If you find yourself shopping for video games sometime this fall, don’t be surprised to see the face of Joel Embiid staring back at you.
EA Sports announced Monday night the former University of Kansas center and current Philadelphia 76ers star will grace the cover of its upcoming release, “NBA Live 19.”
So even though the evening’s NBA Awards show didn’t include Embiid going home with some hardware — he finished second to Rudy Gobert for Defensive Player of the Year — it still went down as a sort of milestone night for the 24-year-old big man.
Embiid, remember, has only played in two seasons (94 regular-season games between them) and already is marketable enough to become the face of a video game franchise.
Although 2K Sports’ “NBA 2K” series is far more popular than its “NBA Live” competitor, some major names from The Association have graced recent covers of “NBA Live,” including two players who can now call themselves MVPs, Houston’s James Harden and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook.
Only the biggest and brightest talents get their likenesses attached to video games and Embiid, an all-star starter in 2018, now has crossed another distinction off his career bucket list.
This past season, his second in the league, Embiid averaged 22.9 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 3.2 assists, while shooting 48.3 percent from the floor and playing in 63 games.
Look for Embiid’s stone-faced pose on “NBA Live 19” when it is released, on Sept. 7.
In the two-plus years since Joel Embiid left Kansas for the NBA, his injury-plagued career has kept him from playing any games for the Philadelphia 76ers. But the 7-foot-2 center from Cameroon somehow found a way to stay relevant in the league’s zeitgeist by becoming an internet/Twitter/Instagram star.
In particular, videos of Embiid going through basketball workouts during his rehab process became both wildly popular for fans of the Sixers and the young big man, while simultaneously serving as fodder for jokes about him never appearing in an actual professional game.
Well, The Ringer took the Embiid mythology to another level Wednesday, when Kevin O’Connor’s story on the 22-year-old prospect included a mockumentary on the former KU star.
Titled, “Joel Embiid: Legacy of a Legend,” the video includes such one-liners as:
“This is what watching Wilt Chamberlain in person must’ve felt like.”
“And there’s a revelation: Oh my God. LeBron James is trash.”
“Joel Embiid is one of the bravest men, probably on the face of the planet.”
Perhaps the jokes will stop this coming season, when Embiid is on schedule to make his NBA debut. Or perhaps more injury setbacks will continue to group the promising center with the likes of Greg Oden.
Some people think Embiid could win Rookie of the Year, and others will remain skeptical until he proves them wrong.
No matter where you stand on the Embiid debate, The Ringer’s video tribute is worth checking out.
— Watch the mockumentary below:
The Cleveland Cavaliers have 48 hours to figure out what, exactly, they want to do with their No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
As of Tuesday, ESPN.com's Chad Ford and Jeff Goodman are reporting the organization is torn.
Presumably no longer interested in Kansas University center Joel Embiid, following successful surgery on his right foot, the Cavs are debating the longterm merits of taking either KU's Andrew Wiggins or Duke's Jabari Parker.
In Ford's most recent mock draft, released Monday, he had Cleveland going with Parker, a 6-foot-8 forward, despite the fact Wiggins had a far more successful workout with the team.
Ford had some insight on the Parker-Wiggins debate, as well as what else might be scaring some teams away from Embiid, on The BS Report with Bill Simmons.
Ford revealed that more than one source of his indicated Parker prefers Milwaukee over Cleveland, and he either tanked or wasn't worried about his workout with the Cavs.
Between that and the fact Wiggins seems a logical better fit for the makeup of the Cavs roster, and it seems the debate could end up going in the KU swingman's favor.
Here is Simmons' case for Wiggins going No. 1:
"… He's an excellent defender already. He's gonna kind of pick and choose his spots. He drifts out of games — he doesn't need the ball. He has a higher upside, I think we'd all agree, than Jabari. It just makes more sense to take him."
Ford agreed, saying he was confused with Cleveland's infatuation with Parker as a No. 1 pick.
"All I know is the Cavs have been a very screwy organization for awhile, and nobody's gonna be able to criticize them if they get Jabari, because Jabari's gonna be good. He's gonna have a really good NBA career, and he's gonna be good."
As for Embiid, apparently medical examinations revealed some things about the 7-footer's bone density that could leave some decision-makers skeptical, as did his blood work.
