Sunday, April 14, 2013

KU signee Joel Embiid praised for defense at Jordan Classic

Joel Embiid. ( contributed photo)

Joel Embiid. ( contributed photo)


Future Kansas University basketball center Joel Embiid blocked a game-high five shots to help the West to a 102-98 victory over the East in Saturday’s Jordan Brand Classic in Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Embiid, a 7-footer from Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., who is originally from Cameroon, had two rejections of Kentucky-bound Julius Randle, who earned co-Jordan Brand Classic MVP honors by scoring 19 points with seven rebounds. The West’s Jabari Parker, who is headed to Duke, was co-MVP with 16 points and seven boards.

Embiid, who had seven rebounds, scored four points in 19 minutes. He hit one of six shots and two of four free throws.

“I go straight up and block the shot. That’s how I do it,” Embiid said during the ESPN2 telecast. Before the game, he tweeted: “I’m in mode dwight howard for this game.”

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports Network tweeted this about Embiid during the game: “Raw offensively but alters shots at will on D. Has all the tools to be a big time center. Will start for Kansas next year.”

KU signee Wayne Selden of the East had zero points off 0-of-4 shooting in 15 minutes. The 6-5 shooting guard from Tilton (N.H.) School had three rebounds, two assists, four turnovers and one steal.

“Wayne Selden looks like an outside linebacker playing basketball. Built like a blacksmith. Impact wing for Bill Self and Kansas,” tweeted Rothstein of CBS.

Andrew Wiggins, the country’s No. 1 prospect, scored 19 points off 8-of-13 shooting for the East. Wiggins has a final list of KU, Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida State.

“No clue,” he said, when asked his time frame for making a decision during the telecast. “I don’t mind it,” he added of being the last marquee player to choose a school. “It keeps everybody on their feet.”

Embiid in Nike game: Embiid has been added to the international team roster for the Nike Hoop Summit, set for 6 p.m., April 20, at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.

Embiid reported the news on his Twitter account at the Jordan Classic. Embiid, who is ranked No. 37 nationally by, will be a teammate of Wiggins, who is from Canada. The international team will play a U.S. team that includes future Kentucky players Randle, Aaron and Andrew Harrison, plus Arizona’s Aaron Gordon, Duke’s Parker and others.

“Reports out of the Jordan Game on Joel Embiid are glowing. Did so well he was added to International Nike Hoop Summit team,” wrote recruiting analyst Dave Telep of ESPN.

Elijah’s team wins title: Elijah Johnson’s K&D; Roundscaping team defeated Travis Releford’s Roger Brown Restaurant squad, 87-78, in Saturday’s finals of the Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational for NBA prospects.

Johnson scored five points off 2-of-7 shooting (1-3 from three) with six turnovers, four assists and four steals in 30 minutes. Releford had two points off 1-of-5 shooting (0-2 from three) with two turnovers and a steal in 28 minutes.

Self honored: KU coach Bill Self received the John R. Wooden Award Legends of Coaching honor at the annual Wooden Award Gala on Friday night in Los Angeles. Self was officially named the recipient of the accolade last October. He accepted the trophy at the gala honoring men’s and women’s college and high school Wooden Award winners.

Self has led KU to nine consecutive Big 12 regular-season titles and six league tournament championships in his 10 seasons. He has one national title and one NCAA runner-up finish. His KU record stands at 300-59 and his 83.6 winning percentage is best in program history. KU’s 300 wins under Self are the most of any NCAA Division I school over the last 10 years. Overall, Self is in his 20th season as a head coach with a 507-164 record.

The “Legends of Coaching” award was adopted by the Wooden Award Committee in 1999. The first recipient was Dean Smith of North Carolina. The honorees are selected based on character, success on the court, graduation rates of student-athletes in their basketball program, coaching philosophy, and identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award.

KU’s Roy Williams won the award in 2003. Other winners: Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Lute Olson, Denny Crum, Mike Montgomery, Jim Calhoun, Jim Boeheim, Gene Keady, Pat Summitt, Rick Barnes, Billy Donovan, Tom Izzo and Geno Auriemma.


Jonathan Briles 9 years, 3 months ago

The longer the Wiggins recruitment goes the less I want him. I realize he is talented, but I don't think he would make us a better team. I get the feeling that the players we already have are true teammates and I feel like Wiggins would just come with a bloated ego that would throw off the team chemistry. I think what we have could gel into something nice. I could be wrong, but I think we would be better off without him.

