By Chris Mascaro
March 22, 2014

Joel Embiid (Ed Zurga/Getty Images) Joel Embiid averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks this season. (Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Kansas coach Bill Self has been clear on two things: Joel Embiid will likely play sometime in the NCAA tournament, but only if the Jayhawks advance past the first weekend.

That still appears to be the plan, as Self said on Saturday that the 7-foot freshman won't play Sunday against Stanford as he recovers from a back injury, according to Jeff Goodman of

THAMEL: Coach K congratulates Mercer after Bears' upset of Duke

The Cameroon native sat out the final two regular-season games, two Big 12 tournament games and Friday's win over Eastern Kentucky. Kansas is 3-2 in the five games.

Self said Embiid is questionable for the Sweet 16, should second-seeded Kansas (25-9) advance past No. 10 Stanford (22-12), yet that was his target date after traveling to Los Angeles to see a back specialist earlier this month, according to Goodman.

Embiid is a candidate to be the top pick in this year's NBA draft.

Said teammate Naadir Tharpe to "We really don't know," Tharpe said. "Some days he feels better than others. I don't know when he'll be back."
Check out SI's expert NCAA tournament picks

You May Like