Here's what Ford, ESPN's draft insider, had to say:
"It's not uncommon for athletes who grew up in Africa to test positive for hepatitis, you know, for example. Something that has to do with diet. It's not uncommon for there to be anemic issues and things like that. There's enough stuff there that scares you a bit, but there's also hope that now that he's over here, starts eating right, gets in the right training regimen, lets his body, frame grow into… you know, he was growing so much at the time, that maybe these will be temporary growing pains and Embiid will be fine in a few years. I know a number of general managers who think that way, because I think he goes top 10."
Ford said a number of teams still haven't seen Embiid's medical information and his agent, Arn Tellem, could choose to be selective in its availability.
The ESPN reporter thought Philadelphia at No. 3, Orlando at No. 4, Boston at No. 6 and Philly at No. 10 seemed like possible destinations for the currently injured big man from Cameroon.
One team's doctor theorized, Ford shared, Embiid's body grew rapidly and the athletic center put enough torque on it in that span that it became detrimental to him, and caused the fractures in his back and foot.
"He's gaining weight, and he's getting heavier and his frame's growing, what have you, and this was causing the fractures. But you strengthen his core… and he quits growing and you get him on a right nutritional plan, and all of this stuff goes away."
Listen to the podcast at ESPN.com or on the YouTube player below.
When Cleveland, Milwaukee and Philadelphia popped up as the NBA franchises which hit the lottery jackpot and owned the highly desirable top three picks in the 2014 draft, it seemed fair to assume Kansas University products Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid would end up in two of those cities.
Maybe the former Jayhawks end up donning a Cavs, Bucks or 76ers cap June 26 in Brooklyn.
Here is a look at the chatter coming out of the three cities in question.
The Cavaliers have their choice of any player in the NBA Draft — Wiggins, Embiid, Duke's Jabari Parker. Whomever.
But The Plain Dealer's Mary Schmitt Boyer thinks Cleveland could trade away that right to some other franchise in order to land an established NBA star.
The Cavs were slotted at No. 9 before the lottery played out and they somehow nabbed the top pick for the third time in four years. No one is complaining about 2011 selection Kyrie Irving. However, Cleveland hasn't made the NBA Playoffs since LeBron James bolted for Miami in 2010. What's worse, the organization appears to have blown it in 2013, when they took Anthony Bennett (4.2 points, 3.0 rebounds as a rookie) No. 1 overall.
They have to get it right this time. And doing so might involve trading the pick, if that means Cleveland can get someone like Minnesota's Kevin Love in return.
Cavs general manager David Griffin, as quoted by Schmitt Boyer, won't rule out any scenario:
"We're going to try to get radically better much quicker. We really feel like there's a sense of urgency about improving our team as a whole. We're going to look for the right fit and we're very open-minded about what that means.''
The strategy behind trading the pick for a proven NBA vet would be to make the roster more attractive to James, who could opt to leave Miami as a free agent if he so desires.
Love would be Cleveland's top choice — meaning Minnesota could be a destination for Wiggins or Embiid.
But Schmitt Boyer identified some other big-name NBA big men Cleveland should try to trade for in Memphis, Miami and Portland. So who knows what the Cavs will end up doing with the pick. They certainly have options.
If Cleveland can't find a deal that makes sense, or just decides to keep the top pick, who should they draft?
The Plain Dealer's Jodie Valade addressed that question, and provided some more insight from Griffin:
"I think it's not necessarily limited to three names that are more highly hyped. We've got to do a more thorough evaluation of all of the guys to know that we're not doing something too quickly. When you're looking at the guys who have all the hype they have that because of their upside and athleticism."
That sounds like crazy talk. And Griffin might not have even meant what he said.
Let's assume Cleveland doesn't pick a wild card again at No. 1. Valade wrote that Wiggins would become the Cavs' third Canadian, joining Bennett and Tristan Thompson. Plus, the high-flying KU product would fill "the glaring need they've had at small forward for four years," since LeBron left.
As for Embiid, she said the 7-footer is "still developing, which is always intriguing for teams."
In the Plain-Dealer's online poll, more than 50% of Cavs fans wanted the team to take Wiggins. Embiid was third, behind Parker, with about 22% of the votes.
The Bucks (15-67) had the league's worst record in the 2013-14 season, thereby obtaining the best odds to win the draft lottery. But they clearly didn't have the luck of Cleveland (33-49).
Although speculation began even before the lottery that certain agents might try to somehow manipulate pre-draft interactions with Milwaukee in order to deter the team from drafting their clients, Bucks co-owner Wesley Edens doesn't think they will be so unlucky on that front.