Karen Mansfield-Stewart 9 years, 3 months ago

Nothing he's said sounds like he has an inflated ego. It just sounds like he's not sure where he wants to go and he doesn't care how long it takes to figure it out.

AIRCAV67 9 years, 3 months ago

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Austin Bergstrom 9 years, 3 months ago

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jhox 9 years, 3 months ago

I've not seen anything from him to suggest that. I suspect he really is struggling to decide. My guess is that his parents want FSU and he probably wants to go to UK. That's just my suspicion based on some comments he's made about Kentucky of late. He's clearly intrigued by the class they've put together.

I just hope he's not yet another lemming.

Matt Kenton 9 years, 3 months ago

“I don’t mind it,” he added of being the last marquee player to choose a school. “It keeps everybody on their feet.”

Yes, this is definitely all about him struggling to make a difficult decision.

mwmilsted 9 years, 3 months ago

Totally agree. Sounds like he is a head case who cannot make any decision. I don't think any school is good enough for him. Amazes me that he cannot decide where to go. I think, also, he wants to set the conditions for his playing.

There are many more fish out there.

KUFan90 9 years, 3 months ago

Some are proposing that he is already a lock for UK and this is all orchestrated by Calipari to build suspense. Sounds like conspiracy theory to me, but you never know.

But make no mistake...we want him and we are better off WITH him.

I just don't see it happening though.

Cameron Schienebeck 9 years, 3 months ago

Lets not be stupid people. The guy is a game changer and any team, including us, would be lucky to get him. He can take as long as he needs to decide and it's not part of a master plan to screw other teams over. Right now he's playing in all these allstar games. After these end he'll make his decision shortly after that.

Scott Smetana 9 years, 3 months ago

Bottom line for me is that it would be great to have him, but it's not that big of deal if he chooses elsewhere. With AW3, Seldon, Tharpe, Francamp, and Greene, we're looking solid at guard spots.

Jabez Harlan 9 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, but that has to be one of the dumbest comments I have heard. Self's team will be good if not great next year, but it will be a championship contender if Wiggins joins the team.

LAJayhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

The sheer number of people that make wild assumptions about the character of a high school teenager based on a couple of written quotes and the fact that they are too impatient to let him make his own decision astounds me.

This isn't a video game. This is a real kid's life. How about we all be human beings for a bit, instead of rabid college sports fans who treat kids like they're disposable clothing that we can toss out when it no longer suits us?

Don't like how the recruiting game is played with all the attention and hype thrown on 17-year-old athletes? Don't like how that attention inevitably gets in their heads? Fine. Then, start being part of the solution instead of the problem.

Michael Johnson 9 years, 3 months ago

i think hes down to earth. will not make his announcement during a press conference. it will just be a press release. does that mean UK is out?

Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 3 months ago

“No clue,” he said, when asked his time fame for making a decision during the telecast. “I don’t mind it,” he added of being the last marquee player to choose a school. “It keeps everybody on their feet."

Sounds to me like he wants to be the center of attention, not a member of a winning team. If so, let Calimari have him.

Rock Chalk, Jayhawks!!

WETSUhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

From what was posted in an article last Thursday on it sounds like UK may get him:

Wiggins told Jason Jordan of USA Today that UK would contend for a national title if he chose to be a Wildcat.

“I do think that though,” Wiggins said. “I mean come on now; me, Julius (Randle), the Twins (Andrew and Aaron Harrison), James (Young), Marcus (Lee), Dakari (Johnson); who’s stopping that?”

Stephan123 9 years, 3 months ago

All those competing egos will stop themselves!

RJ King 9 years, 3 months ago

Supposedly Wiggins is kind of shy and soft spoken. If you picture him making those comments with his head down, or in any kind of quiet manner, it changes the picture. Many players are not extremely well spoken - especially as 17 year olds - or they freeze a bit with a microphone in their face. A lot of them turn to cliches that may or may not really fit the situation.

Who knows whether the kid was thinking, "yeah - I'm the MAN," or if he thought, "that didn't come off right . . . why did I say that???" I'll have to see a LOT more of Andrew - whether he's with KU next year or somewhere else - before getting a feel for his attitude.

I do like Embiid's attitude about defense. Offense and free throw shooting should develop.

yates33333 9 years, 3 months ago

Dear Bay..... You're almost, no you are a magician if you can turn the quote by Wiggins cited in WETSU...'s post into being that of shy and soft spoken person. He is an egotist, which is all right from an athletes' swagger or viewpoint. It does P.O. most people however.

RJ King 9 years, 3 months ago

Glad you've had the opportunity to hang with Andrew so much. You must be a teammate? Classmate? Teacher? Coach? Family friend? Neighbor? It has been stated by several reporters that he his shy and soft spoken. Maybe he is, maybe he isn't - only those up close and personal know whether that is true.

I didn't "turn his quote into" anything. I was merely speculating on other possible body language and tone, as I didn't see a video of the quote.

I've no proof of his ego one way or the other, but will need to see a lot more before criticizing his attitude and personality. Obviously you know him so well. Your character assassination must be valid..

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

All I care about is how this kid fits in with his teammates at Kansas.

From HIS own words, shy and soft spoken doesn't seem to fit but having a big ego is not necessarily bad. If he backs it up with his play, makes his teammates better and helps Kansas win..sign him.

I think back to Roy's recruitment of Kris Humphries and I'm certain HCBS can decide if this kid fits in.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 3 months ago

The kid just has a tough decision to make, he'll figure it out. Hope it's KU but we'll be ok either way, Bill Self molds teams to greatness with what he's given. Congrats on the big award, coach.

Would love to see Embiid break Withey's record someday. Looks like he's on the right track.

Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 3 months ago

I doubt Embiid will be around long enough to break Withey's record.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 3 months ago

It would be awesome to have a player as talented as Wiggins on our team. He makes everyone better on the court. I have never seen him play, but I imagine McLemore with a dribble drive. Let's hope he loves playing with embiid, and sees with a guy like that on the court, he'll get help on defense and could be outstanding on offense. He would instantly turn our team from a top 15 team to one of the three teams to win it all. Whether he goes to unc or uk, it won't make as big of difference. With fsu, he would control his destiny more, but without the supporting cast it would have a lot of growing pains as a team, and it could get ugly with duke, unc, and now Miami on the schedule.

I think of what I have heard his personality is a perfect fit for Ku, but would respect any decision he makes. I kind of wish I had had to make such a decision during high school, but I can't dribble and my slam dunks of paper in a trash can aren't spectacular even when they go in.

jaybate 9 years, 3 months ago

• Embiid--in which block and alter and no offense continues in the low post, while quotes come fast and funny. "I'm in mode Dwight Howard." Move over Yogi Berra. Likely nickname: Sushi. BecAuse he's so raw!

• Selden's performance worrisome. Been very high on him, but...Tanks often don't scale up from one war to the next. Maybe more of a Travis Releford for two years from now than an impact man this season, which is what we need this season. Now we know why Self is all in on Wiggins. Wiggins could save Self's bacon this coming season.

• EJ made 6 TOs and his team won. Weirdest guard ever.

• Self among the greats and near greats now. Go, Bill, go!!!

yates33333 9 years, 3 months ago

EJ made 6 TOs and his team won. Weirdest guard ever.


texashawk10 9 years, 3 months ago

English isn't Embiid's first language so I think he can get pass for grammatical errors he makes. Some of them are pretty funny though.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 3 months ago

We didn't watch the same game. Selden is fine. He will be better than Releford. He's already stronger, taller (we know now) and can play point. Trust me. And for scoring? We'll have scoring. Our outside shooting should improve because only two of the five good shooters have to come through. Only BMac was considered an outside shooter. Don't we have three or four now? Selden will be one of them. When you watch those All-Star games, you have to remember the ego involved and how that ego is not really based on winning a game. Selden is fantastic right now and will be in six months.

These kids are in the top 1% of players coming in to Division One, so if Selden didn't impress as much, it's unlikely that he'll see this level of competition more than once or twice a month. These All Star kids are for real, even more than Mickie D's, which is more political. Jordan picks these kids to sell his shoes.

Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 3 months ago

I would have liked Conner Frankamp to have been invited to the Jordan Classic. He's going to impress a lot of people during his time at KU.

KansasComet 9 years, 3 months ago

Selden can play big time ball, don't worry!

joshuamc914 9 years, 3 months ago

Lol so many things I find funny in some of these post. First thing is that why are people judging a saying he will be good or not by watching an all star game smh. There isn't sets being run and no one is playing any defense to speak of. How can someone say Wayne Selden's performance worries them really? It's an All Star Game he got four shots and rarely got to bring the ball up the court which is something he is accustom to, and now he won't make an impact next year please save that post because I want to copy and paste it and laugh at it for next year. Also Wiggins isn't coming to KU next year stop hoping. He is either UK or FSU and I think it will be Florida State. Embiid very raw offensively but he is 7 feet from watching and ca block shots. Two years under Self and Hudy and he will be a mobster both him and Selden will start next year without a doubt in my mind. This class is reminding me of the 06 class that won a championship has all the making of a special class. Also people keep sleeping in Brannen Greene 6'7 who can just stroke it from the three point line and can just get buckets. Teams better get Kansas early next year because with the talent and shooting coming in oh man it's going to be fun.

dylans 9 years, 3 months ago

Should be a good team by the time conference play rolls around.

joeloveshawks 9 years, 3 months ago

I don't really think High School All Star games show us much but I am so excited about this kid. He is a true 7 footer and is athletic and looks to be a guy who can play high level defense already. There was a beautiful highlight of him dunking after putting the ball between his legs at practice for the Jordan Classic. I don't think many prospects his height can do it so gracefully. Incredibly high ceiling for Embiid and he will have to play immediately with the parts we have coming back and that will be fun to watch him learn and grow from his Freshman year.

flyingfinn 9 years, 3 months ago

I too am excited, the skills are raw but Coach Self and staff will mold him. The thing I like by watching the game is the way he moved and ran the court. Most seven footer can not move that well

REHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Congratulations on your defensive game, JoJo. In present-day Lawrence, we call those blocks "mode Jeff Withey." You are bound to become a real treat for KU fans. Regarding Selden, I would like to have seen him on the red team with Embiid and that Washington recruit (Williams-Goss?). He got stuck among the "Look at us!" Kentucky egos. Would have been nice if Wayne could have showed his stuff on the winning team.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 3 months ago

There is a big time story in Lawrence, Kansas.

Who is going to break it?

RJ King 9 years, 3 months ago

there will be an answer, let it be. let it be.

Dustin Engelken 9 years, 3 months ago

I attended last night's game and here are a few thoughts-

  1. Both guys looked better than their stat lines would suggest and are going to be big time players.
  2. Embiid looked super athletic. A few of those blocks were HUGE. As a bonus point, he even pulled out the Dikembe Mutumbo and wagged his fingers with a big smile on his face. He has a pretty good looking J and showed range out to the 3 point line. The shots weren't falling last night, but you can tell he's very capable of hitting them. Also, showed some great footwork on the one opportunity he got to post up in the lane. Overall, he wasn't allowed to be a big part of the offense, but he showed flashes in the touches he got.
  3. Seldon didn't play great, but he also didn't seem to be looking for his shot at all. He spent a lot of his time bringing the ball up and even though their isn't a lot of D in these games, he reassured me that he has a good handle and made a few great passes to show off his vision.
  4. On a side note, we were courtside by the East bench and sat with a lot of the family members. Julius Randle's family sat right in front of us and he came over a few times. They seem like good people and Randle looked great in the game. This is one guy I really wish we could have gotten. We also sat next to Seldon's family and friends who were all rocking their KU gear and were also super nice. We extended a nice welcome on behalf of KU nation.
  5. One final thought- Wiggins was the best player on the court IMHO and would definitely put us over the top if we are lucky enough to get him. He did seem to have a good relationship with Seldon so hopefully he can get in his ear and help out the recruiting efforts.

mwmilsted 9 years, 3 months ago

Embid did not look like he's quick. I saw him burned by Walker a couple of times when Walker was in the paint and drove to the basket. He went right around Embid. Embid is a good shoot blocker, rebounder and has a nice post move. He should develop into a player like Withey, IMO. Could not tell anything about Seldon..

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

Maybe we can send him to a D Manning camp...

The only pure jeans I know about are Levi's. Not the place for a discussion about mitochondrial DNA, the Y chromosome and the "Out of Africa" theory, but good luck finding anyone with pure genes.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 3 months ago

I'm going to make you feel better here. First of all, the players Embiid defended were, for the most part, tentative when they got the ball inside. That is a statistical fact that you can go back and review. Secondly, the move that Walker put on Embiid would have counted in the NBA. Third, two times in a short time, Embiid stuff Walker and altered his shot. He blocked Randal twice and Wiggins once and altered many shots.

How could he do that if he is "not quick"? Remember, these are the top 1% of college players headed to Division One schools, and probably less than that. I came away from the game grinning from ear to ear. Embiid is not raw in my book but will learn a lot.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 3 months ago

+1 on the Chris Walker deal. Love that guy's game.

championhawks 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree, Embiid is athletic for a 7footer. Compared to Withey he is more athletic and will end up having much better foot work as well. I'm excited to see how he can progress offensively because he is raw on that side of the court. I said it on the messages boards, I wouldn't be surprised to see Embiid break Withey's blocks record.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

Wish I would have went but I didn't find out about it in time but I did watch it on TV. Obviously, I missed all the interactions going on on the sideline but even though Wiggins was the MVP, Julius Randall looked like a beast on the court. He would have been the player I preferred.

Still, I think HCBS has put together his best recruiting class at KU and could go down as one of the best ever depending on results. I'm not sure that we really need another player. I looked at Kentucky and all I think is about the NBA teams that lost at international play.

Calipari does have a full season to turn this unbelievably talented class plus the remainders from last year into a real team but he failed at it this year and next year will be even more difficult. Kentucky could be NCAA champions or a totally dysfunctional team next year.

Keith Kienzle 9 years, 3 months ago

Last night, EJ was the fastest guard in the championship game and kept the pace accelerated. He was the clear floor general for his team, his team conducting their offense through him for the majority of the game. It seemed that every steal of EJ's resulted in a layup, and it felt like he was everywhere.

EJ, I mulled over the few words I said to you in my head in silence as my wife drove us home last night, fully emersed in the bizarre feeling of fandom, being a middle aged fan of a 22 year old kid and having had a 4-year one way relationship, observing you. I told you looked great out there, and thanked you for a picture. You were gracious, and held that trophy like a proud father. You earned it.. you did look great out there.

I think I have a few ideas now of what I would want to say to you.. That you and your team were the smiliest team I have ever rooted for, and that human element was sometimes forgotten by the fans, but made this team extremely enjoyable to watch, and now, memorable. This rare team of 4 seniors and nice-guy rookie sensation felt like the genuine college article. You bled red and blue and I hope we see all you guys back in Lawrence as often as you can come back to visit, and that isn't "this group, including you"... that's "this group, especially you". This group wouldn't be the same without you.

Thanks, EJ. Now go make a ton of money playing the game you love! We're proud of you.


John Sheehan 9 years, 3 months ago

Nice story / pic. EJ is a Jayhawk for life. Rock Chalk!

Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 3 months ago

He is indeed holding the wrong trophy, but I have to say in his defensse...we played him out of position and it not only cost the Jayhwaks, but it took his game down a couple of notches. Good luck EJ.

Keith Kienzle 9 years, 3 months ago

As for someones comments about the 6 turnovers. 1 was a big man who didn't put his hand up to receive an entry pass after sealing his man, 1 was an inbound pass where EJ''s teammate ran away from the ball, and 1 was a beautiful behind the back no look pass that his wide open teammate was not expecting. I would credit EJ with 3 legit turnovers, not 6. And as to the trophy being the wrong one... I thought about that.. the first tournament and championship trophy for EJ after this year's NCAA : this was a bit surreal, I'm sure for him as well.

I hope that his ability to conduct the offense and the nasty between the legs dunk he put down in warmups are indication that he's healthy and has a shot at the league, but if not, I really don't doubt that he's still going to have a chance to make a pretty penny overseas.

I was bummed we didn't also get to say hello to Travis too. By the time we got to the other end of the court the runner up squad had already hit the showers except for Dexter Strickland, this being ACC country.

KansasComet 9 years, 3 months ago

Congrats to Elijah Johnson, one of my all-time favorites!

John Sheehan 9 years, 3 months ago

Really like what I saw from Embiid in that game. Could be similar to Withey defensively but with more athletic ability / higher ceiling. Withey worked hard to get better at KU. Embiid could be special if he puts in the work and is becomes a 4 year guy in our system.

