Kansas picks up a fifth 2013 recruit as 7-footer Joel Embiid commits

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7-foot center Joel Embiid was one of the most intriguing 2013 prospects on the recruiting trail this summer due in large part to his upside.

Embiid’s recruitment picked up as a result, and the native of Cameroon announced via Twitter this morning that he’s committed to attend Kansas.

Embiid, who attends The Rock School in Gainesville, Florida, chose the Jayhawks over Texas and Florida.

An AAU teammate of Florida commits Kasey Hill and Chris Walker (Florida Elite), Embiid had ample opportunities to display that upside in front of some of the nation’s best coaches and he took advantage.

Embiid’s commitment pushes the number of 2013 verbal commitments to five for Kansas, who already held pledges from three Top 100 prospects (Conner Frankamp, Brannen Greene and Wayne Selden) in addition to point guard Frank Mason.

The reason why so many are intrigued by Embiid’s upside? He’s only played organized basketball for a year, so while he’s extremely raw there’s also the ample room for growth with quality coaching.

It’s safe to say that he’ll receive such tutelage from Bill Self and his staff at Kansas, which has won or shared eight consecutive Big 12 regular season titles.

The Jayhawks don’t lack for young interior talent, considering the fact that Perry Ellis, Landen Lucas and Jamari Traylor are all freshmen (Traylor a redshirt).

But with starting center Jeff Withey and reserve forward Kevin Young both being seniors this season, Kansas needed a big man to close out their 2013 class.

And while it will take some time for Embiid to reach his full potential, consider this “mission accomplished” for the Jayhawks.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej. 

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.