Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor center Isaiah Austin got a feel for how talented Kansas center Joel Embiid is. The Jayhawks 7-footer plans to sit out the final two regular-season games in order to rest his injured back.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A West Virginia basketball team still harboring longshot aspirations of an NCAA berth won’t have to cope with aching Kansas star Joel Embiid in the season finale. Jayhawks coach Bill Self said Monday he plans to rest his sore-backed 7-footer for this week’s final two games.

“We’ve spoken with experts with this particular injury and have been told the same thing we were told before—rest is the best remedy,” Self said.

With the Big 12 crown locked up, No. 8-ranked Kansas faces Texas Tech on Wednesday before visiting West Virginia on Saturday. The news of Embiid taking time off came as the desperate Mountaineers (16-13, 8-8) were preparing for Wednesday night’s game at No. 23 Oklahoma. Upset wins over the Sooners and Jayhawks could once again make West Virginia appealing to the selection committee.

Projected as the No. 1 overall pick in the June NBA draft, the long and agile Embiid has posted 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game. After a slow first half against West Virginia on Feb. 8, he closed with 11 pints, 12 rebounds and three rejections as Kansas won 83-69.

“It should not be an injury that keeps him out for the rest of the season,” said Self, who suggested his Cameroon-born center could return for next week’s Big 12 tournament. “It’s a similar thing as before, lower back strain basically. … Last time he was off five days and that worked very nicely for him and he was able to come back and be 100 percent.”

Few teams in college basketball can match up against Embiid, but West Virginia’s inexperienced and largely ineffective frontline is at a particular disadvantage. Plus WVU has been missing its own player of late, with third-leading scorer Terry Henderson too sick to practice the past two weeks.

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  • TruthTeller

    TT I like that!!! : )

  • leroy j gibbs

    henderson aint comin back if he has mono

  • Aaron

    I agree with Dave below, WV should concentrate on Oklahoma first and not worry about Kansas until that game is complete.

    I'm sure HOF Coach will ensure that happens.

  • TruthTeller

    If we could get the Big 12 refs to sit out of the next two games. WVU has a chance. Oliver you got to put your Houston connections aside and take a stand for WVU. WVU has been robbed of another NCAA trip thanks to the bias calls of the Big 12 officials. Worst refs I have seen in 30 years. They are clearly controlling the outcome of the games to favor our opponents.

    • Will

      There are no "Big 12 refs" in basketball. The refs are only affiliated with conferences in football.

      • TruthTeller

        Okay Will do you want to tell me what other associations these officials belong to? Do they belong to a union? If so, what union?
        Do they have other jobs besides being a crooked bias ref? If so, what? Just thought since you are pretending to be Mister knows it all you could tackle those questions as well there genius.

        There are no Big 12 refs? LOL!!!!

        • Will

          You're nice.
          Just to humor you I will tell you how to find this information.
          Go to a website called Go to the referees tab. Pick a referee by name, say Ray Natili and click on him. He has worked 88 games this year, the most of all refs. Then click on the schedule tab and you can see he has worked games all over the country and for multiple conferences. Or you can go to his conferences tab and see that he has worked 17 ACC games, 7 Sun Belt, 6 Big 12, and so on.
          So yes, I am right on this one, you are wrong, and since you were so sarcastic in trying to tell me I was wrong, this has been a pleasure to write.

    • WVwho

      TT, you should consider a name change to Koolaid, because you are drinking a ton. The refs are bad both ways all the time!

      • TruthTeller

        Okay explain me why WVU never had this much of a foul problem when they played in the Big East and it was a lot more physical than these pansies.

        • Betsey Kinzer


          The year we went to the Final Four, from the Big East, we averaged a GRAND TOTAL of 2 whole fouls less per game....

