Saturday, November 3, 2012

KU basketball recruit Joel Embiid to narrow list next week


Cameroon basketball sensation Joel Embiid, a 7-foot, 220-pound senior center from Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., is making an official recruiting visit to Marquette this weekend.

It marks the fifth — and final — visit for Embiid, a late-bloomer who is currently unranked, but expected to wind up somewhere in the Top 50.

Embiid, who was in Lawrence for the Oct. 12 Late Night in the Phog, has also visited Florida, Texas and Virginia.

Fellow Cameroon native Luc Mbah a Moute of the Milwaukee Bucks has been assisting Embiid in the recruiting process.

“It’s really tight between those schools,” Mbah a Moute told the Racine Journal-Times. Embiid is new to the workings of major-college basketball. He took up the sport less than two years ago.

“We’re going to narrow it down to three schools next week,” Mbah a Moute told the Journal-Times. “We’ll be looking for an opportunity to play a lot right away. He hasn’t played that long and needs to continue his development. And, of course, we’re going to look at academics and what these schools can offer him.”

Embiid will major in business, the Journal-Times reported.

DeCourcy’s view: Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News, who was a panelist at Bill Self’s “A Courtside View” on Thursday night at Crown Toyota, wrote a piece about the Jayhawks on Friday.

“KU is very good. The Jayhawks have an abundance of players who can score and will develop into another of coach Bill Self’s typically stingy defensive teams. It is not likely to be a No. 1 seed, though that’s not impossible, but Kansas will be a fixture in the top 10,” DeCourcy wrote.

Kabongo status unknown: Texas is awaiting word from the NCAA on the fate of sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo, who is under investigation by the NCAA. The Austin American-Statesman said the organization “is trying to determine whether a pro agent paid for his trip to Cleveland last spring. That would constitute an NCAA violation and could compromise Kabongo’s eligibility.”

Word is expected in time for the Nov. 9 season-opener versus Fresno State.

Freshman Javan Felix, 5-11 from New Orleans, will likely start at the point if preseason All-Big 12 pick Kabongo is ruled out.

“Javan’s going to shock the country,” UT’s Sheldon McClellan told the American-Statesman.

Coach Rick Barnes told ESPN: “Playing the ‘what-if’ game, we expect what can go wrong will go wrong. We actually have that attitude and have tried to develop more than one point guard. That’s why we wanted a style of basketball where if someone goes down, we don’t have to make that big of an adjustment. We are always constantly developing guys. It is what it is. It’s out of our hands, and out of his hands.”


Miguel Colón 9 years, 11 months ago

Come on Joel, we will love to have you at KU!

RJ King 9 years, 10 months ago

Marquette just got a commitment from a really good SG. Class of 2012 is shaping up to be very good. They haven't signed a good big in 2-3 years. Embiid would likely receive significant minutes as a freshman.

Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 11 months ago

Hey Mr. Embiid,

I think you would love playing for Bill Self, and Jayhawk Nation would love to have you polish your game at the best possible place to play the college game, the incredible Allen Field House.

Rock Chalk, Joel Hawks!!!

Mark Lindrud 9 years, 11 months ago

We've got depth everywhere and another center would make us deep for quite awhile in the post. Whomever said Self has issues recruiting is being foolish. We were underrated last year and went to the title game. We are strong, we are Jayhawks, never lose faith.

cobrastang06 9 years, 11 months ago

Got to echo the word stated above. As was brought up on the board a few weeks ago. Where else in the country could a big man make a transition to elite nba prospect. I know i m biased. But this guys got HCBS project written all over him.

KULA 9 years, 11 months ago

"We’ll be looking for an opportunity to play a lot right away." That doesn't bode well for Kansas and Bill Self.

Gary Wirsig 9 years, 11 months ago

Well, on the other hand he could play a practice.

hawk316 9 years, 10 months ago

KULA, I had the same reaction. My impression is that Coach Self does not promise playing time, but is clear that minutes on the court must be earned. Some recruits, I imagine, don't want to hear that. Let's hope Joel recognizes a fabulous opportunity to grow under excellent coaching in a magnificent basketball environment.

utahjayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

I love how we've gotten to the point where a kid that has played ball two years can more or less demand playing I get that he's a footer but come on.

Michael Johnson 9 years, 11 months ago

only been playing a couple of years? sounds like too big a project to me. the game from lucas the other night, makes me think we don't need this guy. if he chooses kansas though, i'll welcome him aboard.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 10 months ago

I'd like us to land Aaron Gordon..That would be one hell of a backcourt.

mojayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Coach Self develops players like no other. If I'm a Big and need to develop. I go to KU, hands down.

