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 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.

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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.

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John Giffin 5 years, 8 months ago

How many one and dones played for Ku in 2007-2008 and 2011-2012? How many Final Fours has Kansas reached with one and dones?

Travis Clementsmith 5 years, 8 months ago

I know you may think that's a profound stat, but the sample size is way too small. How many one and dones have we had, period? Obviously UK showed it is possible. How far would we have gone if one of our one and dones hadn't been injured? Obviously, it would be great for us if these guys could stay, but that isn't the atmosphere of today's state of the game. Saying you don't want one and dones based on that is silly. What was KU supposed to do last year when they had a large class leave? Recruit less talented players? How was that going to help us?

Michael Leiker 5 years, 8 months ago

Insinuating that we're going to compete with UK and bring in 7 McD All-Americans a year is silly. I think it's obvious to a lot of people that Bill's teams with the Selby's, Henry's, Wiggins and Embiid's of the world have not played anywhere near the level of basketball as his other teams. The whole idea that the goal is to get more hype to get more of these guys is a fundamentally wrong premise and will continue to fail if pursued.

Allen Shepard 5 years, 8 months ago

Why is that silly? UK is a derivative program that doesn't exist without us. They're not on our level.

Jack Wilson 5 years, 8 months ago

The sample size is not too small … the ONLY teams to win an NCAA title with an OAD on the roster was Syracuse in 2003 and UK in 2012. That's it.

Travis, your approach is way too simplistic. You seem to think that the player with the most talent/ceiling is going to be the best player in his one season at KU. Self is system coach. He's not like Calipari. It takes some time for guys to assimilate to his system, and that's how KU hoops operates most efficiently. Recruit players that fit the system and can develop. Would you rather have a parade of OADs -- Wiggins, Oubre, etc. Or guys like Releford? Would you rather have OAD Alexander, or guys that have to work to become first round picks like the Morrises, Withey, Aldrich and TRob?

The thing with the OADs is that we're always "so young" as Self will say. The built in excuse. Our best teams have had a core of veterans who have developed.

Allen Shepard 5 years, 8 months ago

False dilemma.

Your argument is invalid.

Chad Lee 5 years, 8 months ago

stupid stupid stupid!!! let guys develop like Naa. Selby and Wiggins should not be in the same sentence, you should be ashamed. the only reason we didn't go further in the tournament is because of our Jr point guard play and injuries. you are lost my friends inthinking that we should not recruit top 20 talent. I love Releford he has been my favorite player in the past 5 years. but but but, waiting five years for him to get his shot and develop into a good starting player is too much of a risk. gentleman you know they have briefs now that don't have a tag or ride up. get with it goobers! a mix of talent young and old will be the best. this is what Bill Self has come to realize send me thinks he's a bit smarter with the bball intelligence

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