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Kansas and its freshmen are hot topics (as usual) in world of college hoops

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Kansas center Joel Embiid battles for position with Iowa State defenders Georges Niang, left, and DeAndre Kane during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Joel Embiid battles for position with Iowa State defenders Georges Niang, left, and DeAndre Kane during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

It's time once again to catch the vibe of the national media's perception of Kansas basketball, by hopping around the Internet and the Twitterverse to see what's out there on the No. 6 Jayhawks — now 16-4 overall and a perfect 7-0 in the Big 12.

We'll start with Eamonn Brennann's latest Wooden Watch list. Brennan blogs and writes about college hoops for ESPN.com, and he has two Jayhawks in his most recent rankings of the nation's best players.

KU freshman center/lion-killer/how-did-he-do-that? specialist Joel Embiid comes in at No. 6, and freshman guard/forward/swingman/dunk-monster Andrew Wiggins cracks the top 10, too

Brennan had this to say about Embiid:

On Wednesday night, I looked up from my laptop early in Kansas’s 92-81 home win over Iowa State just in time to see Embiid take the ball on the left block, engage with the post defender, pivot toward the baseline into his right shoulder and sink a tidy little 6-foot turnaround jumper. It’s possible Embiid has made that exact shot before, but I haven’t seen it. It may have been the first time he attempted it. Here’s the point: This happens all the time.


He offered this about Wiggins:

Here’s the thing about Wiggins: He has been pretty good for most of the season. He hasn't been LeBron James 2.0. He hasn't been perfectly consistent from game to game. But a baseline, his all-around, all-court performance has been immensely solid. Now -- with 56 points in his past two games, 29 of which came Wednesday against Iowa State -- we're starting to see some of the brilliance that had NBA scouts so excited.


Both great points. Kansas seems to be playing a more and more comfortable brand of basketball as a team, and the jumping off point for that development starts with the team's most talented players. As Wiggins and Embiid grow, so does the ceiling for what this team can accomplish — if there even is a ceiling.

BleacherReport.com's Jason King talked with three NBA scouts about the draftability (I don't care if that's not a real word) of a ton of underclassmen in his latest installment of King's Court.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden raises up the fieldhouse during a Jayhawk run against Iowa State during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden raises up the fieldhouse during a Jayhawk run against Iowa State during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

This is some of what one scout had to say about freshman KU guard Wayne Selden:

There’s no question that he needs to come back for his sophomore year. Right now, when you think of Kansas, you think of Wiggins and Embiid. Selden hasn’t done anything to stand out. What’s his niche offensively? He hasn’t shown that he’s a great shooter.


The scout goes into a little more on Selden in King's report, but here are the numbers on Selden's shooting, following KU's Wednesday night home win over Iowa State: Selden has hit 46.4 percent of his shots this season and 36.8 percent from three-point range (25 of 68). In Big 12 play, the freshman guard has connected on 13 of his 36 threes.

In the very latest CBSsports.com Top 25 (and one), which is updated daily, KU is ranked No. 7.

Three teams that have defeated the Jayhawks this season occupy half of the six spots in front of Kansas: No. 6 Villanova, No. 4 Florida and No. 3 San Diego State.

It's been been a little more than a quarter century since Larry Brown coached Kansas to the 1988 national championship, but he will always be associated with the program because of that feat.

In this photo from Nov. 28, 2012, SMU head coach Larry Brown instructs his team against Utah in Salt Lake City. The well-traveled coach — who led Kansas University to the 1988 NCAA crown — has SMU off to a 9-4 start.

In this photo from Nov. 28, 2012, SMU head coach Larry Brown instructs his team against Utah in Salt Lake City. The well-traveled coach — who led Kansas University to the 1988 NCAA crown — has SMU off to a 9-4 start.

Brown, now at SMU, is the oldest coach in Division I. In a piece by Scooby Axson for SI.com, Brown discusses the relative success the Mustangs (16-5 overall, 5-3 American Athletic Conference) have achieved this season.

Here is a snippet from the story:

Tradition? There isn't much to speak of. Fan support? Nowhere to be found. After all, this is a program that has no NCAA tournament appearances in the past 21 years and only 10 NCAA berths in 97 seasons of playing basketball.

"You can walk on campus at Kansas, North Carolina, or UCLA, kids will tackle you," said Brown. "There was so much interest and enthusiasm. [Here] I really couldn't believe it. I kept saying to myself, 'What did we do?'"


Twitter roundup

ESPN's Jeff Goodman had a lot to say about Kansas on Wednesday night.

None by Jeff Goodman

Goodman also got into the debate about where Wiggins will be selected in the 2014 NBA Draft.

None by Jeff Goodman

None by Jeff Goodman

Back to the subject of the 2013-14 college hoops season, ESPN's John Gasaway shared some telling numbers on how red-hot KU has been, offensively, in conference play:

None by John Gasaway

You can almost hear Dick Vitale screaming at his TV, while sitting at home on his couch:

None by Dick Vitale

The Jayhawks, not surprisingly, have the whole college hoops world taking notice. Kentucky beat writer Kyle Tucker tweeted this out:

None by Kyle Tucker

However, not every media tweet about KU was based in reality:

None by Sporting News NCAAB

Comments

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 10 months ago

What's consistent about the KU star freshmen is that every game there are "wow" moments and "wow" plays from each of them.

Len Shaffer 8 years, 10 months ago

After reading those tweets (and especially the last two), I can't stop smiling ...

Vernon Riggs 8 years, 10 months ago

I really, really, really freaking agree with you Len. But I don't think we have reached the 'bazillionth-straight Big 12 title', yet.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 10 months ago

still a lot of basketball left to play before we hang that banner; I mean A LOT.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 10 months ago

It's amazing that with all of this freshman sensationalism, Perry Ellis keeps flying under the radar.....let's keep it that way!!

Perry scores 20+ points and its like snow falling.....you don't hear a thing yet before you know it, everything is buried in white.

Steve Grimm 8 years, 10 months ago

Is an NBA Scout mental capacity limited to contemplating just two players max on a team at one time? Seldon may not have the same hype & attention as Embiid or Wiggins, but he is doing quite well in his own right. Would I love to see him in a KU uniform next year? Of course! But to just say he should come back for his sophomore year because this year KU is considered the Embiid/Wiggins team seems silly and short-sighted to me. The dude can play!

Len Shaffer 8 years, 10 months ago

I think you're right, Steve, in the sense that there's still a month to go in the season. The scout is acting like Selden doesn't have any time to improve. If he can display more consistency, you would think he could definitely be at least a late-first-round pick. Of course I would also love to see him come back.

Rich Hetherington 8 years, 10 months ago

I'm on the fence about Seldon. I like him a lot as a person and a player, and he's been showing more intangibles lately that have improved how I view him even more. That being said, we're already stocked with decent players fighting for minutes and if he goes, I'm in a group that doesn't need to see another big recruit come this way. We will have a very deep lineup next year whether Embiid or Seldon go and even if they both go we'll be fine. RCJH!

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