March 11: News Headlines Digest

  • Also see our Daily Threads, March 11, and the News Digest for Yesterday, March 10, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, March 10 ####

    Joel Embiid

    ##Goodman: Joel Embiid out indefinitely##

    Kansas Jayhawks freshman big man Joel Embiid is out for the Big 12 tournament and will likely miss the first weekend of the NCAA tournament.

    The 7-foot Cameroon native went to Los Angeles for a second opinion on his ailing back on Monday. Jayhawks coach Bill Self told earlier in the day he was confident that Embiid would play in the NCAA tourney, and thought there was a chance he could play in the Big 12 tournament.

    ###Medcalf: Forget March: Embiid should prep for pros###

    In just a few hours, the narrative changed.

    Bill Self began Monday with a “nothing to see here” routine. Joel Embiid, the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year and a critical element in Kansas’ Final Four aspirations, would return eventually, he said. The freshman’s weekend trip to California, where he visited a back specialist, was the “plan” for the potential No. 1 pick in next summer’s NBA draft who missed the final two games of the regular season. Joel Embiid ruled out for Big 12 Tournament###

    The specialist confirmed the original stress fracture prognosis he received in Lawrence. His current treatments have Embiid in the middle of the healing process, which renders him unavailable for the Big 12 Championship and unlikely to play in the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

    ###Tait: Emiid absence a big blow for KU basketball, but not all hope is lost###

    It’s crazy to think that the next piece of significant news we get about Kansas University freshman Joel Embiid could come with him sitting at a table in the Allen Fieldhouse media room, a microphone in front of face and his decision about the NBA on the tip of his tongue.

    That reality became true in a very harsh manner on Monday evening, when KU coach Bill Self revealed the results of Embiid’s second-opinion visit with back specialists in California, news that indicated Embiid was out for the Big 12 tournament and likely would miss the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament in St. Louis.

    ###### Also see our Daily Threads, March 11, and the News Digest for Yesterday, March 10, as well as Daily Threads for Yesterday, March 10

  • The 2013-14 plot thickens. Still hoping for a happy ending… but it’s beginning to look like it’s going to take something legendary for the heroes to prevail.

  • If they play their hearts out for Joel Embiid, there is the potential to go on a long run in the dance. Time to step up.

  • True Fans stick with their team through thick and thin and don’t give into all the naysayers who think the sky is falling. My optimism is still there that OUR team has the potential to weather this unfortunate hit.


  • Very happy to see some optimism from fellow fans!! Did you guys read all the comments about this on KUsports? I’ve never read so many negative posts. Jo Jo is a huge part of this team but injuries happen and other guys need to step up and make it happen.

    At the end of the day we still have Bill Self and that is an advantage few other teams possess in March.

  • It now seems as this is beginning to play out similar to that which I drastically feared & envisioned. Jo Jo is now a no go & since the mystery continues to unfold with the involvement of parents, physicians, & the usual suspects, ultimately his entire professional future may very well be on the line here & now. Damn I hate this. Not at all for the fate of this team, but for a young man who potentially has the limitations of only the heavens in the sky to make his mark in the world. I may now even be disappointed if he does in fact play again this season, possibly risking the ability to impact so many aspects of life’s endeavors, and the talented brilliance to do so in such a grand & historic way. When things as this take place it’s difficult to understand the why, or even if there is one. But the University has painfully recent experience dealing with the components of the tragedies & pitfalls that can befall young lives, and so we should expect nothing but the appropriate decisions from all at KU going forward.

  • KU is is 2-1 without Joel this season. That’s not too bad.

    Sure the OKst/TT match up in the Big12 might not be what KU needs right away without him, but they’ve had a few weeks to practice without him and he is not the only player on the team, he is juts the defensive catalyst for it.

    Guards are going to have to step up, but with the rules this season its hard to stop a penetrating guard. Black has a reputation with these officials this year of being in foul trouble.

    I have great faith in Self and staff, along with the other players on this team. I think KU will be ok. I am ore concerned about a stress fracture in JoJos back. I hope that heels and he can come back and be the giant that he is.

  • Off topic:

    If Los Angeles Lakers call Bill this summer, will he take the gig? If he did, would you be surprised to see him take Danny Manning and Larry Brown with him as assistants?

  • @JRyman-Plus if & when we do play Joel again, certainly our opponents will go straight at him & that should be expected. Don’t know if there could be a contingency plan on protecting him or not. Maybe teamed with Black, Traylor or Landon, but is playing him even worth the risk? offensively he could possibly be restricted to high post without so much contact being needed for position, but would that even be an effective strategy? Banging with a big like Ridley should not be an option IMO.

  • Oh no, no JoJo.

  • @globaljaybird Unless they have Black take the bigger guy and Embiid take the smaller guy. The thing about it the smaller guy would be quicker than him, so it would probably not be a good plan.

  • @dylans Say it aint so JoJo

  • Now that Joel can not play, everyone is going to have to step up their defensive intensity. They can do it. We’ve seen them do it. They have to realize that the longer they play and advance in the tournament, the odds that Embiid returns get higher.

    There can not be any moments where they lose their man, have any brain farts, or are not sliding with their man. They have to guard like their lives depend on it, or they will not make it past the sweet sixteen.

    They have to play aggressive defense like they did against Texas. Simple as that.

  • If Black could keep his hands and arms straight up instead of out at an angle he’d foul less. He hasn’t figured it out in 3 1/2 years it isn’t going to happen now.

    The most effective strategy I saw against KU when Embiid is in the game was what KSU did and a couple others: draw Embiid up to the top of the key and send the guards into the lane. No rim protector and no guard that can cut off the dribble. I am afraid that a team with exceptionally quick guards (i.e. WVU) will cut this team up in the tournament without a rim protector.

    Does Bill put the full court press on Myles Turner now? Even if Embiid returns it would be nice to have a back-up rim protector. I know Michelson is near 7ft., but I know very little about him or his defense.

  • I know its a few days old, but I could use a good laugh today. This did it.

  • @dylans We could all use a good laugh today to keep the positive spirits flowing! It’s still hillarious

  • @dylans Plus they had a counter in the crowd too that showed how many times he flopped, I think I saw it hit 5 at last count.

  • At the beginning of the Season Embid was to e a project and would learn from Traylor and Black how to play. The team was fine with him coming off the bench early in the season and playing for Black who was always in foul trouble.

    As the season progressed not only us but the country found how the force that JoJo was. Black came off the bench and Traylor became a very high energy guy off the bench to give the team a spark and take high percentage shots.

    Now here we are in season 3 of this year, no JoJo. This team has enough talent and it has heart too, they just need to all put it together over the next 4 weeks to show the world that Kansas basketball can put anybody on the floor and compete with whoever the other 5 are.

    Rock Chalk Stay Strong F.O.E. Jayhawk

  • @JRyman F.O.E. has a completely different meaning in Stillwater.

    Flops Over Everything

  • @RockChalkinTexas You might want to change the saying at the bottom of all your posts 🙂

  • @DinarHawk

    How does one step up their defensive intensity? Seriously. There is no way to replace a 7 footer right now that teams shoot almost 5% higher when he’s not on the floor. His loss limits the ability of this team to defend the ball plain and simple.

  • @wissoxfan83 Or keep it and put question marks instead of exclamation point???

  • @JRyman I share your sentiments my friend, I said something similar in another thread. Everyone jumping ship most have forgot how little we knew about JoJo before the season began we were still being picked to go deep. Now all of the sudden we are done? Buckle up Jayhawk family because the ride to the first Monday in April is gonig to be wild but well worth it!

  • @HawkInMizery That’s right it’s called March MADNESS for a reason. Anything can happen and anything is possible.

  • @RockChalkinTexas That would read like Ron Burgundy reading the teleprompter…“We have JOEL EMBIID ??”

  • @dylans

    It is not the arms as much as that big body of his that he uses to bump the other players. Unfortunately the previous three years a lot of this contact was not called, and was SOP for big men to play hard defense this way. The new contact rules have affected physical players like Tarik more so than other players and it a been a bonanza for slashing players, since offensive fouls are hardly ever called…plus most refs seem to continue the tradition of calling a foul on Tarik as soon as he enters the court; only half kidding on the last statement.

  • @wissoxfan83 I’m glad you asked.

    Firstly, despite popular belief, you can go to the final four and even win a championship without a player like Joel or Jeff.

    I will give you some examples from the past few years.

    Here are a list of teams that made the final four that did not have a premier shot blocker but compensated by playing great on ball defense: Villanova and North Carolina in 2009, Michigan State, Butler, Duke, and West Virginia in 2010, Butler, Connecticut, and VCU in 2011, Ohio State in 2012, and Wichita State in 2013.

    As you can see, a team does not necessarily need a great shot blocker to get to the final four.

    You also bring up how teams shoot a higher percentage with him off the floor. All you have to do is ask yourself this: Does the eye test say that they are giving 100% intensity on the defensive end? The answer is no.

    To bring the necessary defensive intensity, they are going to have to realize that they no longer have the luxury of Joel guarding the rim.

    They must, as Bill Self said, rally together in light of current circumstances.

    Is there any denying that they don’t possess the required talent to get to Arlington?

  • @JayHawkFanToo You are right about the body, but watch his arms also. Then think about how straight up and down Jeff Withey used to go. Withey got away with a lot of body contact because he never initiated it. I know they are two completely different type of players and the rules have changed; Withey is an unfair comparison.

  • @DinarHawk If the rest of the team can in fact can raise their defensive intensity to the point of reaching the sweet 16 or elite 8 without Embiid, imagine how good they could be with Embiid. Assuming the defensive intensity remains as high with him in the lineup.

  • @dylans While I want Embiid to come back and hope that he recovers soon, I doubt that he plays in the tournament.

    The good news is, this team has the talent and the coach to get to Arlington without him.

  • @dylans

    Agree. I wonder how Withey would fare with the new rules.

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