will stifle us. Those are deficiencies that really cannot be remedied in the time available. Other deficiencies, such as the team's inability to adequately guard a team with quick-fire three-point shooters could be corrected, but such a turnaround is unlikely. It is a tough adjustment to make for a team that prides itself on rim protection. Only Joel "Chamberlain" Embiid has the potential to take over games and make team deficiencies irrelevant. His back injury may linger. I hope I am wrong about ALL of this.

Suzi Marshall 5 years, 9 months ago

I'd like to weigh in with my own opinions on the matter but can not add or subtract from your statement. Nevertheless, the way I see it, the major problem advancing in the tournament is our D and the sporatic energy we bring on the court.

If this team wins the Big 12 title and advances past the Sweet 16, Self has earned his pay.

It's really tough to win games when a team can not defend a lay-up line.

Bill Corey 5 years, 9 months ago

I remember when CaliPIMP didn't make the Final 4 with 5 first round draft picks a few years ago. (I think 2010). I told everyone who would listen about what a bad coach CaliPUKE was. Now, seeing how we sometimes struggle with 3+ possible potential first round draft choices, I understand how difficult the situation is. I hope we're a Final 4 team. But freshmen are freshman 18 to 19 y/o. I think/hope HCBS will get everyone on board for a good tournament run. Rock Chalk. And CaliPUNK is still sleazy .

Kent Wells 5 years, 9 months ago

KY didn't have enough basketballs for all the egos. KU has proven they can win many ways. KY only found many ways to lose. A good coach gets the egos under control and helps the team find ways to win games... Not saying our team has egos, but they do have players with individual things to gain at the next level. Selden could jack up a ton of shots to pad the numbers to improve his position. This hasn't happened. Self wouldn't bring that kind of guy in and wouldn't put up with it for 1 minute. Ramble ramble ramble blah blah blah. Defense wins. This team has to learn to play D.

Kent Wells 5 years, 9 months ago

This one is painful OAK.... Defense wins championships. If we were lousy offensively and stellar defensively, I'm taking the over. Unfortunately, this team is bass ackwards.... So a loss in round 3 (second round!) is not out of the question. That was painful to type. I see matching up with a B in the second round and not giving a flip after the first weekend.

Someone encourage me....

Rodney Crain 5 years, 9 months ago

NO, lack of defense and our weakness at the point guard do not allow for a deep run in the NCAA's.

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