Joel Embiid

Kansas center Joel Embiid considering staying at Kansas for sophomore season

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There ought to be plenty of talent in the green room at this June’s NBA draft. Although a consensus top-3 pick, maybe the No. 1 overall pick, is exploring the idea of returning for his sophomore season.

ESPN Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman  spoke with Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid before and after No. 8 Kansas’ 69-52 win over Baylor on Tuesday night. Before the game Embiid told Goodman he wasn’t sure if he was ready to declare for the NBA. Following the win he said it all depends on his development for the remainder of the season. Embiid, the Cameroon native who has only played three years of organized basketball, has rapidly improved in his short time in Lawrence.

Not only is he averaging 11.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game, but he has also dethroned teammate Andrew Wiggins as the projected top overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft according to DraftExpress.com.

“I’m not even thinking about it right now,” Embiid told Goodman. “I’ll make a decision after the season, but I’m definitely considering coming back to school.”

It’s tough to truly know if Embiid is actually considering returning for another season. Kansas is playing great basketball as of late, and is a trendy pick to make it back to the Final Four this month. Would it really be best move for Embiid to announce his plans to bolt after this season, in February, with his team contending for a national title?

He’s going to be a top-3 pick, could very well be the top pick giving his potential impact. If he returns there is always the possibility of an injury, which will likely drop you stocks, a move that will cost you millions.

Maybe he is honestly considering returning. Again there’s no real way of knowing. Remember he is three years into organized basketball, and Kansas head coach Bill Self has seen his big men in the past improve over the years.

It’s a fair question, and Embiid answered it in the best answer possible. There’s just no way of knowing if he’s actually open to returning to KU, or if he’s already made up his mind and declare this spring.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: