“The credential requests began filling the mailbox months ago, when a handful of NBA scouts made plans to watch the No. 1 prospect in America play for Kansas in a game against Iowa State. The night finally came and went Monday in Ames, and after the final horn sounded in KU’s 77-70 victory, front-office types such as Chicago’s John Paxson and Gar Forman couldn’t have been disappointed. But they may have been a bit surprised. The best pro prospect in the nation was definitely roaming the Hilton Coliseum court in a Jayhawks uniform, but it wasn’t Andrew Wiggins… the narrative has changed. The quest to become the No. 1 overall pick is suddenly a multi-person affair, and Wiggins’ biggest threat appears to be his own teammate. Seven-foot center Joel Embiid.”
Jason King, writer, BleacherReport.com
GH: The pub about Embiid’s talent has been brewing here in the Big 12 but his cheap shot to the face of K-State’s Nino Williams on Saturday got him some unwanted notice. But his play in Ames on ESPN’s Big Monday may have changed his life for good. Read on.
“I think Embiid is the best player in the country. He’s huge and has a great length. He can shoot and has incredible footwork.”
Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State head basketball coach, after watching Embiid’s contribution to the Jayhawks 77-70 win in Ames, BleacherReport.com
GH: Watching Embiid play it is easy to forget he is seven-foot tall. Think of Jeff Withey moving, passing and controlling his body the way Embiid is doing in his freshman season. Embiid moves like he’s a wide receiver.
“That’s a bit of a stretch (to call Embiid the best player in the country). Embiid, who averages 10.9 points and 7.4 rebounds, isn’t the top player in the nation. If the season ended today, he probably wouldn’t even make third-team All-American. When it comes to pro potential, though, Embiid is the best NBA prospect in college basketball.”
Jason King, commenting on Hoiberg’s comment about Embiid, BleacherReport.com
GH: Let’s check back on that All-American team in April which is when they pick All-American teams, Jason. I have a feeling Embiid is going to get his jersey hung in Allen Fieldhouse after just one season.
“It’s crazy. I remember playing him last year in high school. Seeing him now, it’s crazy. He’s only been playing basketball two years. To be this good and this dominant (already)…that’s something special.”
Andrew Wiggins, on Embiid, BleacherReport.com
“How many guys can get 17 points and 17 boards and still leaving you feeling like, “Eh, he can still do better”? Only No. 1 picks, basically.”
Jeff Borzello, @jeffborzello, on Wiggins’ night in Ames, Twitter
“General rule with Joel Embiid: if you think he can’t do it, just wait a game a two.”
Steven Davis, @Steven_Davis3, Twitter
GH: This is the part of Embiid’s game that is the most exciting for Kansas fans and pro scouts. He gets better every game. Not every month. Every game. He’s learning at cartoon speed.
“I think it’s actually a good sign for Joel Embiid longterm that he mixes it up. Skinny big guys get pushed around A LOT. Maybe he won’t.”
Danny Parkins, @DannyParkins, after Embiid was issued his second flagrant foul in the past two games, Twitter
“This is a good kid now.”
Fran Fraschilla, TV analyst, defending Embiid after he was called for a Flagrant 1 foul, ESPN
“I think he needs to learn to control his temper a little bit.”
Dave “SloPlay” Armstrong, who calls TV play-by-play for many Big 12 games, on Embiid, 810 AM
GH: This has to be my favorite quote of the week. Armstrong is a grown man and he can’t control his temper enough in a November golf game on a muny track to avoid fisticuffs!
“This might be Bill Self’s most talented Kansas team since they lost 2 VCU in 2011. And they’re getting better. Will be right there in March.”
Jon Rothstein, @JonRothstein, Twitter
GH: So how the hell did KU lose four non-con games this season?
“KU v ISU is turning into the best rivalry in the Big 12.”
Bob Fescoe, @bobfescoe, Twitter
GH: And how sad it that?
[email protected] Twitter @greghall24