Embiid brings unique skill set to Lawrence

Four-star center Joel Embiid is now a member of the Kansas basketball program and here is a look at what KU fans should expect from him.

The Kansas Jayhawks already had an elite class coming their way, but now it has gone to another level with the decision of Joel Embiid to pick the school. The Gainesville (Fla.) Rock School center burst onto the scene during the month of July, and now the four-star prospect completes an impressive class.

At 7-feet tall Embiid is a force and that is obvious on the defensive end. Embiid is a very good athlete, shows a good feel for blocking shots, attacks the glass, and is a big body on the post. While Embiid isn't the strongest player in the country, he does a decent job of bodying up on the post and looks like he will get much stronger as the years go on.

Over the summer with the Florida Rams it was impressive to see Embiid's growth. He was somewhat of an afterthought on arguably the top 17-and under squad in the country during the spring, and then during Memorial Day he began to really step his game up.

Embiid began to show that he could score a little bit with his back to the basket, was more consistent running the floor, and just had a better understanding of the game.

Fast forward roughly five weeks to the Adidas Invitational during the month of July and Embiid at times was a difference maker on the interior. While offensively he still didn't show a great touch and had moments where he really struggled, Embiid still made an impact. He blocked shots and overall was maybe the most consistent big on the roster for the Rams.

Now a few months later Embiid has become maybe the hottest commodity on the recruiting trail because no one in the class combines the athleticism, size, and long term potential that Embiid does.

Kansas is in a bit of a luxury position with Embiid. Whereas some schools probably would have had to throw Embiid right into the fire and make him play extended minutes right away, the Jayhawks have some big bodies down low with Jamari Traylor, Perry Ellis, Landen Lucas, and Zach Peters that can afford Embiid to ease into his role.

By the time Embiid is a sophomore and junior he is likely to be one of the better interior prospects as his growth as a player is similar to that of current Louisville standout Gorgui Dieng.

It will probably take a little bit of time, but the Jayhawks potentially landed a major impact player that not a ton of people have seen. Still Bill Self and his staff did their homework and what was a top five class is now a top three class and things are really looking up in Lawrence.


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