  • TruthTeller

    Kansas is a team with very little talent. All they can do is layups and dunks. They can barely shoot the ball. Kansas is the Duke of the Big 12.
    They rely of the refs and getting all of their points at the foul line. If they struggle shooting the ball they will just try to dunk on you and the refs is just waiting to call a foul on anybody standing close by

    • jwg66

      TT you have to be blind or kidding. Their talent is super. They are long and athletic and really hard to score against. And if Brown or Noreen are in, they will double on Harris and Staten. Very tough for us even at home.

    • squad

      dude you are out of your mind. they are loaded for bear two deep at every position.

      • TruthTeller

        Oh you are talking about the one and done team at Kansas? We don't need to worry about them next year. None of those starters will be there next year. Wiggins is the only player they have. One man does not make a team. Like I said I could out shoot those guys.

      • Aaron

        Whole I'm not agreeing with comments by TT because Kansas is a talented team, I wouldn't say they are 2 deep at every position.

        Prior to signing Wiggins and Embiid they weren't considered a top 15 program and no one had them winning the Big 12 again.

        • mad hatter

          aaron, let me know when you exhibit superior intellect, so i can pay particular attention to the poster, realizing, it won't be you.

          • Aaron

            24/7/365 t

        • pinball wizzard

          aaron ,i concur, tho rhetorically, that your rationale makes absolutely no sense.

          • Aaron

            It's Aaron Mr. Hatter.

            And no Mister Man, he does not. Asinine comments are his only recourse against superior intellect. He employs it often.

          • Mister Man

            Do you even read what you post?

    • WVwho

      A quick look at the Stats available at ESPN, shows that Kansas is nothing like Duke. Duke gets ~35% of their FG's from 3, while Kansas only generates 20%. Try again.

      • TruthTeller

        I don't have to look at stats. Just because you put false data in does not make true
        data come out. All I have to do is watch the game sober and let my eyes see how Kansas plays. Just because you are long
        does not mean you have talent. I can out shoot all of those players. I just can't dunk
        though. Maybe you guys should try watching the games sober instead of being
        drunk by half time. Cheers!!!

    • The Real KeatonsCorner

      c'mon, man.... you're better than this.


    Break, I don't know if I would go that far ... in the dark tunnel that WVU is approaching there might be a glimmer of optimism , with Kansas 7 footer sitting out to rest his back....

    Break, is a key play in the game and WVU has chance to get points, this is a Kansas team load with blue chip players and some one else gets to start... not much of a break...more like a shuffle of talent on the floor.

    I hope WVU can take advantage of the break Kansas is giving them.... please....please...


    isn't the NCAA Headquarters in KANSAS, thanks for giving yourself's a break against two WVU players that wasn't cleared to play this year...oops...was that my outside voice, I meant to say thanks for sitting your 7 footer against us so he will be ready for the big dance.... Big12 members did nothing to help WVU to help the Big 12 this year... really whats the point of being in a conference if we aren't in it to beat the rest of the world first and foremost, then each other next...Mid-west looser's (thanks for helping with scheduling issues...weak,weak.... Ollie you need to get out there and fight for us in this new league... I know there is a lot to do at home (WVU) but there is a lot to do in our conference as's hard to get a call in this league and our sportswriters our calling breaks when a player isn't going to start in a game... is this what we call breaks? (Allen you do a good job)

    • Mister Man

      Is that what you call English?

    • Jay

      The NCAA headquarters is in Indianapolis. That's Indiana. Not Kansas.

  • shawn

    If Henderson was 100% I would feel a lot better. These are the games you need him most.

  • Allen

    Is there any chance they can sit a couple just so they don't get hurt as well. :)

  • Dr. Sarcasm

    "Feb. 8, he closed with 11 pints,"!
    Pretty good for being drunk!

  • Dave

    Let's worry about beating Oklahoma first. If we can beat them,then we can worry about Kansas. It is good to know though that it will be a little more fair not having to play against Embiid since Terry Henderson will most likely not play either.

  • Billy

    Odds against 2 more wins would have to be slim. I would like to see it happen, but I would not put any money on it. Be doing good to get a split. I would feel better if WV was at full strength with Henderson playing.