Andy Godwin 9 years, 3 months ago

First time seeing Embiid play and he could actually impact the team next year. It is so rare for a freshman center to get many minutes under Self, but he does have a defense knack. It was nice to see that he worked hard on the defensive side on every play which is highly unusual in these type of Allstar games (much better than the McDonald dunk fest). Most impressive was his ability to grab and hold onto rebounds with one hand. I can see why Self is excited to see him in a KU uniform. He has a long way to go to be a primary scoring option, but his defensive presence might help next year.

On the flip side, Randle is a stud. Still sour grapes, but that was a huge loss of a recruit. You could see that he attacked Embiid every time he could go one on one after the Embiid blocked his dunk attempt in the first half. Unfortunately he got the best of Embiid in the end, but it was wonderful to see that Embiid NEVER backdown.

Regarding Wiggins. If he is waiting, as the announcers suggested, for the dust to settle and see which players commit and stay in the NBA draft, then KU has zero chance of getting him onboard. I think it is clear that all five starting positions are up for grabs at KU and not much will change from this point onward unless Self has a few other players signing left to announce.

Finally, Selden was pretty much a non factor coming off the bench. Hard to shine all the time in these star studded Allstar games. Look forward to seeing how fast the freshman class can develop.

Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 3 months ago

We're / Coach Self is always underrated in preseason polls.

NativeHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Can anyone confirm how to pronounce Embiid? I'm assuming it's pronounced with a long e, right?

trustyourSelf 9 years, 3 months ago

Love that Embiid is a defensive minded player. I just wish we still had Danny to coach him up. And I'm not worried about Selden having an off game. He'll be a stud.

spenc1324 9 years, 3 months ago

Naw Wiggins is waiting for calimari (I call him that cuz he's slimy like a squid) to send somebody to pass his SATs for him haha.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 3 months ago

Embiid is better right now than Traylor. Embiid starts over Traylor. Last night clinched it for me. And my guess is, the Joel Embiid in March will be much different than the Joel Embiid in November. Embiid has wild upside. Very exciting.

Have no idea about Lucas and how he compares to Embiid. I assume Traylor was better at the start of this season than Lucas. Otherwise, Self would have played Lucas. If Lucas is average on D (like Traylor) but can actually hit a 10 foot jumper, he'd leap Traylor.

Starters -

1] Tharpe

2] Selden

3] White

4] Ellis

5] Embiid


6] Traylor or Lucas

7] Frankamp or Mason (best ball handler of the two)

8] Greene

9] Traylor or Lucas (whichever is not at #6)

10] Frankamp or Mason (whichever is not at #7 .. possible redshirt)

The only thing that changes this is if we get the "impact" signing within the next few months.

Wiggins would start at the 3, bump White to a sub and Greene likely out of the rotation. I won't hold my breath there.

More likely is a juco or D-1 transfer PF that can play now.

Unless we get a PG transfer, Mason could really compete for PT. Ballhandling is critical, and if Frankamp can't do it, Mason will play. Selden does not appear to be an adequate D-1 ball handler -- but that really remains to be seen -- meaning PG quality.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

I'm really excited by the potential deep range next years team will have. White and Greene have such pure shooting ability and Conner might take Tharpe's job before the season is out.

texashawk10 9 years, 3 months ago

I agree with 3 of the starters for sure. I'm not sold on White or Embiid starting yet, not saying they won't, but I don't think it's a given that those two will be the starters either. White and Greene should be an awesome battle to watch to see who starts at the 3. I do agree that Traylor is probably about a 10-12 minute player filling the same role he did this past season as the 4th big and that Embiid and Lucas will battle for the starting spot.

I also just don't see Mason playing anything other than garbage minutes. Mason has all the trademarks of a depth signing because he was at best Self's 8th choice for a PG in the 2013 class based on Rivals PG ratings. When I read that Mason is as small as he is and that he lacks athleticism, that's a huge red flag to me that he won't be a good defensive player and not being a good defensive player under Bill Self equals a seat on the bench.

