Has the Embiid party arrived early?

  • Last night Embiid played way more minutes than Black. Is that a trend going forward? He still looked raw, but he got beautiful hands and foot, an of course a big athletic body. He made a couple of beautiful assists last night. And he even dribbled out of double teams. At this point, I still don’t see him going OAD, but there is no telling how much he will improve this season. I think he will need to learn how to post up closer to the basket. Last night he caught the balls far from the paint, so he couldn’t do much with the ball. And right now he has no post move and can’t shoot free throws. But he was a lot more mobile than Black. I’m very excited to see his development over the whole season, and will be very disappointed if he leaves after just one season here. I’m selfish.

  • I had a long post in the “other” forum about Tarik Black. I thought that he was way overrated and that he would have a small impact at KU and so far he has done little to prove me wrong. He was a non-factor against Duke. If you read the comments from Memphis fans, Tarik seems to be a player that relies on size rather than hard work and last night he showed exactly that. With the new foul rules, whatever advantage he had because of his size has greatly been diminished. I like Jamari’s motor and hustle and I believe that going forward, Joel and Jamari will get considerably more playing time than Tarik. Embiid was a very pleasant surprise. He played with poise and did not get flustered when he was doubled teamed; instead he calmly took his time until he was able to make a pass. If he continues to progress and improve his scoring, he might well be gone after this season. I mentioned before that his free throw shooting might be a liability at the end of games where teams might choose to play hack-a-Joel; however, he did shoot 7-10 against Louisiana Monroe, so if he concentrates, he could do well at the line; after all, free throw shooting has a larger mental component.

  • Jojo needs all the floor time he can get right now, because he lacks experience and has unbelievable upside. If he plays big minutes now we will be rewarded in March.

    He needs the basics… post moves, how to time and block shots without fouling, blocking shots and keeping them in bounds, keeping the ball up high when down low, free throw shooting… really everything.

    Right now he is living off his nimble legs. It’s enough to already value him more on offense than Withey as a senior. But I wish he knew the shot-blocking skills Withey had! Maybe Withey can visit over the holidays and work with Embiid. Imagine Embiid knowing not to leave his feet early and timing blocks correctly?

    We are going to need a shot blocker this year because everyone already knows the answer is to drive the ball and score or draw fouls. Man I wish we had Withey this year!

    I still see an excellent chance Embiid leaves after one year. Generally, I don’t agree with all the early exits, but I can see why an NBA team would gamble on him. Our saving grace may be the fact that it will be a strong draft, however I’m not sure how many other decent 5s will be in it.

    Embiid needs a shooting coach, especially to help him on the FT line. His mechanics are horrible, and though he shot ok against Monroe, he was exposed last night with his two bricks. He needs to learn a sound stroke and compress it to the point of removing all extra motion. That will pretty much end the brick toss and help him establish a respectable %. He has to shoot a few hundred every day and be strict with his form and focus. If he does it, he’ll be respectable by March. Anything less and he’ll be a total gamble at the line.

  • slayr- I really think JoJo will learn so much from this game. It was definitely a learning game for him. He did some fundamental things that shows he’s going to develop nicely. The three had me shaking my head…but hey…why not?

  • Fan- I like Black’s size and overall experience at the D1 level. He’s here to buy time for JoJo…give it time and watch the transformation. Black came knowing that JoJo would eventually start for the right reasons. Black has resigned to that fact. I applaud Black’s maturity and seniority. He has been great.

  • @truehawk93. I also stand up for Black. He may have already done his work for the team by helping them come together and bond.

  • I like Black, too… and just because I want Jojo to take most of the minutes doesn’t mean I’d X Black out of PT. Black may not fill out a stat sheet but he does provide leadership from his experience and attitude. The other players like him and respect him. He’s a glue guy and he’ll prove to be valuable to us. And there will be times when his muscle comes into play. He’s been solid on the boards.

  • Black didn’t transfer out of Memphis to sit on the bench. I’ve been pleasantly surprised so far (with his attitude), but still fear that his past personality will surface. Remember, NO ONE was sorry to see him leave Memphis other than–maybe–his Mom. He’s my last remaining concern with this team reaching its potential. Fortunately, Coach Self is not Pastner.

  • Black has been great for the kids, providing leadership and toughness. There have been reports of him being a great teacher already for Jojo. That said, I think Jojo starts eating his minutes sooner-than-expected. I originally thought Black would be the starter until conference play, but now I’m not sure Jojo takes over sooner. Black’s play on the court has been unimpressive so far, and Jojo has been a lot better than I expected with all the talk of how “raw” he is. I don’t see any chance at all of him staying longer than a year. Yes, he could improve, but he’s already a lock for a lotto pick, and a top half of the lotto at that. The second contract is where they get the real money anyway, so there’s no financial incentive whatsoever for him to stay.

  • To answer the headline question: Yes.

    I posted on this on another thread. Embiid needs to start, and play 30 minutes per game. Harnessing his talent can change this team exponentially.

    One big number from last night - 5. As in 5 assists.

    I’m not down on Black. He seems to be doing what he did at Memphis. And he seems to be producing as the Memphis fans said he would. He is not Joel Embiid. He will not play in the NBA. Black can provide leadership, etc. – perhaps as the first big off the bench. Black’s rebound rates were lower than Kevin Young’s. To be honest, Traylor has looked better. But not a big enough sample size.

    Self will not play guys for development sake, if it might cost us a game. Embiid seems like the perfect risk right now – meaning he seems like the better player right now, doesn’t look like he’ll cost us vs. Black, and his upside can propel this team, literally, to a national title.

    30 minutes, each and every game. In two months, you’ll see a difference.

  • This is probably a crazy suggestion, and I don’t know the it is possible under the NCAA rules. Could Hakeem Olujuwan (spelling probably wrong) be brought in to tutor Jojo? Many observers seem to think that Jojo’s play most resembles Hakeem’s style of play.

  • To answer your question Chris… I don’t think it works to bring Olajuwon to Lawrence, but if he’s out there somewhere then Embiid could visit him and get some tips, like over Christmas.

    I’m doubtful that would be interesting to Olajuwon… but a nice idea anyways.

    Most of the development time happens over summer, when players have time to go to camps and private help situations… like when TT went over the summer to get help from John Lucas.

  • Start Embiid now and it will pay off in March. He’s already better than Black. I don’t mind if we lose a few non-conference games, just let him get his feet wet.

  • Thanks for the link, approx!

  • The 5 assists Embiid had proved huge. Agree with HEM on that, and also that the sample size is small regarding Black, Traylor, and Embiid. Let’s see what Self does with each’s mpg. And lets see what ea. player does with their mgp opportunities. Black is also learning Self’s plethora of duties, screens/picks, and positioning that Self REQUIRES of his bigs, including rebound hustle. BigBlack has the size, does he have the motor to use such size? He would be an absolute monster if he had TRob’s motor…I dont think we have seen Black play enough yet. Maybe he isnt nimble enough to avoid fouls, I dont know. I need to see more games to judge.

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