Kent Wells 9 years, 11 months ago

It will be interesting to see the effect of the departure of D-Man from the staff. Because to be honest, when I read your post, I kinda thought to myself that Coach Manning had more to do with the player development than Coach Self, at least when it came to the bigs.... I guess we will have to wait and see on that one...

Oh, and a word to all the sexually frustrated English teachers out there that love to rip apart their fellow Jayhawk fans.... I am not saying that Coach Self isn't an awesome coach. Nowhere in that paragraph does it say that. I just happen to be a really big Danny Manning fan and think he really developed a lot of our tall kids into something special....

Dan Cook 9 years, 10 months ago

Sure, Danny deserves a chunk of the credit, but not as much as everyone always gave him. You don't have to be a big man to be a big man coach. Coach Self and Coach Roberts are more than capable of "coaching" anyone at any position. I look at it as if the overall approach to coaching at KU is more responsible for the development of our players than any one assistant coach.

Mike Acosta 9 years, 11 months ago

You want to play pro ball, play for KU me boy!

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 11 months ago

With Withey leaving for the NBA, Embiid has to be thinking that KU is THE logical choice for some immediate playing time at the five.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 10 months ago

Could have used that line on Willie McCaully.

Dan Cook 9 years, 10 months ago

Uh, Willie Cauley was NEVER coming to KU. Hasn't that been explained enough here? He's also not a true 5, as Embiid is. I agree with jayhawkinATL that stepping into a Withey role has to be appealing to the Embiid camp. It sure should be. There is no way Coach Self wants to go into next season with only Landon Lucas as a true center. Give me those long arms of Joel Embiid over any other recruit -- except Randle, of course.

REHawk 9 years, 11 months ago

JoJo would appear to be a perfect fit for KU's "biggest" need next season, a warrior at the 5 position. That said, he had best be prepared to engage in a huge battle for starting minutes, as the Bill Self system involves intensity of focus and determination to accompany natural size and skill. In 2013-14 the Jayhawks look to be tremendously talented and/or experienced at positions 1-4, with the 5 position still up for grabs after the departure of Jeff Withey. An ambitious tall recruit with the upside of Joel Embiid just might find himself in the most perfect of all possible situations at the University of Kansas for 3 or 4 seasons of highly televised and supremely well coached winning basketball. Over time, Andrea Hudy and Co. would turn that 7' 220 pound frame into an absolute monster.

Stan Unruh 9 years, 11 months ago

Hope Milwaukee has a blizzard this weekend. KU has just what Embiid needs for basketball and business.

bradynsdad 9 years, 11 months ago

Wanting to play immediately might be a problem. Peters is the type of banger self likes, Ellis will only get better, traylor will be in his 3rd year in selfs system, and and that's assuming Lucas develops slow and we don't land randle. Either way I see KU being even more dominate the next 2 to 3 years.

Robert Brock 9 years, 11 months ago

I would like to see the Hawks land both Randle and Embiid. Randle, the one-and-done, would play while Embiid, the total project, sits on the pine and takes notes. Embiid would be in Lawrence for four years and would develop into a solid defender by his fourth year.

Dan Cook 9 years, 10 months ago

Complete agreement with Brock that the perfect completion to our recruiting class is Randle and Embiid. I don't think Embiid would be sitting his entire freshman season, however. I think by mid-season he's better defensively than everyone on our current roster that I would consider a "big", which would mean anyone that can play the 5. I don't consider Perry capable of that, as an example. I think coach would find opportunities for Joel that would fit perfectly with Randle and Ellis and whichever other "big" fills that rotation.

flyingfinn 9 years, 11 months ago

Yes we need another footer to replace Withy

Miguel Colón 9 years, 11 months ago

Question, do we have enough room for Embiid and another person?

Boouk 9 years, 11 months ago

I think DeCourcy will end up wrong about KU not being a 1 seed. KU might not be a top 4 team, but its kind of hard for me to see them losing more than 4 times in the regular season. They'll most likely lose only 1 or 2 non-conference games and 2 or 3 conference games.

Zstegs 9 years, 10 months ago

If they're looking for academics too and he wants to be a business major, this would be a good fit.

mikehawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Read between the lines. This guy is going to Marquette.