The Journal Sentinel's Charles F. Gardner spoke with Edens about how the organization plans to work with the top prospects.
"I think they'll all want to work out for Milwaukee. It's a great place to be; it's a great place to play. At the end I think we'll get the player that the organization really wants."
The Milwaukee newspaper identified five potential picks for the Bucks at No. 2 — Embiid, Wiggins, Parker, Kentucky's Julius Randle and Dante Exum, of Australia — and examined how each player might fit in with the pieces already in place.
• Journal Sentinel on Embiid:
"… could be a once-in-a-generation center and would immediately bolster the front court. With Embiid at center, the Bucks could consider using Larry Sanders at power forward. Adding Embiid, though, might mean that Milwaukee will want to trade one of its current forwards or centers."
• Journal Sentinel on Wiggins:
"The addition of Wiggins would give the Bucks yet another athletic wing player as well as a player who can score. Some of Milwaukee's wing players struggled with man-to-man defense last year and Wiggins would shore up the Bucks on that end."
Unlike Cleveland, it seems Milwaukee isn't floating the idea of moving its top pick. The Journal Sentiel's Charles F. Gardner interviewed Milwaukee general manager John Hammond, who appears more interested in a young player who can grow with the rebuilding franchise.
"This is where we want to be, to be honest with you. We want to be in a position where we can start building this, and I think we need to build it through the draft."
At this point, it seems like Philadelphia is the least likely destination for Wiggins or Embiid among the franchises with the top three picks.
Philly.com's first mock draft doesn't expect either to be around when the Sixers pick at No. 3.
Even so, The Inquirer's Keith Pompey wrote than one anonymous agent thinks Wiggins will work out for the Sixers, as well as the Cavs and Bucks — but not for any other teams.
Pompey also spoke with Philadelphia general manager Sam Hinkie, who doesn't think the organization will have to worry about top players being uninterested in the franchise.
"I suspect from our discussions thus far that most of the top players in this draft find Philadelphia an attractive place because they want to be in a place where they'll have opportunity. They want to play in a big market and recognize what a platform it is to play in Philadelphia."
Inquirer sports columnist Bob Ford wrote about a scenario in which Wiggins and Parker are off the board when it's time for the 76ers to pick.
Surprisingly, he thought the organization might trade the pick to a team that covets Embiid:
Since the Sixers appear to be building their frontcourt around Nerlens Noel and have a playing-style philosophy that doesn't include two 7-footers in the starting lineup, they could find themselves in a powerful spot.
The Sixers picked Noel sixth in 2013. He missed the entire season due to a knee injury. For some reason, people in Philadelphia think Noel's presence means the Sixers should avoid Embiid. Michael Kaskey-Blomain wrote about that subject on philly.com.
We'll have to wait and see if the team's front office feels the same way — if the Sixers even get a chance at the Cameroon native who looks the part of a future all-star.
Philly.com also posted a photo gallery that included how each of the draft's top 10 prospects would fit in with the 76ers. Again, they were down on Embiid. Wiggins, on the other hand...
He has been prone to turning over the ball and that could be the case in a high-volume offense like Brett Brown’s. However, Wiggins probably would be the most valuable asset to acquire given Brown’s speedy and transition-heavy offense.
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.
Late Tuesday night, former Kansas University big man Joel Embiid took to Twitter to do a little unofficial recruiting for the program that made him a star during the 2013-14 season.
Embiid, who declared for this year's NBA Draft last month after just one season as a Jayhawk, shared a video on his account that he said was the final thing that made him pick KU during his own recruiting process.
Here's a quick look at that video, along with Embiid's Tweets.
Embiid and fellow one-and-done freshman Andrew Wiggins are busy preparing for the June 26 NBA Draft in New York City. Both already have agents and are going through individual workouts while preparing for the NBA Draft Combine and team workouts.
A few days earlier, Embiid used another social media outlet, Instagram, to show his love for the KU program.
The next couple of months figure to be a whirlwind of basketball workouts and anticipation for Kansas University freshmen Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins — both of whom opted to leave Bill Self's men's basketball program after one year to enter the NBA Draft.
Between now and June 26, the night of the draft, rumors will fly about each player's stock, which teams like one of them, which teams don't and why one or the other is moving up or down the draft board in a particular front office. That's the life of a top NBA Draft pick, and both Embiid and Wiggins could be off the board by the time the first three selections are made.
