OTC: KU Rolls In Ames And Joel Embiid Steps Out Of Wiggins’ Shadow

“The credential requests began filling the mailbox months ago, when a handful of NBA scouts made plans to watch the No. 1 prospect in America play for Kansas in a game against Iowa State. The night finally came and went Monday in Ames, and after the final horn sounded in KU’s 77-70 victory, front-office types such as Chicago’s John Paxson and Gar Forman couldn’t have been disappointed. But they may have been a bit surprised. The best pro prospect in the nation was definitely roaming the Hilton Coliseum court in a Jayhawks uniform, but it wasn’t Andrew Wiggins… the narrative has changed. The quest to become the No. 1 overall pick is suddenly a multi-person affair, and Wiggins’ biggest threat appears to be his own teammate. Seven-foot center Joel Embiid.”
Jason King, writer, BleacherReport.com
GH: The pub about Embiid’s talent has been brewing here in the Big 12 but his cheap shot to the face of K-State’s Nino Williams on Saturday got him some unwanted notice. But his play in Ames on ESPN’s Big Monday may have changed his life for good. Read on.

“I think Embiid is the best player in the country. He’s huge and has a great length. He can shoot and has incredible footwork.”
Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State head basketball coach, after watching Embiid’s contribution to the Jayhawks 77-70 win in Ames, BleacherReport.com
GH: Watching Embiid play it is easy to forget he is seven-foot tall. Think of Jeff Withey moving, passing and controlling his body the way Embiid is doing in his freshman season. Embiid moves like he’s a wide receiver.

“That’s a bit of a stretch (to call Embiid the best player in the country). Embiid, who averages 10.9 points and 7.4 rebounds, isn’t the top player in the nation. If the season ended today, he probably wouldn’t even make third-team All-American. When it comes to pro potential, though, Embiid is the best NBA prospect in college basketball.”
Jason King, commenting on Hoiberg’s comment about Embiid, BleacherReport.com
GH: Let’s check back on that All-American team in April which is when they pick All-American teams, Jason. I have a feeling Embiid is going to get his jersey hung in Allen Fieldhouse after just one season.

“It’s crazy. I remember playing him last year in high school. Seeing him now, it’s crazy. He’s only been playing basketball two years. To be this good and this dominant (already)…that’s something special.”
Andrew Wiggins, on Embiid, BleacherReport.com

“How many guys can get 17 points and 17 boards and still leaving you feeling like, “Eh, he can still do better”? Only No. 1 picks, basically.”
Jeff Borzello, @jeffborzello, on Wiggins’ night in Ames, Twitter

“General rule with Joel Embiid: if you think he can’t do it, just wait a game a two.”
Steven Davis, @Steven_Davis3, Twitter
GH: This is the part of Embiid’s game that is the most exciting for Kansas fans and pro scouts. He gets better every game. Not every month. Every game. He’s learning at cartoon speed.

“I think it’s actually a good sign for Joel Embiid longterm that he mixes it up. Skinny big guys get pushed around A LOT. Maybe he won’t.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, after Embiid was issued his second flagrant foul in the past two games, Twitter

“This is a good kid now.”
Fran Fraschilla, TV analyst, defending Embiid after he was called for a Flagrant 1 foul, ESPN

“I think he needs to learn to control his temper a little bit.”
Dave “SloPlay” Armstrong, who calls TV play-by-play for many Big 12 games, on Embiid, 810 AM
GH: This has to be my favorite quote of the week. Armstrong is a grown man and he can’t control his temper enough in a November golf game on a muny track to avoid fisticuffs!

“This might be Bill Self’s most talented Kansas team since they lost 2 VCU in 2011. And they’re getting better. Will be right there in March.”
Jon Rothstein, @JonRothstein, Twitter
GH: So how the hell did KU lose four non-con games this season?

“KU v ISU is turning into the best rivalry in the Big 12.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: And how sad it that?

