To Play or Not To Play... that is the question...

  • After our first game with Eastern Kentucky it will be time for Self to put on his fancy riverboat hat and long poker face and mumble these words, “I believe JoJo will be ready for our next game!”

    He needs to say that from here on out, even if JoJo never plays another second of Jayhawk basketball this year.

    This is a big part of coaching… playing poker with other coaches. Make them prepare to play JoJo even if he doesn’t play.

    We should get a lift from JoJo in this tournament, regardless if he plays or not!

  • @drgnslayr Self made some positive comments about the possible return of Embiid during the tournament.

    “We’re preparing like we won’t have him, and then when he comes back, it’ll just be a bonus. But it is a little different. It kind of leaves your kids in limbo a little bit obviously. Even though you turn on ESPN the talk is, ‘Joel Embiid this and that and Kansas, their hopes depend on this,’ we’ve kind of used that as a rallying cry with our guys.”

    That has to be their motivation to advance farther in March. They need him if they are going to go to the Final Four.

  • @drgnslayr

    If you want to know whether Joel will be playing, just follow the Vegas line. They have the best analysts/investigators in the business, and have much better inside information abut injuries than the average sports writer does. After all, they are risking millions of dollars and need the best information available.

  • @JayHawkFanToo What is the Vegas line?

  • @DinarHawk

    The Vegas betting line, odds and point spread. The current odds in KU’s group are:

    Florida 1:1

    KU 3:1

    Syracuse 6:1

    If you see the KU odds go shorter, say 2:1 or 1:1, it would certainly indicate that Embiid is coming back and KU chances have improved. The odds are constantly tweaked to make sure money is bet evenly.

    Likewise, the point spread for the KU EKU is KU -15, which means that KU is expected to win by 15 points. If too much money is being bet on one side, then Vegas changes the spread so half the money is bet on each side. If a lot more money is wagered on one side, Vegas can either win a lot of money of lose a lot of money depending on the outcome of the game; they don’t like that uncertainty. If the money wagered is evenly divided they are guaranteed to make money of the vigorish or “vig” or “juice” which is the fee the casinos (or bookies) charge to take the bet. If the point spread suddenly moves to KU-20, then you know that it is likely that Embiid will be playing.

    Google Vegas odds and Vegas point spread and you will find plenty of information on the subject

  • My biggest concern is that if Embiid does get a chance to play, our team balance will be upset after learning to play without him.

    I think I recall Duke had this situation in 2011 when Kyrie Irving became available after the first or second game of the tournament and proceeded to lose. It wasn’t so much about Kyrie as that the whole team hadn’t readjusted.

    My memory may be off, but that’s what I recall… and I really hope we can avoid that!

  • @bskeet I think they will adjust smoothly. First, he’s not been out long and Tarik is all about team. I’m guessing, praying that he will get back, and come off the bench like he did in the beginning. I don’t see any ego problems. Think there will be a lot of rotating in according to the foul situation. Bigger question might be will he be effective.

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