As it stands right now, we don't know the order of the first 14 picks. All we know are the franchises who missed the playoffs, and now find themselves in the running for the No. 1 overall pick.
Here are the lottery teams (or the teams that previously traded for a given lottery team's first-round pick) and their odds of obtaining a top-three pick via the lottery, courtesy of Tankathon.com:
Los Angeles Lakers (21.5%)
Philadelphia [from New Orleans] (4.0%)
Orlando [from New York] (2.5%)
The order will be unveiled live on television (probably before a playoff game) at the NBA Draft Lottery on May 20. So we'll have to wait until then to really start pondering which teams will snag Embiid and Wiggins.
In the meantime, we can examine some of the mock drafts floating around online to get early projections. These are more big boards or power rankings when it comes to the lottery at this point, but they still provide some insight.
Fr., C, 7-foot, 250 pounds; from Yaounde, Cameroon
Stock assessment: Self said he thought Embiid would be a potential No. 1 pick when he left Kansas — he just didn't know it would be this year. It only took 28 games, and averages of 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks for NBA scouts to fall in love with KU's freshman 7-footer. Embiid, still relatively new to the game of basketball, developed so quickly in Lawrence, it seems crazy to think his growth won't continue at the next level. Who knows? He could be a once-in-a-generation franchise center.
Average mock draft position: 2nd
Current high: 1st — NBADraft.net
Current low: 4th — MyNBADraft.com
Potential for movement: You can't do any better than No. 1 in the NBA Draft, and Embiid already is projected as the top pick in one mock. If he slips, it certainly won't be far. With his height, footwork, touch and ability to protect the rim, count on Embiid remaining a hot commodity in the weeks leading up to the draft.
In a column for Forbes.com, Mark Heisler wrote that one "dream" scenario for the Lakers would be "hitting the lottery for a healthy Joel Embiid." If one of the league's most dominant franchises is interested in rebuilding with Embiid, it's safe to assume most teams would hold a similar opinion.
The only wild card that could make some front office types less bullish on Embiid is the stress fracture he suffered in his back this past season, which cost him games. But every NBA team has doctors who can assess for themselves what, if anything, that injury has to do with his future.
Fr., G/F, 6-foot-8, 200 pounds; from Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Stock assessment: Wiggins arrived at Kansas as a known one-and-done commodity who many pegged as the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft before he ever played a college game. Though he had his ups and downs in a KU uniform, Wiggins did little to hurt his reputation. Playing in all 35 games, the freshman showed off his length, hops and potential as a legit perimeter defender, all while averaging 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds and hitting 44.8% of his field goals. NBA execs love potential, and Wiggins, who hit 43 three-pointers, too, certainly has that.
Average mock draft position: 2nd
Current low: 3rd — HoopsHype.com
Potential for movement: Like Embiid, Wiggins could very well go No. 1 overall. In that sense, in theory, there is nowhere to go but down. However, it would take something catastrophic, such as an injury, for the explosive young swingman to drop out of the top three or four picks.
If a GM or front office decision-maker falls in love with Embiid or Duke's Jabari Parker, instead of Wiggins, it could come from Wiggins never turning himself into KU's alpha dog during his one season in Lawrence.
In an NESN.com post highlighting some of the questions around this year's draft, the question is posed: Does Andrew Wiggins have the will to win?
Now, those who saw Wiggins try to rally the Jayhawks from huge deficits at Florida and West Virginia probably wouldn't ask that question — he scored 26 in Gainesville and 41 in Morgantown. But that and similar inquiries come up, in part, because Wiggins scored just four points in KU's NCAA Tournament loss to Stanford.
Mock it up
More than three weeks remain until a myriad of ping pong balls determine the order of the NBA Draft. Until that happens, you can go play out different possibilities with ESPN.com's mock draft tool and the help of ESPN Insider Chad Ford.
To give you a sense of the broad range of conceivable selections, I played it three times and got a different outcome for the lottery-bound Jayhawks each time.
Scenario No. 1: Sacramento (4.3% chance to win lottery) hits the jackpot and takes Embiid with the first pick. Boston snatches up Wiggins with the second pick.
Scenario No. 2: Utah (10.4% chance) wins the first pick, and passes on KU's players, opting instead for Parker. Milwaukee takes Wiggins second, and Philadelphia drafts Embiid third.
