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Embiid's stock rising

Whether Kansas is on the court, playing on national television, or has the day off, it seems the national media always has Bill Self’s Jayhawks on its radar.

Before checking out some big-picture takes on some of the Jayhawks (No. 18, 10-4), here are a few in-game and post-game tweets in regards to KU’s 90-83 road win at Oklahoma Wednesday night:

  • During the game, ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla, whose son James is a walk-on at Oklahoma, credited KU coach Bill Self for knowing how to use a technical foul to his advantage:

  • Sports Illustrated/CBS college basketball scribe Seth Davis, who watched Kansas in person at the Battle 4 Atlantis, took a moment to give the Jayhawks credit for their road win:

  • ESPN’s favorite yelling former coach, Dick Vitale, might have been speechless for a moment, upon realizing how much offensive success Kansas had at Oklahoma:

  • Meanwhile, ESPN’s Jay Williams doesn’t view Kansas as the best, or even the second-best, team in the Big 12 right now:


Wiggins, Embiid project as top NBA picks

Kansas newcomers Andrew Wiggins, left, and Joel Embiid peek outside to pump up the crowd before the fieldhouse doors opened for Late Night in the Phog, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013.

Kansas newcomers Andrew Wiggins, left, and Joel Embiid peek outside to pump up the crowd before the fieldhouse doors opened for Late Night in the Phog, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. by Nick Krug

Every person who has paid any attention to Kansas this season knows that Self’s hyped freshman class has multiple potential one-and-done players. And few expect forward Andrew Wiggins and center Joel Embiid to be around when the 2014-15 season starts.

Thanks to espn.com, you can start to toy around with what NBA franchise Wiggins and Embiid will call home following the 2014 Draft, in June. Head over to the 2014 Lottery Mock Draft and give it a whirl.

The exact order of the top 14 slots in the draft, aka the lottery picks, won’t be determined until the season ends and the lottery is held. But this fun little mock draft machine spits out as many options as one could dream up every time the “play lottery” button is pushed. Using a list of 14 NBA prospects, it projects where each player will go, depending on how the teams are sorted out.

Out of curiosity, I played it three times. Each one provided a scenario in which Wiggins and Embiid were off the board by the third pick:

  • No. 1, Milwaukee Bucks: Jabari Parker, Duke; No. 2, Denver Nuggets: Andrew Wiggins, Kansas; No. 3, Orlando Magic: Joel Embiid, Kansas.

  • No. 1, Orlando: Wiggins; No. 2, Cleveland Cavaliers: Embiid; No. 3, Philadelphia 76ers: Parker.

  • No. 1, Milwaukee: Parker; No. 2, Orlando: Wiggins; No. 3, New Orleans Pelicans: Embiid.

You get the idea. The mock draft lottery feature could spit out any number of combinations, and most of them have Wiggins and Embiid in the top three or four.

Interestingly enough, the man behind the draft machine, ESPN’s Chad Ford, expects different outcomes to these scenarios by the time the real draft rolls around this June:


Over at ESPN’s Grantland, NBA aficionados Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose agree. Simmons retweeted Ford and followed with this:


You can watch Simmons and Rose gush about Embiid beginning at the 2:20 mark of the below clip, from Grantland’s YouTube channel.


Embiid gaining notoriety

Kansas center Joel Embiid comes down from a dunk against Oklahoma during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2013 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

Kansas center Joel Embiid comes down from a dunk against Oklahoma during the first half on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2013 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

In a piece by Ryan Fagan, of The Sporting News, it is pointed out that Wiggins, Duke’s Jabari Parker, Kentucky’s Julius Randle and Arizona’s Aaron Gordon entered this season with the most hype.

But for this piece, Fagan focuses on four other outstanding freshmen: Tyler Ennis, Syracuse; Jordan Mickey, LSU; Eric Mika, BYU; and Embiid.

Again, Embiid’s rising NBA draft stock is noted, and Fagan provides a link to the DraftExpress.com YouTube channel, which has this below video on Embiid. The stats cited are only from the first 10 games of the season, but I’m certain this is as thorough a video as you could hope for (IT’S 16 MINUTES LONG!) in terms of showing off all the skills and intangibles Embiid possesses that has NBA personnel drooling.

(Also, if you’ve ever wanted to watch multiple clips of Embiid boxing out, while listening to instrumental-only Lupe Fiasco, well, I just made your day.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cn-dtrmh0nM


Wiggins ‘not overwhelming’

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins heads out-of-bounds past the Sooners' bench after losing control of his dribble late in the game on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2013 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins heads out-of-bounds past the Sooners' bench after losing control of his dribble late in the game on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2013 at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

In an effort to catch up casual college basketball fans with everything that went on during the non-conference season, which coincides with college football season, CBSSPorts.com’s Gary Parrish offered 10 things those who weren’t paying attention needed to know.

No. 2 on his list: “Andrew Wiggins has been really good but not overwhelming.”

Parrish posted this before Wiggins went 2-for-9 from the floor at Oklahoma on Wednesday. Still, he makes a valid point that it probably isn’t fair to ask “What’s wrong with Wiggins?” or call the freshman standout’s season “disappointing."


Ellis breaking out/KU ‘wishy-washy’

Over at bleacherreport.com, Jason King identified Perry Ellis as one of college basketball’s breakout stars this season. Eliis continued that trend with a double-double at Oklahoma Wednesday night.

Down near the bottom of the King’s Court piece, in the rapidfire section, the national writer also picked Kansas as his current “wishy-washy” team.

Comments

Ryan Zimmerman 9 months, 2 weeks ago

"And few expect forward Andrew Wiggins and center Joel Embiid to be around when the 2014-15 season starts."

who are "the few"? Wiggins already said he's going to the NBA after this season...

Joe Ross 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Earlier statements don't lock him in. What he CAN do and what he SHOULD do are not necessarily one and the same.

Dirk Medema 9 months, 2 weeks ago

It is Wiggins and Embiid - both.

Yes, there are some that have heard Coach Self comment on Embiid not really needing to go because of his family situation, and that he is realizing that he has a lot to learn on and off the court before he can maximize his career. Watch the draft piece above, and stay around long enough to see the weaknesses. You gotta know that Coach Self sees them and points them out in practice and film. A lot may depend on the continued rate of development, which has been astronomical so far.

Casey Osburn 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I think Embiid will be back. Frankly, his family is rich and doesn't need $$, and he's been doing research on bigs and how long they've stayed in college. He's finding successful bigs like Tim Duncan stayed in school a few years. We won't have him 4, but we'll have him 2, IMO.

Mark Lindrud 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Jay Bilas even said during the game that if Embiid stayed one more year he can add muscle and size, which would make him even more dominant coming out of college. We know Wiggins is gone and so far he hasn't lived up to the hype. He is very talented and I hope he does show why he is hyped up because he shows flashes, but has not been consistent in being the next one, but we shall see. We still have more games to go. Rock Chalk.

Phil Leister 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Bill has always said that if a kid is a surefire lottery pick, then Self would encourage him to go pro. So with Embiid, who is a realistic No. 1 pick this draft, I imagine Self would encourage him to strike while the iron's hot. Just one line of thought. Imagine the preseason hype of Embiid as he enters his sophomore season.

As much as I'd love to see him back and think it would really help him, I just don't know how you turn down being a guaranteed top 3 pick.

Dirk Medema 9 months, 2 weeks ago

You apparently missed at least some of Coach Self comments a week or so ago about meeting with Embiid. The kid knows he is still figuring it out, and also knows that some bigs have benefitted from staying in school another year.

Eliott Reeder 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Self has said that in reference to kids that come from blue collar or worse family situations that absolutely should not take risks regarding an opportunity to snag a multi-million dollar contract. I don't know how much money Embiid's fam has but Self alluded to the fact that they don't need money. Changes things entirely...

Eliott Reeder 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Also, Embiid himself has stated that he might not be ready mentally and maturity wise to go to the league. He doesn't even have a driver's license yet!

Jeremy Wilhelm 9 months, 2 weeks ago

All I have to say to anyone suggesting these kids stick around another year is, watch the SEC Storied on Sam Bowie and tell me he wouldn't have been better off or at least broken even by leaving early.

Dirk Medema 9 months, 2 weeks ago

So you think that Bowie wouldn't have missed 2 of his 1st 3 years if he had left after his freshmen year, and that he would have already developed his game enough to give owners a reason to keep him around for a decade even with the injuries. He unfortunately was a walking injury, highlighted by the one leg fracture during walk throughs.

Eliott Reeder 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Sophomore Embiid +Junior Perry Ellis + Cliff Alexander + RS Junior Jamari Traylor + Landen Lucas (will be very solid by next year I think) +Hunter Mickelson = FRONTCOURT DOMINANCE!!! :)

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