[email protected] Twitter @greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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42 Responses to OTC: KU Rolls In Ames And Joel Embiid Steps Out Of Wiggins’ Shadow

  1. KC Res says:

    “KU v ISU is turning into the best rivalry in the Big 12.”
    Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
    GH: And how sad it that?”

    Why? Lot of good hatred there. Tons of ISU grads living in the KC Metro area. It isn’t Mizzou, but it’ll do.

  2. Gavin says:

    They lost four non-cons because they were young and didn’t know what it would be like to go into hostile places like Florida and even Colorado. That SDSU game was the most disconcerting because it was home, but it’s getting to be fun again.

  3. john doe says:

    KU wins a shit conference for the 28th year in a row

    Big surprise

  4. JP says:

    GH: So how the hell did KU lose four non-con games this season?

    SImple Greg, a young team playing a brutally tough schedule with a lot of road games and it’s easy to see how they lost. They didn’t lose to any weak teams either. Villanova, Colorado (with healthy Dinwiddie), Florida and San Diego State (at home) are all ranked. In fact, KU has the #1 ranking for strength of schedule. They don’t owe TJ Carpenter or anyone apologies for their schedule. Those defeats built character and this team is showing that in the last 3 games.

    That said, a lot of basketball to be played. But I don’t see ISU shooting 4-25 at the 3 point line against the other schools at home. KU took a huge step towards another Big XII Title.

  5. Jon in Lenexa says:

    Great win last night but the officials were horrible. Way more foul calls on us than ISU. I know ISU was at home but still. Don’t those refs know who we are? That isn’t supposed to happen to us. We’re Kansas. We have superior talent. Our guys don’t foul. We don’t have to foul. We make plays. Other teams foul us to stop us from making plays. The refs are supposed to know that and that crew from last night needs to be fired. They could have cost us the game if ISU had made any of their threes. A loss would have lessened our chances of winning another conference title. We still would win it but the fact that they weren’t going along with the widely accepted practice of officiating in our favor is an abomination. The Big 12 is a great basketball conference but they need Kansas to be at the top. Also SSJ, Stewart, Seaboldt, and Cdot need to be fired from sports radio. This is KANSAS City. Not Missouri City. People in KC are Kansas basketball fans and they don’t want to hear Missourah homers on the radio. Get them off of there. The nerve of people in this area to root against the Jayhawks. You people are terrorists.

  6. Jim says:

    Love the 3-0 conference start for the ‘Hawks. But…..there’s a whole lot of basketball left in the season! Drop a game or two that they shouldn’t and there will be 3 or 4 teams right back in the mix. Taking a couple on the road to start is a big advantage, though.

  7. Wow! Pot, Meet Kettle, Dave Armstrong. This would be like DGB speaking out against hog leg legalization in Colorado. Dave’s on a roll lately.

  8. mike t. says:

    +1. still some big games ahead.

  9. mike t. says:

    my comment was in reply to Jim’s.

  10. Brian Mills says:

    Missouri would be middle of the pack in the BIg 12 this year.

  11. Zard says:

    Face it kansas fans, you are stuck in a basketball wasteland. The last Big 12 team to make the Final Four other than ku is OSU in 2004. There is no competition, no intrigue, no interest in who wins the Big 12 every year. The league is a shell of what it was 25 years ago, when it was a very good basketball league. Big 12 basketball might be the most boring sports league in the nation.

    • Kyle says:

      Says nobody with any knowledge of college basketball.

      • JP says:

        Kyle, just laugh at these trolls. It’s like on Petro’s show today, they were saying the old Bill Self to NBA rumors. Whenever KU has any success, they try to pee on it. It’s all jealousy and envy. The more KU wins, the stupider and more humorous these rants become. I suspect they may continue to April this year.

    • john doe says:

      Since 1995, more SEC schools have made the Finals 4 than the Big 12.


  12. The Salty Iguana says:

    Anybody who likes basketball more than football is KUeer. Hence all you faggots are KUeers. F#ckin losers.

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