Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins likely played at Iowa State for the last time Monday night. The freshmen duo combined for 33 points and 28 rebounds.
Most professional basketball personnel people have the pair of Jayhawks in the top 2-3 prospects for the 2014 National Basketball Association draft. About 20 scouts were in Ames to watch them in person last night.
“I think Embiid is the best player in the country,” Iowa State Coach Fred Hoiberg, a former NBA personnel guy himself, said.
Current NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant also had scouts drooling when he toured (part of) the Big 12 in 2006-07. Durant, the one-year Texas star, never played in Hilton Coliseum.
When the landscape for college conferences steadied a couple years back, the Big 12 settled in with 10 teams and a round-robin schedule. Gone were the days when a star like Durant never made an appearance at ISU.
Certainly, the impact of Embiid and Wiggins hurt the Cyclones’ won-loss ledger. As a Big 12 basketball follower, however, I appreciated seeing them in person at Iowa State albeit just once.