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Monday, December 22, 2014

Joel Embiid ‘strongly considering’ coming back to Kansas

Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid is “strongly considering” returning to Kansas for his sophomore season even though he’s viewed as one of the top NBA draft prospects, according to a report.

Embiid went 1-for-6 for five points and 7 rebounds in Kansas’ 69-52 win over Baylor on Tuesday night. After the game, he told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman that he was “strongly considering” returning to school next season.

Embiid is a true freshman from Cameroon and has only been playing organized basketball for three years. He is extremely raw and says he considered redshirting this season, so the success has taken him by surprise. The 7-foot center is currently averaging 11.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game in just 23 minutes on average.

The top of the upcoming draft is considered to be stacked with prospects like Dante Exum, Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker expected to be available, in addition to Embiid. If Embiid leaves, he may be the top overall pick. If he stays, he’ll be able to continue developing his game to give himself a better chance at having success once he enters the league.

Perhaps Kansas coach Bill Self put it best.

“He’s a bright young man and he’s going to weigh his options,” Self said via Goodman. “He’s considering coming back and he’s obviously also considering leaving. He can’t make a bad decision.”

I know it sounds crazy to discourage someone who could be the top pick from going pro, but I would return to school if I were Embiid. Seriously, what’s the rush? Does he want to give Anthony Bennett or Michael Olowokandi a run for being a bust? Sometimes you have to think longterm despite what seems appealing in the short run.



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