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Kansas vs Florida: Joel Embiid Set for First Start as a Jayhawk

Kansas vs Florida: Joel Embiid Set for First Start as a Jayhawk

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

To start the season the talk in Lawrence was all about the freshman class.  Andrew Wiggins and Wayne Selden seemed cemented in the starting rotation from the get go, but even beyond that there was plenty of speculation as to who else might work into that role.  A week ago we found out that Frank Mason would assume the starting point guard position.  Some of that is certainly Mason's potential and some of that was explained by the need for a vocal leader off the bench in Tharpe.

Today the second domino falls as Joel Embiid moves into the starting rotation for Tarik Black.  Embiid has shown limitless potential at times this year, but still has a long way to go in his progression.  While he hasn't started to date, he has garnered starter type minutes and that will not almost certainly continue.  For Kansas this means a starting five that includes four freshman and one sophomore in Perry Ellis.  It also means that this is a bit of a new starting point in the maturation process.

Last weekend against Colorado and during a three game stretch in the Bahamas, Kansas just hasn't looked good.  Defensively they are struggling to stop the ball and stay out of foul trouble.  Offensively they aren't shooting and when they are, they aren't shooting well.  The zone defense put on by Colorado was crippling at times, but all is not lost because this is a very young team.  Now it's a very young team that has a chance to grow up and mature on the court with a rotation that is moving in the direction of youth.

The ceiling for this team is what makes them both fascinating and frustrating to watch.  With that in mind, we might as well dive in head first and Embiid moving into the starting role pretty much signifies that move at this point for Bill Self and Kansas.  Hold on and enjoy the ride.