Kansas’ Joel Embiid expected to play in NCAA Tournament

By Alex Jordan,

Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid is expected to play in the NCAA tournament. On Sunday he flew to Los Angeles to get a second opinion on his back.

Embiid started having back problems on Feb. 8. He aggravated his back problems on March 1. Jayhawks coach Bill Self said that the results from the doctor’s visit in Los Angeles will determine whether Embiid will play in the Big 12 tournament. He sat out the Jayhawks final two regular season games. He is averaging 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game, according to the Associated Press.

"We've done exactly what we said all along we were going to do except the re-evaluation took place on Monday as opposed to Sunday," Self said. "He'll see the doctor today and we anticipate getting the exact same report that we got before. Maybe a little bit different as far as therapy or something like that."

Self went on to say, "I don't see a scenario where he wouldn't play in the postseason. I see a scenario where he possibly couldn't play this weekend," referring to the Big 12 Tournament.

It is unknown whether Embiid will enter the NBA draft this year. Fox Sports notes that DraftExpress.com and NBADraft.net project Embiid as the number one pick in this year’s NBA draft if he enters it.

No matter when Embiid returns the Jayhawks will be alright as they have depth. They can rely on Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor, Landen Lucas and Tarik Black, who replaced Embiid in the last two games, to step up for them.

The Jayhawks are the number one seed in the Big 12 Tournament and will play either Oklahoma State or Texas Tech on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

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