Scenario No. 3: Milwaukee (25% chance, best odds in the lottery) is rewarded for its awful season and picks Wiggins first overall. Philadelphia takes Parker second, and Embiid falls into Cleveland's lap with the third pick.
— Draft sites used for the player positioning portion of this blog include: NBADraft.net, MyNBADraft.com, DraftExpress.com, HoopsHype.com and DraftSite.com.
Hey, did you hear Kansas University freshman center Joel Embiid is entering the NBA Draft?
You might have seen something about that in the past 24 hours here at
The 7-footer's announcement wasn't just a big deal in Lawrence, though. His decision to leave KU will impact the landscape of college basketball next season and the shape of some NBA franchise for years to come.
• The folks who keep up with NBA prospects love Embiid.
Look no farther than Embiid's profile page at DraftExpress.com, where you can find his stats, measurements and more. And the details on the 7-footer and predictions on his future in the NBA will keep piling up in the weeks leading up to the June 26 draft.
• ESPN's Jeff Goodman reported missing the last six games of KU's season likely won't impact Embiid's draft status.
Multiple NBA executives believe Embiid still has a chance to go first overall, but it's dependent on the medical testing that comes back at the Chicago predraft camp and also when he visits teams.
Goodman says Duke's Jabari Parker, if he indeed declares for the draft, should join Embiid and his KU teammate, Andrew Wiggins, as the draft's top-three picks.
• Seth Davis, of CBS and SI.com fame, still thinks Kansas will enter the 2014-15 season as a top-10 team. Number six to be exact — despite the exits of Wiggins and Embiid.
Ahead of KU, Davis has: No. 1 Duke, No. 2 Wisconsin, No. 3 Arizona, No. 4 Villanova and No. 5 North Carolina.
• Embiid's teammates and coaches took to social media to congratulate the young big man on his declaration.
Assistant coach Jerrance Howard posted his message on Instagram: "Congratulations to @joel_embiid for entering the 2014 NBA draft. Him and @22wiggins are two of the nicest guys I've ever coached. I know nobody will miss them more than Jay Jay. Rock Chalk!"
Meanwhile, Selden went ahead and made his prediction for where his teammates will be selected in the NBA Draft.
Landen Lucas gave his fellow big man a hard time about one of the legends surrounding his days back in Cameroon.
Plus, to the surprise of no one, not long after Embiid made his decision official, incoming KU freshman big man Cliff Alexander began recruiting Myles Turner.
So, about that Kansas University basketball
run trip-up in the NCAA Tournament…
Once the Jayhawks disposed of would-be Cinderella Eastern Kentucky, and New Mexico faltered against Stanford in St. Louis, most people who keep up with KU hoops figured: Next stop, Memphis.
Instead of forging on to the Sweet 16, though, the Jayhawks couldn't cut through the trees on Stanford's front line in a 60-57, season-ending loss in the round of 32.
Kansas, the No. 2 seed, seemed like the obvious choice to advance against this No. 10 seed. So one would assume the national college hoops pundits would bash KU for not taking care of business. That didn't happen on a large scale, though.
It must be because Kansas didn't lose to a VCU, Northern Iowa, Bradley or Bucknell that no one freaked out about the loss on a national level. One power conference team knocking off another doesn't draw the attention of a Southwest Who University beating a blue blood.
With that in mind, here are some of the national observations on what proved to be the final game of the 2013-14 KU basketball season.
• Seth Davis, of CBS and Sports Illustrated fame, had to include KU's performance against Stanford in his piece on the NCAA Tournament defying convention.
Davis included a couple of thoughts on Kansas:
"Kansas doesn't need me to make excuses for them, but without Joel Embiid, the Jayhawks are just another good team."
"That game against Stanford was a great example of why we use the word "matchups" so much when analyzing the NCAA tournament. There are many teams that are as good if not better than Stanford that would have provided a more comfortable matchup for Kansas."
• SI.com had at least one reporter from every tournament site this past weekend write about what he or she learned in the round of 32.
Joan Niesen sat courtside to report on Sunday's games in St. Louis.
Like many who watched Kansas vs. Stanford, Niesen remarked on the unspectacular fashion with which the Cardinal eliminated one of the tournament's perceived favorites:
"In fact, not much that Stanford did was anything approaching pretty, but it was methodical in its approach, exploiting Kansas’ weaknesses and shutting down Andrew Wiggins (four points on 1-of-6 shooting), which proved to be just enough."
• Yahoo's Jeff Eisenberg offered his best and worst of the opening weekend. Guess which category KU landed in.
Eisenberg picked Wiggins as his "player who shrank in the spotlight."
"Stanford's array of zone defenses turned Andrew Wiggins into the world's most athletic spot-up shooter. The freshman phenom and potential No. 1 pick in this June's NBA draft attempted only six shots and sank only one of them in Kansas' stunning 60-57 loss to the 10th-seeded Cardinal in the round of 32."
• Over at NBCsports.com, a few writers listed the NCAA Tournament's biggest surprises heading into the Sweet 16.
Terrence Payne said the bottom half of the South Region — Stanford vs. Dayton in the Sweet 16 — is the biggest surprise of the NCAA tournament so far.
Added Scott Phillips:
"I fully believed that Kansas was susceptible to a Round of 32 loss without Joel Embiid — why can’t I quit you, New Mexico? — but I never expected Stanford to be the team to do it."
• BleacherReport.com college basketball writer Jason King appeared on ESPN's Olbermann to discuss KU freshman center Joel Embiid, and whether he will play another game in a Kansas uniform.
In King's opinion, Embiid probably needs to go ahead and enter the NBA draft, because he will likely be a top-three pick.
King also weighed in on Wiggins' difficult ending to his one-and-done KU career, saying the freshman's off afternoon against Stanford won't hurt his draft status.
Don't know if anyone spotted this in the moments that followed KU's loss to Stanford, but one Cardinal fan apparently tried to storm the court.
(Disclaimer: Not sure one person qualifies as a storm.)
That doesn't really fly in the NCAA Tournament, FYI.
Also, Davis fielded some KU-related questions on Twitter after the Jayhawks' season ended.
It might be Championship Week, with NCAA Tournament berths getting handed out on a daily basis, but the eyes of the college basketball world turned toward Lawrence, Kansas, Monday night with Bill Self's announcement that Kansas University freshman center Joel Embiid will not only miss the Big 12 Tournament due to a stress fracture in his back, but also will likely miss the first weekend of the Big Dance.
How soon will Embiid be able to return? How does his absence impact KU's seeding? Should the center return at all this season? That and more were discussed in the minutes and hours that followed the news.
• In Andy Katz's 3-point shot video Tuesday for ESPN.com, the national writer said Kansas will be discussed intently by the NCAA Tournament selection committee, due to the mystery surrounding Embiid's availability for the championship event.
• ESPN.com's Myron Medcalf wrote Embiid shouldn't worry about returning to the floor to finish his freshman season at Kansas.
Rest and rehab, prior to this year's NBA draft, was the route Medcalf suggested.
Embiid’s return would certainly help one entity: Kansas. But it could do more harm to the fragile back of a young man who won’t last long in next summer’s NBA draft if he enters it.
• Kansas isn't the only team that had serious March Madness aspirations altered in one way or another due to the loss of a key member of its lineup this season.
Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News offers a look at some other prominent long-term injuries and how each program has adjusted.
He examines crucial setbacks suffered by players at Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Pitt and Syracuse.
Obviously, the college hoops social media scene buzzed Monday night with the news of Embiid's stress fracture. Below are some of the highlights.
Big 12 buzz
• CBSsports.com's Gary Parrish wrote Self deserved to be the Big 12 Coach of the Year.
Parrish thought Rick Barnes of Texas and Lon Kruger of Oklahoma both were strong choices, but he claimed Self shouldn't be discredited just because his team wins the league every season — at least for the past decade.
But the fact that Self makes it look easy doesn't mean that it is, you know, easy, and I'll stand by that statement forever unless you can hit me with a long list of coaches who have A) won 10 consecutive league titles, or B) done it three times without a single returning starter.
• Basketball mathematics guru Ken Pomeroy says Kansas has a 43% chance of winning the Big 12 Tournament.
The projections, Pomeroy admits, come with a disclaimer: the numbers don't take into account the absence of Embiid.
Still, Pomeroy thinks KU is the most likely tournament champion, and he provides the chances each Big 12 program has to each each round of the tournament. Here are the percentages he gives each team to win the championship:
Iowa State, 10.2%
Oklahoma State, 7.5%
Kansas State, 5%
West Virginia, 4%
Texas Tech, 0.4%
Check out Pomeroy's explanation of each team's chances to win at kenpom.com.