Vernon Riggs 9 years, 10 months ago

When the Marquette Asst Coach had a in-home visit with Joel, all he could talk about was the ESPN's show 30 for 30, No Place Like Home that played the night before. He went to Late Night. He is a strong Kansas Lean.

jdhawk1988 9 years, 10 months ago

7' 220lbs let me introduce you to Hudy. He would be 245 by the time he left and if you want to focus on development most of that happens at practice and with our depth we would have to be the best for that.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

Sad to hear Joel Embiid appears to be marching to Mbah a Moute's cadence increasingly.

Mbah a Moute makes clear Embiid needs a lot of PT to come to a school.

Well, I've got news for Joel and Mbah a Moute.

Unless The Designer jumps to Sternville, or Zach Peters cuff means he is done in basketball, KU has a solid three man rotation coming back next season.

The Designer is going to be a lottery pick after next season.

Peters is going to be a very serious banger with a nice touch next season, if the cuff heals.

And Landen Lucas is going to be very, very good next season. He showed me late in one exhibition game reason to be very optimistic about what he will become by the middle of next season. We've got another Kieff on our hands. His junior season he will really blossum.

That leaves a 4th spot for a guy who has played the game one season, two by April.

It would be a great spot for Embiid to mature for a season in, before taking over a starting role his sophomore year. If he matured fast, he would get all the minutes he wanted. And if he struggled, it would be no problem at all. Self could afford to bring him along slowly.

It is what would be best for Embiid's development. At KU, Embiid would be guarantied the kind of stability, coaching, weight training, skill development and "right way" types that would ensure Embiid would have a long and fabulously prosperous NBA career, instead of just the fastest path to Sternville.

Embiid could get pretty much the same thing at Florida with Donovan, but I doubt that Florida will have Wayne Selden, Brannen Green and Conner Frankamp coming in to go with BenMac, The Designer and the rest.

But Mbah a Moute wants the fast path. Lots of minutes quick.

No one is higher on Embiid than me. But it seems unlikely that Embiid would be able to start for KU next season, unless The Designer goes pro, and either Zach quits the game for injury reasons, or Lucas red shirts. Lucas will be too good by next season to red shirt for a green project like Embiid.

Virginia? Tony Bennett? Fuggedaboutit.

I want Embiid here at KU, regardless of who else we land. Embiid is special, but special with a longer development time. It is where he belongs and where he can become the next Olajuwan.

But Mbah a Moute needs to stop thinking about how quick the money comes, and start thinking instead about how much money could come, if Embiid gets brought along correctly.

And I'm only talking about one year of limited minutes and seasoning before Embiid likely becomes the best center in D1 and a top Five lottery pick.

Luke, don't be a prisoner of your own experience with Ben Fouland. KU's coaching staff really can develop players. Not everyone is like Fouland and Calipari. Not everyone just plays'em out of the box, and lets them find their own way to get better. Playing for Self and KU is a fabulous fit for Embiid's need to develop.

Let it happen, Luke.

Vernon Riggs 9 years, 10 months ago

How high is his ceiling if he plays against those three bigs everyday in practice?

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

Following up on jaybate's on-point comments above .. perhaps I'm being a bit too simplistic here, but should the only concern for Embiid and his family/friends be, "which program is going to craft me into 1) a first round pick, 2) a lottery pick, and 3) a player that has a substantial NBA career" .. in that order?

Business school? Exercise and Fitness BGS? Does it matter? Should it matter?

But let's assume it does.

Think about this. If business school is really a concern, then he will certainly be here for 4 years, and maybe 5 for his MBA (not NBA). If you don't stay four years, who cares, right? Chances of that may be low. But from a logical standpoint .. if the business school thing (or academics) really means squat, what school will put you in the position after 4 years of that important education to be most developed for the NBA? History says Kansas. But if you are in it for 4 years, why is immediate playing time a concern?

The statement "We’ll be looking for an opportunity to play a lot right away" is really contrary to the goal of NBA development (the three points above) and "academics" or "business school." Playing right away has zero to do with the NBA goal. Development is the word -- 1st round pick, lottery pick, extended career. And development should focus on, in progression, those goals. Right? And playing right away shouldn't matter if you're in it for four years and a business scool education. Right?

Either way, playing right away simply does not matter -- whether the NBA is the primary focus, or the education is the primary focus (with the NBA being the back up). If you don't stay 4 years, then you're presumably in the proper NBA position. If you stay 4 years, you have your education and you are at the school best known for the development of its big men over a full college career. Again, immediate playing time doesn't matter. Unless you are missing the point.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 10 months ago

Those are great points HEM, if he's truly concerned about a degree, early PT should not be a huge factor. It's possible that LM's experience at UCLA leads him to believe that you need to play a lot in games to grow and gain experience. Perhaps the coaching didn't go as far for the bench players at UCLA (don't remember when all he was there and who he was practicing against either). In fact going off what you've said, which is pretty logical, it may be better for Embiid's overall confidence and development to not be depended on so heavily early in his college career.

