In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, Joel Embiid officially announced that he will be entering his name into the NBA Draft.
“Looking at different scenarios and gathering info of what was best for me,” Embiid said. “Either way was best for me.”
“Talking to my mentor, it was best the choice.”
Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in his 28 games, but he missed time late in the season, including both the Big 12 tournament and the NCAA tournament, because of a stress fracture that he suffered in his back. He was projected as the No. 1 pick in the draft for the majority of the season, but he could slip to No. 3 if teams are not convinced that his back in healthy.
MORE: The entire list of players entering the 2014 NBA Draft
Embiid follows Andrew Wiggins to the NBA, but Kansas did get some good news with Wayne Selden returning to school. They add Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander, and are right in the mix for Myles Turner as well. Even without Embiid, the Jayhawks were No. 4 in our preseason top 25 poll.
“The bottom line is he’s disappointed absolutely no one in our program,” Self said. “I don’t think he could have made a bad decision, but I think he made a good decision.”
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: