Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid giving KU even more exposure
Say what you will about the one-and-done rule and players who only spend their freshman year wearing a particular college basketball team's colors. But when a coach lands future NBA lottery picks like Kansas University's Bill Self did in Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, it really does help the program.
Would the Jayhawks have a far better chance of winning a national championship in 2015 with Wiggins and Embiid back as sophomores? Of course.
However, the rules in place allow them to begin their professional careers now. And because they are so highly regarded, the faces and voices of Wiggins and Embiid already have been all over the media landscape for interviews leading up to Tuesday night's NBA Draft Lottery.
Guess what inevitably comes up every time they do an interview? KU, Lawrence, the Jayhawks' devoted fan base or how much they enjoyed their time there.
Even Self appeared on ESPN's Outside The Lines on Tuesday to discuss the draft process and KU's two potential top-three picks.
June 26 — the day of the 2014 NBA Draft — is "Andrew Wiggins Day" in his hometown of Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. But Monday might as well have been Wiggins Day at ESPN.
The well-prepped 19-year-old bounced around the sports network's campus doing multiple interviews.
On "First Take," Stephen A. Smith tried to get Wiggins to brag about himself and why he should be the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Never one to sing his own praises, Wiggins finally caved a little to Smith, who insisted he make a case for himself as the top choice:
"I'll always put myself number one, over anybody else. That's just me. I've got a lot of confidence in myself."
On "Numbers Never Lie," co-host Michael Smith tried to get Wiggins to commit to next year's dunk contest on the spot. The high-flying Canadian wouldn't give a yes or no answer, but again handled it well.
Wiggins also went on SVP & Russillo. Listen to the interview by clicking here.
On Tuesday, the media blitz continued, with Wiggins doing a live chat on NBA.com with Rick Fox. Both Wiggins and Embiid did radio interviews on SiriusXM's NBA channel, too.
All of that came after a morning public appearance and autograph session in Times Square, leading up to tonight's lottery in New York.
Guess what. They'll both be in attendance for that, too, as ESPN broadcasts it live, beginning at 7 p.m.
Remember: the more often Kansas has players of this caliber, moving on to the NBA as coveted commodities, the more future classes of top recruits will be interested in following in their gigantic footsteps.