Kansas center Joel Embiid has reportedly made the decision to enter his name into the 2014 NBA Draft, according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski.
Embiid is projected as a consensus top three pick in the draft and could go as high as No. 1 overall.
Embiid’s season was cut short when he aggravated a back injury in a loss to Oklahoma State on March 1st. He had dealt with back issues all season long, and it was determined that he had a stress fracture in his spine. He did not play the rest of the season, although he told reporters after No. 2 Kansas was eliminated in the Round of 32 that he would have played in the Sweet 16.
MORE: The entire list of players entering the 2014 NBA Draft
The 7-foot Cameroonian was toying with the idea of returning to school, but it’s hard to pass up the guaranteed money that is coming his way, particularly when he’s already dealing with injury issues. A bad back is a scary thing for an athlete, especially for a 19-year old 7-footer.
Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 23 minutes a game for the Jayhawks this season.
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.
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: