LAWRENCE, Kan. – Only two picks separated former Kansas big man Joel Embiid from his Jayhawk teammate Andrew Wiggins, as the Philadelphia 76ers selected Embiid with the third overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft Thursday night inside the Barclay Center.
Embiid makes the 18th draftee in the Bill Self era, shortly after Wiggins became the 17th player. The duo became the 75th and 76th players to be drafted in Kansas men's basketball history. It also marks the 24th time - and fifth-consecutive year - that multiple Jayhawks were drafted.
The 2014 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Embiid broke the KU freshman record for blocked shots with 72 and his 2.6 blocked shots per game finished second in the league. Named to the 2014 All-Big 12 Second Team, Embiid led KU with 8.1 rebounds per game – also a KU freshman record – and good for sixth in the Big 12. The 7-0 Yaoundé, Cameroon, native averaged 11.2 points per game and his 62.6 field goal percentage broke yet another KU rookie record. Additionally, Embiid was named to the 2014 Freshman All-America Team, along with teammate Andrew Wiggins, by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA).
Embiid was a two-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week – Dec. 2, 2013 and Jan. 20, 2014 – and was named the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week and CBSSports.com National Player of the Week on Jan. 21, 2014 after averaging a double-double with 14.5 points and 10.0 rebounds to go along with 13 blocked shots in KU victories against then-top-10 opponents Iowa State (1/13) and Oklahoma State (1/18). Included was a KU freshman-record eight blocked shots against OSU.
Embiid missed the final two regular-season games and the Big 12 Championship due to a stress fracture in his lower back. He was sidelined from KU's two NCAA Tournament contests, as well. While Embiid fully recovered from the injury and resumed basketball activities, surgery on a stress fracture in his right foot last Friday prevented him from attending the draft.