I do believe that Self will get to use 9 players to fill the 9 roles he has on a team. I know people will use a Self quote saying that Self uses an 8 man rotation, but when he has the depth he goes 9 deep and next year's team looks like a 9 deep team. I think Tharpe, Selden, and Ellis are the 30+ minute players with Greene, White, Embiid, and Lucas all being in the 15-25 minute range. I see Frankamp being in the 12-15 minute range as the primary sub for Tharpe and Selden and Traylor 10-12 minutes as I mentioned above. The most important to remember with next year's team is it won't be about who starts the game, but rather who's on the floor in the last few minutes of the game as that may not be the same player in the case of the 3 and 5 spots.

Bernard Gregory 9 years, 3 months ago

don't know where you are getting your information on Mason ,but I can tell you you might need to try another source. The kid is so athletic he was offered a D-1 scholorship for football and never played high school football.

texashawk10 9 years, 3 months ago

My info is courtesy of the scouting report on ESPN and Youtube videos. There is a difference between being an athlete and being naturally athletic. I was an athlete in HS, but I am far from being naturally athletic and I had to work my butt off to get a couple of FCS scholarship offers before ankle injuries kept me from playing college football. Frank Mason is an athlete, but he is not naturally athletic like Ben McLemore. It also does not mean that Mason can't be a good college basketball player, but he will have to work much harder than other players who are naturally gifted athletes.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 3 months ago

texashawk10 - Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of Mason's signing -- 8th choice as you suggest (I thought it was the 6th choice, but who's counting?). But if Frankamp isn't a sufficient ball handler, who else does the job when Tharpe is out?

texashawk10 9 years, 3 months ago

Just looking at Rivals, other PG's KU had offered are Kasey Hill, Rysheed Jordan, Cat Barber (the only one KU withdrew their offer from as far as I know), Connor Frankamp, Demetrius Jackson, Roddy Peters, and Bronson Koenig are all ranked higher than Frank Mason and all had offers from KU.

jhox 9 years, 3 months ago

A friend whose basketball opinion I respect has seen him a couple of times, and assures me that Mason is much better than he's ranked, and will be a pleasant surprise. He saw him go head to head against Cat Barber and got the better of Barber (per my friend's account.)

We've had this debate before, but don't put too much stock in the Rivals rankings, HEM. The top 20 or 30 are pretty easy, beyond that they're usually just guessing and going on what other people say, or they're looking at stats or physical stature. He may or may no be a bust, but guys become college stars all the time who are not highly ranked. I always have reservations about short guys, but some of them turn out to be pretty tough players.

soapisurfriend 9 years, 3 months ago

I wasn't for the Mason signing either, but the guy is actually pretty explosive. Also, he's something like 105-5 combined playing high school and prep ball, playing against high D1 competition.

Joe Baker 9 years, 3 months ago

texas- I agree with you on Embiid. I think he's dominate and will only get better. But I wouldn't be surprised to see Mason and Greene redshirt. IF we get Wiggins, which many don't believe we will at this time. Tharpe, Selden, Wigs/White, Ellis, and Lucas- I think you'll see White start the first half, but if we get Wigs, he'll end the second half, great big "IF."

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 3 months ago

Wow! Greene only your No. 8 man?!?! I bet he starts over White!

WETSUhawk 9 years, 3 months ago

Greene and White will be a heck of a battle:

experience = White, potential = Greene

Ben Simonett 9 years, 3 months ago

frankamp or mason?

you actually think thats going to be a competition?

Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 3 months ago

Yeah...Frankamp gets no love anywhere nationally. I hope he plays with a chip on his shoulders like Tom Brady has over the years ;)

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

True, but he gets a lot of love internationally and I'm certain he will get it in Lawrence as well.

Preston Dwiggins 9 years, 3 months ago

Internationally? Frankamp or are you talking about Brady?

Joe Baker 9 years, 3 months ago

Frankamp over Mason- I think Mason will redshirt. He needs some development. Greene could redshirt IF we get Wigs. If not, he battles White at the 3 and assists Ellis at the 4. I also think Jamari will help Ellis and Lucas. Embiid will be our primary 5 and depending on this off season, he could compete with Lucas the first half. I see Lucas as a bigger O threat and JoJo as a D threat. JoJo will take some time adjusting to D1 level of play, it's all up to him.

Joe Baker 9 years, 3 months ago

It's worth nothing, but Embiid will not start over Lucas. Lucas has way too much of Self's system over Embiid. I posted in another post that it's up to Embiid. He's so much like Withey and don't see people pushing Landen "the Load" Lucas around inside. I can't wait to see Lucas against the B12 bigs. JoJo has some Hudy-izing and like Withey, don't see him getting much bigger very fast. He needs some weight. I wouldn't be surprised to see Greene over White. Green has a more consistent shot and White really seemed to struggle. Again, Greeene can start immediately if he adjusts to D1, consistent, and learns Self's system.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

I least in the 1st half of the season. It's Lucas's job to lose.

Michael Sillman 9 years, 3 months ago

I personally loved how Embiid was willing to go head to head with Randle and did a pretty good job of it. He was just as quick as Randle even though he's a lot taller. Randle overpowered him a couple of times.

Selden looked good to me. He made some pretty passes for assist.

Selden didn't get to score because it was an All Star game. Quite a few times, he was wide open on the wing and the guy with the ball kept it and tried to do something on their own.

REHawk 9 years, 3 months ago

If JoJo buys in, pronto, to the Andrea Hudy program, I envision him as one hell of a man by January of his sophomore year. He looks like a fierce indefatigable competitor. Sure did get into Randle's head. The upside for Mr. Embiid is huge, in almost all counts. Hard to believe that he is developing so quickly as a major force on the hardwood. Is a shame that Randle will take his game to the League before JoJo advances to full Division 1 potential. That is a sad situation regarding post-h.s. hoops, what with top stars highlighting only one season of university-level play. Just imagine the third year Div. 1 matchups among Randle, J. Parker, Chris Walker, Aaron Gordon, JoJo!

RCJHTOTHEGRAVE 9 years, 3 months ago

Joel is gonna be a beast! In a interview he said he wanted to be the next Kareem Abdul Jabbar! This dude has high expectations for himself. As far as wiggins goes I wouldn't want him if he ruined the team chemistry. But if he's a quiet kid then I'd welcome him aboard.

Next year Greene, Frankamp, and White 3 will be nailing 3's, Selden (and possibly Wiggins will be driving in the lane. Embiid will be blocking shots like crazy with Traylor also getting rebounds. Not to mention possible transfers we could get. RCJH!

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 3 months ago

I'd be happy if he was the next Hakeem Olajuwon!

RCJHTOTHEGRAVE 9 years, 3 months ago

Hey r u an insider on that site? If so could you tell me the details?

soapisurfriend 9 years, 3 months ago

JoJo and Selden are both now 5 star in the final Rivals rankings. Plus Greene and Frankamp the incoming class has 4 top 35 players. The big surprise is Mason up to 76!

Gil Ek 9 years, 3 months ago

Mason can play some "D". Most underated of the group. Something special developing, yet again at KU.

Joe Baker 9 years, 3 months ago

Selden is a freakin stud. JoJo is going to take names, love his attitude. They both have a swag and let it show on the court. Mason is a great talent. He reminds me and is built much like Sherron. The sad fact is that Sherron came in to KU as a 4-5 star recruit and was one of the top guards in the nation from Chicago. However good Sherron was, he just didn't quite make the transition to the league. I'm really concerned about Mason's size. He looks great against high school average players, but wait until he faces D1 guards like Smart, Kabongo, and Heidl. These are big physical guards. EJ struggled against them at times during presses. I'm surprised teams didn't press KU more because EJ struggled with the press. I really don't think Mason will match up well against many guards. Frankamp seems to be a bit more proven than Mason and has shown that he can thrive. He reminds me of a much better Forte. He will make Forte look like an old man on the court. Again, I can't wait to see Frankamp up against some D1 talent. The U17 team was a great experience for him and he flat out put on a clinic. Can he do it to B12 teams?

Ryan Zimmerman 9 years, 3 months ago

I think it's time we stop talking about Wiggins... There is virtually no chance he comes to Kansas. Let's quit feeding the ego and start focusing on the great group we have all ready. When someone is been hyped so much as the next great player... the next "King James", they don't come to Kansas. They aren't interested in winning a championship or being a team player. For those types of players, they just go somewhere for one year that they are guaranteed playing time to showcase and kill time until they are NBA eligible. Kansas has never been that place, and i'm thankful for that...

Kent Richardson 9 years, 3 months ago

I would opine that he thinks FSU is a loser or he can't be the only " man" at Kentuck and Ku is not sexy enough or Self will make him work too hard.

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