Kansas center Joel Embiid had a breakout game last night against Iowa State and displayed the skill set that will make him the number one pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
An incredibly talented, but not yet living up to expectations Kansas team, got their biggest win of the season yesterday by going into Ames, Iowa and coming away with a 77-70 victory over the previously 14-1 Cyclones.
As was reported by Myron Medcalf at ESPN.com Embiid was an absolute game changer at both ends of the floor:
Embiid finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, five blocks and two steals (seven turnovers, too) in 28 minutes.
But his time on the floor was limited by foul trouble, including a silly flagrant 1 in the first half. He fouled out in the final minute of the game.
By then, however, he’d already proven to the multitude of NBA scouts in Ames for the game that he deserves serious consideration as a No. 1 pick in next summer’s draft.
Before that payday, Embiid can lead Kansas to the Big 12 title and more. His presence on both ends of the floor has added a new dimension to Kansas basketball.
In KU’s past seven games (6-1), Embiid has averaged 13.4 PPG, 8.5 RPG and 3.0 BPG.
There is no ceiling for Embiid, who has as much upside as any college basketball player in the country. And against Iowa State on Monday, he seemed to realize it in the second half.
In many respects Embiid is a basketball prodigy as illustrated by the fact that he's only been playing the game for two years.
This inexperience was also on display last night with the aforementioned turnovers and the flagrant foul but his mental game and basketball IQ can only get better.
He is incredibly agile on the offensive end, has great timing and is an excellent passer out of the double team. All attributes that could make him a franchise type center in the NBA.
In fact, his ceiling may even be higher than New Orleans Pelicans rookie power forward Anthony Davis who is averaging 19.6 points and 10.3 boards while shooting over 52 percent from the floor.
It's these numbers that have many people saying Davis could be a potential MVP in the not so distant future.
As a point of comparison, Davis shot over 62% during his one season at Kentucky.
After last night's performance Embiid is now shooting a cartoonish just under 68% for the season.
There is no doubt in my mind, come June, obviously barring extenuating circumstances, Joel Embiid will be the first name called in the 2014 NBA draft.
Now, whether or not he becomes a Boston Celtic, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Follow Clint on Twitter @clintcorey Clint Corey 1/14/2014 12:31:00 PM Tweet Edit