RJ King 9 years, 10 months ago

Brandon Rush to have surgery for torn ACL. Out for season after only two games.

Damn. Take care little Warrior.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

Just devastating news. I thought maybe he had turned the corner. :-(

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 10 months ago

On the other article about the panelists I thought KansasComet overreacted to any disrespect from the panel members. With this quote from DeCourcy I'd have to agree with him. I guess it depends on how you view the phrase "not likely" when he refers to a 1 seed. Granted I don't care if it's a 1 or a 2 as long as it's in Arlington, but he's basically talking out of both sides of his mouth. "Oh we didn't rank you guys high enough...but we aren't off by much" Well gee, so basically you don't know where you'd rank KU. If "not likely" means less than a 50% chance of being a 1 seed, I'm not sure any particular team is "likely" to be a 1 seed. I don't know for sure what the odds are, but that'd be like only offering even odds on say IU to win the B1G outright. Sure they are the favorites, but does that mean it's a 50/50 proposition? But I'd go so far as to say the words "not likely" mean it's a bit of a longshot for KU to end up a 1 seed. That's kind of ridiculous, if you think they're a top10 team it's not a longshot to end up with a 1, especially when you're expected to win the Big12 conference outright. I would say UNC or Duke might be longshots, or MSU, Gonzaga, Misery, UF, but KU is right in the hunt with UK, UofL, IU, NCSt, OSU, Michigan and there aren't going to be 3 #1 seeds from the B1G. I'd give KU a solid 30% shot at ending up a 1 seed, so if you're a physicist/statistician you'd say low probability, in this context "not likely" is way off base.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 10 months ago

The way Luc Mbah a Moute spoke it's hard to imagine Embiid not going to Marquette. Seems like they've got a great business school, it's in Milwaukee and playing time is most likely available immediately. I just hope if he steers him that way it isn't from his own power trip in mentoring the kid. He obviously played at a national power, and I'm certain it would be a huge boost to Joel's play to go to a school like KU. Don't know how many NBA big men have come out of Marquette.

buckleyhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Exactly...talking purely business schools, KU unfortunately is at best 3rd and at worst 5th on that list. Couple that with potential PT...KU is probably not the place for him.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 10 months ago

I think based on HEM's points and Marquette being left in a pitiful BE that is getting weaker while the A10 is actually getting stronger overall swapping the teams they did, KU still has a good chance.

Vernon Riggs 9 years, 10 months ago

I am sure other Coaches have told Embiid that it is most likely that Marquette will have a new coach by the time he puts on a Marquette uniform. There is a major issues between the University's Prez and the AD on one side and Buzz Williams and his staff on the other side. Buzz will NOT be Head Coach next year.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

Are you serious, lonestar? You must be. You're pretty darned reliable.

Man, oh, man, first Gillispie gets run at UK.

Then Norm Roberts at St. Johns.

The Gillispie again at TTech.

Now Buzz, Gillispie's asistant at TAM, at Marquette?

Buzz has won 20 plus every year at Marquette.

They play very good Okie Ball up there.

They were second in a very tough Big East last year and he took them to the Sweet 16! His record at Marquette is 96-44.

Does this smell like "ShoeCo-Summer Game-Agency Complex" stuff again?

What's up?

What kind of shoes does Marquette wear?

Is their contract just about up?

What is the problem between Buzz and his bosses?

Vernon Riggs 9 years, 10 months ago

I agree that Buzz is a good coach. He is on the short list of every big-time job that comes open. He will accept one next year. Don't know what set off Jaybate. Usually you are picking on freshmen. Tell me how White can't play defense and that he is transfering again. That was so insightful.

Curtis Stutz 9 years, 10 months ago

I would hope the coaching change would only be due to Buzz finding a better gig in a conference that hasn't fallen apart, 'cause it'd be crazy for Marquette to actually want to get rid of him.

okiedave 9 years, 10 months ago

Texas' basketball mantra -- "...What can go wrong, will go wrong" History pretty much establishes that.

Michael Bennett 9 years, 10 months ago

Sorry if I missed something, but who is "The Designer", who Jaybate kept mentioning?

Michael Bennett 9 years, 10 months ago

Before my time, I guess. If his name was Armani or something, that'd be cooler

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