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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Joel Embiid: I could have played against Stanford

Joel Embiid

Kansas was upset by 10-seeded Stanford in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, but very few people were shocked by the outcome. Had Joel Embiid been able to play, the Jayhawks would have been favored by a lot more. The freshman center claims he could have.

“I would have played in the Sweet 16,” Embiid said after his team’s 60-57 loss, via ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman. “Definitely. … I could have played today.┬áIt was pretty hard watching them lose. I felt like I could have helped, but it is what it is.”

Embiid has been out with an injured back, and his timetable for return was still unclear. He said doctors recommended he rest until the Sweet 16, but the Jayhawks never got there.

Prior to injuring his back, Embiid was likely going to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. He would not say on Sunday whether or not he intended to turn pro.

“I’m not worried about that right now,” Embiid told reporters.

Kansas fans will likely be irritated to hear that Embiid believes he could have played against Stanford, but we know there is a major difference between thinking you can play and actually being able to play effectively. Had Embiid been feeling close to 100%, the team would have allowed him to go.

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