Thursday, March 13, 2014

Notebook: Joel Embiid’s father says center will return ‘soon’

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor hugs injured center Joel Embiid as the Jayhawks pull away in overtime on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas forward Jamari Traylor hugs injured center Joel Embiid as the Jayhawks pull away in overtime on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self, Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden discuss KU's OT win vs. Oklahoma State

Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, as well as freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden, discuss KU's OT win vs. Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals.

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Wayne Selden and Naadir Tharpe discuss KU's OT win over OSU

Kansas guards Wayne Selden and Naadir Tharpe discuss the Jayhawks' 77-70 overtime win over Oklahoma State in the Big 12 quarterfinals.


Box score

Joel Embiid’s dad, Thomas, says he believes his injured son will play in the 2014 NCAA tournament.

“Yes he can play before the end of the NCAA. I don’t know if it will take one or two weeks, but I know he will come back soon. He will be back soon. The only thing I can say is he will be back soon,” said Thomas Embiid, in town for the Big 12 tournament with his wife, Christine.

“It will not take a long time. It is not serious,” Thomas Embiid added of Joel’s lower-back stress fracture.

Thomas Embiid, a colonel in the Cameroon military, basically repeated what coach Bill Self has said, that the 7-footer would definitely miss the Big 12 tournament, then be a longshot for the first weekend of the NCAAs, but likely be able to play at some point, if KU can keep winning.

“Yes he wants to play but he is injured and he cannot play,” said Thomas before entering Sprint Center on Thursday, where he attended the KU-Oklahoma State game and sat a few rows behind KU’s bench.

Thomas said he and KU’s staff agreed a recent second opinion regarding the stress fracture was in order this past Monday in Los Angeles.

“Yes, because the staff and I were convinced we want to have a second opinion. The second opinion was like the first opinion (showing a stress fracture),” Thomas Embiid said.

As far as whether Embiid will return to KU for a second season or head to the NBA, Thomas Embiid said no decision had been reached.

Thomas said he would return to Cameroon next week, then come back to the U.S. at end of the NCAA Tournament.

“First we will let the NCAA Tournament finish then we will have a decision,” Thomas Embiid said. “Very soon, after the NCAA Tournament,” he added of the when the decision would be reached.

Asked if he was pleased with KU’s handling of his son’s injury, he said: “Yes. I am the fan No. 1 of KU.”

Alley-oops dazzling: Andrew Wiggins on his flushing a pass from Wayne Selden, which followed an alley-oop from Naadir Tharpe to Tarik Black, and KU grabbing a 65-62 lead over OSU with 2:41 left.

“We were living for the moment. It was a great feeling, especially with alley-oop plays. It’s what gets fans more into the game,” said Wiggins.

Of the alley-oops, point guard Tharpe said: “Once they went into zone we had a chance to run our stuff. We executed like we’re supposed to.”

Revenge: KU point guard Tharpe said the Jayhawks were inspired to defeat OSU.

“We didn’t forget that they rushed the court on us at their place. It was definitely a win we wanted,” he said.

OSU fans stormed the court after the Cowboys’ 72-65 win over KU on March 1 in Gallagher-Iba Arena. “We thought about that the whole game, before the game. Coming into it, that’s what we were thinking,” Tharpe said.

Tharpe on Wiggins, who has scored 71 points in the last two games. “He’s shown he’s the No. 1 player like he is, coming out of high school. He is getting better each and every game. It’s what we need from him to continue.”

KU is 2-0 against tonight’s semifinal foe, Iowa State. KU won, 77-70, on Jan. 13 in Ames and 92-81 on Jan. 29 in Allen Fieldhouse.

“I think this could be one of those epic type matchups,” KU coach Bill Self said. “They are terrific offensively. I thought all along Iowa State was the most talented team in our league that we played.

“One thing about (losing) Jo,” he added of Joel Embiid, “it’s great to have a rim protector in there like Jo (but) it also drags him away from the basket (in guarding ISU’s tall bigs who can shoot threes). Maybe it won’t affect us as negatively dragging other big guys from the basket. They are used to playing out there more.”

Self on Iowa State’s large contingent of fans: “Going back to Big Eight days, they travel here as well as anybody other than us and K-State,” Self said. “Last year, our semifinal game (88-73 victory over ISU in Sprint Center) was the most talked about game of the conference season after the way we won the first two games (OT in Lawrence and 108-96 in Ames).”

Andrew Wiggins on Iowa State: “They have a lot of scorers, a lot of options. We have to bring it like we did today. They have a lot of weapons. We have to have a defensive mindset and try to lock in on defense.”

