Kansas Notebook

KU's Joel Embiid on NBA: 'If I feel like I'm ready, I'm going to leave'

Updated: 2014-02-05T05:30:54Z

By RUSTIN DODD

The Kansas City Star

— It’s no secret that Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid could be a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. It’s also no secret that many people have asked him about the decision during his meteoric rise this season. But when ESPN sideline reporter Jeff Goodman said during Tuesday’s game that Embiid told him he was strongly considering returning to school for his sophomore year, it started a minor storm on Twitter during the game.

Embiid, who had five points and seven rebounds, clarified his view on the NBA after the game.

"Physically, mentally, if I feel like I'm ready, I'm going to leave,” Embiid said. “But right now, I'm not really thinking about that. So I’m just thinking about winning the Big 12 and winning the national championship.”

KU coach Bill Self says the notion that Embiid will consider both options is not new.

“There’s always a chance that somebody could come back,” Self said. “But I will say this, Joel will not make his decision based on the money.”

Embiid added that he has not been bothered by his recent knee sprain.

•  KU senior forward Tarik Black had six points and nine rebounds while playing 23 minutes off the bench. Sophomore forward Perry Ellis also added a double-double after a hot start.

First half

•  Key play: KU freshman Andrew Wiggins hit a half-court buzzer-beater that gave the Jayhawks a 35-27 lead at halftime.

•  Key stat: Wiggins was one of four from the field.

Second half

•  Key play: Holding onto a 45-42 lead, KU junior Naadir Tharpe drilled a three-pointer that stretched the cushion back to 48-42 with 12:30 left.

•  Key stat: KU held Baylor to 29 percent shooting.

| Rustin Dodd, rdodd@kcstar.com

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