Hey, everyone. You’ll never believe this. Cheick Diallo is entering the NBA Draft.
This obviously isn’t news at this point, but we do have Diallo’s somewhat official statement on the matter as of Monday afternoon.
The big man who spent one season at Kansas tweeted out a letter regarding his decision to sign with an agent and forego his college eligibility.
“After spending the last couple of weeks thinking about my future,” Diallo stated in his Twitter message, “I took the decision to enter the 2016 NBA Draft, and signed with an agent today.
“It was not an easy call, but time has come for me to take that step up to the next level and make my goal of joining the NBA come true.”
Diallo details his unlikely life path from Kayes, Mali, to where he is now in the open letter, which includes thank-yous to those he encountered along the way.
The gregarious post player also thanks his fans, and declares himself “a Jayhawk for life.”
“This is the first step of many more to come,” Diallo says in the closing paragraph, “and I am looking forward to the new challenges with confidence and determination.”
Read Diallo’s entire letter below.
In the pantheon of basketball mixtapes, this one is pretty tame.
You won't see Andrew Wiggins try to humiliate anybody with flash and bravado here. But you can see the 6-foot-8, possible No. 1 NBA Draft pick show off a few of the skills he has spent his on-the-court time trying to perfect leading up to Thursday's big night in Brooklyn.
Late Tuesday evening, Pure Sweat Basketball — a coaching and consulting workout enterprise — tweeted out a YouTube link of the one-and-done standout from Kansas University going through some of his pre-draft sessions.
Standing out in the documented practices, in which Wiggins plays with a pseudo defender, are not just his elite athletic ability, but also some developing tools.
The video begins by highlighting some low-to-the-floor dribbling from the lanky Canadian, who projects as a shooting guard at the next level. His high dribbles often got him into trouble in his one season at Kansas, and pro guards will eat him alive if that doesn't change quickly in the NBA. The tighter and lower the better.
The most impressive segments include Wiggins running back and forth from the three-point-line to the basket and out to the other side of the floor, dunking the ball with authority each time he returns to the paint after closing out to each side of the perimeter.
And, I might be crazy, but it seems as if his jump shot looks a little smoother. The change is subtle, but it seems cleaner, more fluid when Wiggins rises up off the floor to take a jumper from mid-range or deep.
One useful go-to move that Wiggins appears to be sharpening up on is the Michael Jordan/Kobe Bryant fade-away jumper. If he can master that, with his length and vertical leap, he'll be far more difficult to keep in check.
Wiggins supposedly had a great workout with Cleveland, owner of the draft's No. 1 pick. On Thursday night we'll find out if all his additional work earns him the prize he's been after.
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.
As we get closer to the NBA Draft, Bill Self's Kansas University basketball program continues to get free pub from its one-and-done stars.
The latest endorsement came via an NBA.com interview, in which retired shooting guard Steve Smith went one-on-one with the Jayhawks' Andrew Wiggins.
The former Michigan State star, who spent 14 seasons in the league, asked the Vaughan, Ontario, Canada native why he decided to play at Kansas, and how Self's program prepared him to make the jump to the highest level of hoops.
"I picked Kansas, just because when I went on my visit I felt like I connected more with the coaches and the team, and I just felt like I clicked with their fans. Just walking in the fieldhouse, it's hard to say no."
"And they prepared me for so much. Bill Self is a legendary coach, a great coach, taught me so much this year. And just being in a group with all the team, it's like a brotherhood, you know. I think I'll be able to surround myself with those guys for the rest of my life."
Smith also brought up the famous social media post of Wiggins testing his vertical leap.
Smith wondered if the 19-year-old got his gravity-defying ups from his dad, former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins, or his mom, two-time Canadian Olympic track athlete Marita Payne-Wiggins.
Wisely, son didn't want to leave mom or dad out of the equation.
"I think it's from both, a little bit of both, you know. I've been blessed with some good genes."
Wiggins, who grew up in Toronto, mentioned as he has before about idolizing former Raptors star Vince Carter when he was a youngster. When Smith asked the soon-to-be lottery pick about whether his fascination with Carter would inspire him to enter the dunk contest, Wiggins talked about Carter being one of the best "in-game dunkers of all time," possibly indicating he'd rather try to replicate his boyhood hero that way than compete at the All-Star Weekend event. But considering all-time greats such as Julius Erving, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant participated in the dunk contest when they were young players, it might be difficult for Wiggins to turn down such an opportunity.
His NBA journey begins in just three weeks, at the June 26 draft in Brooklyn. Smith asked Wiggins why it was important to him to be selected first overall.
"I want to have that label. I want people to see me as the number one basketball player."
In closing, Smith had Wiggins complete a sentence.
Smith: "When it's all said and done, Andrew Wiggins will be…"
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.
Anybody with eyes and even a passing interest in Kansas University basketball knows this much about one-and-done Jayhawk Andrew Wiggins: the guy can jump.
And while the 6-foot-8 swingman out of Vaughan, Ontairo, isn't attending the NBA Draft combine in Chicago — just like other projected top-three picks Joel Embiid and Duke's Jabari Parker — he made sure to keep his name and skill set on the minds of the league.
On Thursday afternoon, P3, a sports science/training company, posted an Instagram photo of Wiggins testing his vertical — much like he would have been asked to do at the combine.
The pic went viral on social media as stunned hoop heads marveled over Wiggins' insane athleticism.
Many reposted the photo, while others had some fun with it.
Former Jayhawk Brandon Rush might've summed it up perfectly.
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.
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.
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.
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?'"
ESPN's Jeff Goodman had a lot to say about Kansas on Wednesday night.
Goodman also got into the debate about where Wiggins will be selected in the 2014 NBA Draft.
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:
You can almost hear Dick Vitale screaming at his TV, while sitting at home on his couch:
The Jayhawks, not surprisingly, have the whole college hoops world taking notice. Kentucky beat writer Kyle Tucker tweeted this out:
However, not every media tweet about KU was based in reality: