Claremore Daily Progress


March 13, 2014

Kansas center Embiid participates in shoot-around

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Injured Kansas center Joel Embiid remains unlikely to return before the second weekend of the NCAA tournament, even though he participated in a light shoot-around Wednesday.

Jayhawks coach Bill Self said the 7-footer's status hasn't changed since Monday, when Embiid received a second opinion on his back from a specialist in Los Angeles. The doctor confirmed the initial diagnosis of a stress fracture and prescribed rest and rehabilitation.

''He's not playing this week, at all,'' Self said in the hallway outside the Kansas locker room at the Sprint Center. ''The thing about it is we'll play him whenever the doctors and Joel's body say he's ready to play, and I'm still confident - and others are - that it's going to happen.

''But to be real candid,'' Self said, ''we may have to advance for it to happen.''

Self was referring to the NCAA tournament, of course. He also refuted reports that he was ''100 percent'' confident his freshman shot-blocker would play again this postseason.

No. 10 Kansas has the top seed and a first-round bye in the Big 12 tournament. The defending champion will face the winner of Oklahoma State-Texas Tech in Thursday's quarterfinals.

Embiid's injury has become a major story in Kansas City this week. Talk radio shows have dissected it for days, trotting out back experts and others to give their opinions on whether the freshman - projected by some to be the No. 1 pick in the draft - will return at all this season.

The injury has even gotten the attention of the NCAA tournament selection committee, which has asked Kansas to keep abreast of developments in the injury this week.

It's not the first time the committee has weighed injuries to star players when it comes time to seed the tournament. Perhaps the most famous case occurred in 2000, when Cincinnati was dropped to the second line after Kenyon Martin broke his leg in the Conference USA tournament.

The Bearcats were upset in the second round by Tulsa, which was coached by Self.

''Obviously they were the best team in the country that year and they dropped a seed line. You never know,'' Self said, ''and I'm not sure this year (seeds) matter a whole lot.''

With Embiid out for the foreseeable future, the Jayhawks will be leaning on Tarik Black, a senior transfer from Memphis who has played well when he's not been mired in foul trouble.

Black was the starter early in the season before Embiid took over the role.

''It wasn't a one-man show when he was with us. He was a big part of our team, but we're still Kansas. We're still the name on the front of the jersey,'' Black said. ''I don't feel much pressure. We have a great team, and it goes back to being Kansas basketball.''

Junior guard Naadir Tharpe said the biggest hurdle to overcome is on defense, where Embiid was able to patrol the paint. The Jayhawks have been susceptible to dribble penetration all year.

''We have to make sure everyone's much more locked in,'' Tharpe said, ''because Joel protects the rim so well. Now we have to make sure everyone's on the same plane.''

It's not as if playing without Embiid is new. He missed a game against TCU earlier this season because of his back, and was shut down for the Jayhawks' final two regular-season games, a blowout win over Texas Tech and a loss to West Virginia last weekend.

''We can still play well this weekend,'' Self said, ''without question.''


Text Only
  • DSC_0111web.jpg ‘Team behind the Team’

    For the second-straight year, the Claremore Zebra student training staff will be represented in the Oklahoma Coaches All-State games held in Tulsa.
    Meranda Golbek and Sarah Szcinski, a pair of 2014 Claremore High School graduates, earned All-State honors for their athletic training careers and will join two other student trainers from Jenks and Stillwater High School on the East squad.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blackmon a 'big deal' for the wrong reasons

    The sports world is littered with gifted athletes whose self-destructive tendencies derailed what should have been promising careers. Ex-Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon appears to be on that well-worn path with his latest arrest.

    July 27, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Three Rivers Bandits notch 8th-straight win

    The Three Rivers Bandits seem to be getting hot when they need to be, heading into next week’s state tournament.

    The Bartlesville Indians were victims of the heat as the Bandits swept a doubleheader from them, 2-0 and then 9-2, on Saturday at Connors State College for their eighth straight win.

    July 27, 2014

  • TCU's Fields surrenders to misdemeanor warrant

    TCU defensive end Devonte Fields has surrendered to authorities on a misdemeanor assault warrant.

    That's after TCU suspended the defensive standout earlier this week amid allegations he punched an ex-girlfriend in the head and threatened her with a gun while shouting, "I should blast you!"

    July 27, 2014

  • College football workouts not for the meek

    The massive men ran from one station to the next, barely taking a second to catch their breath between rounds of sit-ups, push-ups and throwing weighted balls against a wall.

    July 27, 2014

  • Utah QB Wilson cited on alcohol charge

    Utah quarterback Travis Wilson has been cited at a concert on a charge of possession or consumption of alcohol by a minor.

    July 27, 2014

  • NFL: Eagles dealing with suspension of ex-Sooner OL Lane Johnson

    Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly opened training camp Saturday dealing with an issue he never faced before — one of his top players being suspended.

    Right tackle Lane Johnson, Kelly's first opening-round draft pick and the fourth overall pick of the 2013 draft will miss the first four games of the 2014 season after testing positive for a banned substance.

    July 27, 2014

  • NFL: Browns fans flock to see Johnny Football

    There were No. 2 jerseys everywhere, ringing the practice fields in various shapes, sizes and colors.

    On the first day of training camp, Browns fans came out by the thousands, many of them to get their first live look at the popular and polarizing quarterback who electrified college football and who may one day lead Cleveland back to pro football glory.

    They all came to see Johnny Manziel.

    July 27, 2014

  • Manziel's day at Browns camp

    A look at Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel's day at training camp.

    July 27, 2014