KU notebook

KU’s Naadir Tharpe rises from bench sitter to national player of the week

Updated: 2014-01-22T05:19:04Z

By RUSTIN DODD

The Kansas City Star

— Kansas senior forward Tarik Black is “fine” after rolling his ankle in the second half of KU’s 78-68 victory over Baylor on Monday night, Jayhawks coach Bill Self said.

Black appeared to be in serious pain after a Baylor opponent rolled onto the back of his leg, and his fall was awkward. But after being helped to his feet, Black got off the floor under his own power.

“He just turned his ankle,” Self said. “He’s fine. You know, I didn’t know you could hurt him. But he should be fine.”

Black is averaging 3.2 points and 1.8 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per game during Big 12 play.

Tharpe, Embiid win national honors

On Dec. 7, Naadir Tharpe was benched. Kansas coach Bill Self was frustrated. Freshman Frank Mason replaced Tharpe in the starting lineup in the Jayhawks’ game at Colorado.

Nearly six weeks later, Tharpe was selected as the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week on Tuesday after leading No. 8 Kansas to a 5-0 start in Big 12 play. He averaged 22 points, five assists and four rebounds while shooting 82.4 percent (14 of 17) in consecutive victories over top-10 teams last week — Iowa State and Oklahoma State.

Also Tuesday: Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid was selected as the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week. After Monday’s victory over Baylor, Embiid is averaging 11.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game while shooting 68 percent from the field.

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