Kansas leaves the Bahamas with its first loss of the season and not the Battle 4 Atlantis title.
The first month of the season is in the books, and the Jayhawks, like other contenders around the country, will look to improve in multiple areas. One takeaway from KU’s trip to the Bahamas was the play of Joel Embidd, especially in the second half of Kansas’ 67-63 win over UTEP. The freshman center rejected seven shots, breaking the school record held by Nick Collison, in 21 minutes of action.
Kansas head coach Bill Self said following the game that the 7-footer from Cameroon will see a bump in minutes moving forward.
“I’m speaking honestly about how things have gone, but that’s one guy that’s on a big uptick. There’s no question that he’s got to play more minutes … without fouling,” Self said.
Embiid fouled out the previous game against Villanova and committed four more in the win against the Miners. His play won’t help the Jayhawks 3-point shooting, but his emergence will be important for Kansas, not just in the Big 12, but also for the remainder of a difficult non-conference schedule, which still features matchups against Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Georgetown and San Diego State before kicking off conference play at Oklahoma
Embiid is averaging 9.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 blockers and 1.1 assists per games through seven games this season.