Wayne Selden on how to stop the high-scoring Cyclone Melvin Ejim: “He’s a great player. We just have to be able to guard him. They’ve got players who can score all over the floor.”

Stats, facts: Wiggins’ 30 points was one shy of the KU record for points in a Big 12 postseason game (31, Wayne Simien vs. Missouri, 3/12/04) and marked the most by a Jayhawk freshman in the event. ... Wiggins now has 552 points. He now only trails Ben McLemore (596, 2013) as the all-time freshmen scoring leader at Kansas. ... Tarik Black had 12 boards, his most as a Jayhawk. ... Jamari Traylor tied a career high with nine boards.


Tony Bandle 6 years, 11 months ago


1] I was hoping Colonel Tom would say, he will be back September.

2] Did you all see the expression on Marc-Ass Smart's face when his flop cost him a blocking foul?? It looked like he had just lost the Oscar for Best Actress to Jodie Foster!!

3] We blow more leads than Lawrence Welk blew bubbles.

4] I think Tarik will owe Jo Jo a big fruit basket for Christmas...there are a bunch of NFL types checking out his athleticism and his drive.

5] Iowa State will be tough but the formiula is still simple..pound it inside, even without Jo Jo, they can't match our "paint power".

6] I think this victory pretty much put our 2 seed in the bag...welcome to St.Louis you all. By the way, Wichita State has bought all kinds of billboards welcoming folks to Shocker Country. Talk about insecure!!!

Reggie Flenory 6 years, 11 months ago

The shokers are setting them selves up for a huge let down they been beating up on adult transition schools all yrs now they think they the shizznit

John Fitzgerald 6 years, 11 months ago

This just made me laugh, idk why Lol Probably more than it should have

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 11 months ago

I've seen some projected brackets putting OSU as WSU's second round game. WSU's top 50 RPI wins have come against StL, BYU and Tenn. Good chance they don't advance to the Sweet 16. Kansas will also have a rough game in that same round.

Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 11 months ago

Good chance OSU gets a beat down by guards that don't back down, don't turn the ball over, don't miss free throws. I love KU, but the Shockers are a Kansas team, and I'm a Kansan above everything.

Titus Canby 6 years, 11 months ago

4) I've been wondering about Tarik and the NFL. Do you think that's why Harbaugh and the guy from the Packers came to senior night?

Reggie Flenory 6 years, 11 months ago

And this court storming is gettin outta control why is it everytime another school in conf beats us in basketball they wanna storm the court but when we beat them we go home lmao #bottomFeeders

Erich Hartmann 6 years, 11 months ago

Note 1 to OSU fans: Jamari > Kamari.

Note 2 to OSU fans: Thanks for storming your court recently as that evidently motivated the hell out of our players!

Note 3 for OSU fans: How is next season looking for ya, without Smart, Brown, Nash, and any seniors departing also?

Tommy Kueser 6 years, 11 months ago

I was reading with hopes of an inclination that our 7 footer would become a sophomore wearing a KU uniform. Time will tell I guess... As for the WSU comments above. Are people forgetting that this basically same squad made the final four and almost beat the team who took it all? These guys are legit, wait and see. They don't have the respect because of who they played, but part of that is that the big conferences don't want to schedule them. All this team does is win. I think that KU fans, and all of Kansas for that matter need to respect that. Not tear them down. I will pull for them until they play KU, then my mind will flip. And wasn't it great seeing Wiggins with some EMOTION! This is the best time of year! Rock Chalk.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 11 months ago

Wichita State is very good, however, if we play them with a healthy Jo Jo, I'll bet the mortgage on KU. They just don't have an answer for the "Brigadoon from Cameroon."

Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 11 months ago

If Chaminade can beat Virginia with Ralph Sampson, then your mortgage bet is ballsy and in danger. I wouldn't bet anything because I'm wrong far too often.

Walter Bridges 6 years, 11 months ago

Are you 'underwater' and looking for a way out : )

Titus Canby 6 years, 11 months ago

How often is Embiid's dad coming to visit? And how much is a flight from Cameroon to KC? That's gotta be tough.

Walter Bridges 6 years, 11 months ago

The NBA is calling JoJo, get paid while you can. You are still a top three pick behind Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins.

Another injury plagued season and you're stock will go down quickly.

Walter Bridges 6 years, 11 months ago

"Wayne Selden on how to stop the high-scoring Cyclone Melvin Ejim: “He’s a great player. We just have to be able to guard him. They’ve got players who can score all over the floor.”"

And they did. Their three point shot spread our defense and allowed Iowa State to run freely into the paint. This is what every team in the NCAA will attempt and for some reason, we don't have a solid outside threat.

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