Joel Embiid

Kansas’ Joel Embiid still undecided on entering 2014 NBA Draft

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Thursday morning it was reported by Yahoo Sports’ Adrain Wojnarowski that Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid has decided to enter the 2014 NBA Draft. Embiid, who missed the final six games of the Jayhawks’ season due to a stress fracture in his lower back, has been regarded as a lottery pick should he enter June’s draft.

However according to a report from the Lawrence Journal-World, no decision has been made regarding Embiid’s status with head coach Bill Self refuting the reports himself.

“I have Jo in my office right now…. He didn’t know where that came from,” Self said of the report. “No decision has been made on what he’s going to do next year at all. I’m telling you, no decision at all has been made. I think he’s still a little ways away from that. That information that was reported did not come from Jo.”

Self was asked if any news regarding Embiid’s future was imminent and said no.

“As of now, this kid has not made any decision yet. He needs some time to make a good, informed decision,” Self said.

This doesn’t mean that Embiid has ruled out entering the draft and will definitely return to Kansas for his sophomore season, with Self saying as much in the article. But it does mean that a decision has yet to be made, and it’s anyone’s guess as to when Embiid will announce his intentions.

As a freshman Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game for the Big 12 regular season champions. In its front court rotation Kansas will lose senior Tarik Black, but they’ll add Arkansas transfer Hunter Mickelson and five-star power forward Cliff Alexander.

Texas lands commitment from top 100 center

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James Banks announced on Thursday that he has committed to Texas, joining Jacob Young in Shaka Smart’s first recruiting class as the head coach of the Longhorns.

Banks is an interesting prospect. A 6-foot-10 center from Georgia, Banks is a still-developing prospect that was recruited more on his potential than his immediate ability.

“James Banks emerged as a good low post prospect this spring and summer,” NBC Recruiting Analyst Scott Phillips said. “With a good set of hands, some offensive potential and a frame that can add weight, Banks is a nice upside grab for Texas.”

He’s probably a few years away from having a major impact in the Big 12, but he may not have that much time to develop. Cameron Ridley, Prince Ibeh and Conner Lamert all graduate after this season, meaning that Banks is going to have to contribute immediately when he sets foot on the Austin campus for the 2016-17 season.

Texas has three commitments in the Class of 2015. Smart convinced Kerwin Roach and Eric Davis to remain committed to the program when he took over for Rick Barnes while he landed a commitment from Tevin Mack, who pledged to Smart when he was at VCU.

Memphis guard could miss season with shoulder injury

Kedren Johnson
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Memphis just cannot catch a break.


It’s to the point where I almost feel bad for Josh Pastner.

Today, reported that Kedren Johnson, a 6-foot-4 point guard that was on track towards being an all-SEC point guard at Vanderbilt, could end up missing the season due to a shoulder injury. If he can handle the pain he can avoid surgery and play with the injury, but at the very least, Johnson is going to be less than his best.

Johnson averaged 6.7 points and 2.7 assists last season for the Tigers. He sat out 2013-14 after leaving Vanderbilt and entered last season incredibly out of shape. There was hope that he would be able to make a bigger impact this season and help fill the void at the point guard spot.

This news comes on the heels of Memphis finding out that Jaylen Fisher is heading to UNLV. Who’s Jaylen Fisher? Well, he’s a point guard and top 40 recruit from Memphis that was Pastner’s No. 1 recruiting target that opted to leave the city for his college hoops instead of play for the Tigers.

That’s a bad sign, but not quite as bad as Memphis losing star center Austin Nichols — another local kid — to a transfer over the summer. Nichols transferred to Virginia.