In the moments after a stinging loss, Joel Embiid wasn’t ready to think about the future.
No. 2 seed Kansas had fallen 60-57 to No. 10 Stanford in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32 on Sunday, and Embiid had missed his sixth straight game while recovering from a stress fracture in his back.
But sitting in a quiet KU locker room inside the Scottrade Center, Embiid said he wasn’t thinking about his upcoming decision surrounding the NBA Draft. A 7-foot center from Cameroon, Embiid is projected to be a top-three pick if he declares.
“It will be a tough decision,” Embiid said.
Fellow Kansas freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden also said they were not thinking about their pro prospects or a timetable for deciding on whether to enter the NBA Draft. But Wiggins and Selden face different circumstances.
Wiggins has never shied away from the idea that he would be one-and-done at KU. He let his intentions be known last October, and reminisced about his last game at Allen Fieldhouse earlier this month. He’ll likely be a top-three pick in the upcoming draft as well.
But Selden has seen his stock slide during his freshman season at Kansas. Once projected as a mid-first-round pick, he’s now a borderline first-rounder — if that.
“I’m not thinking about that,” Selden said, when asked if he planned to return to Kansas for his sophomore campaign.
Embiid said he would consult with his family, coaches and mentor, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, a Cameroon native who currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Mbah a Moute played three seasons at UCLA from 2005-08 before leaving early for the draft.
“I’m going to talk to my coaches, my mentor, my family,” Embiid said.
After the loss, Embiid said he didn’t know how close he was to playing this weekend. But he believed he would have been able to play in the Sweet 16 in Memphis, if Kansas would have advanced.
“I’ve been doing my rehab, my exercises,” Embiid said. “If it were to me, I think I was going to play (next week).”