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Kansas Basketball: Jayhawk Duo Lands National Recognition

Kansas Basketball: Jayhawk Duo Lands National Recognition

Ed Zurga

The weekly awards keep rolling in for Kansas teammates Naadir Tharpe and Joel Embiid. On Tuesday, Tharpe was named the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), while Embiid was named the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week by the same organization.

On Monday (Jan. 20), Tharpe was named the Big 12 Player of the Week and Embiid the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, the second time the KU 7-0 center earned the honor this season. Later in the day, Embiid was named the National Player of the Week.

Tharpe was the catalyst as Kansas recorded victories at No. 8 Iowa State (77-70) and versus No. 9 Oklahoma State (80-78). The Worcester, Mass., junior guard averaged 22.0 points, 5.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds while making 82.4 percent (14-of-17) of his shots from the field. He started the week with a career-high 23 points at ISU on 7-of-9 shooting before adding 21 points against the Cowboys, making 7-of-8 shots from the floor in that game. Tharpe was 6-of-8 (.750) from three-point range during the week and connected on 9-of-10 (.900) from the free throw line.

Embiid made his presence felt in the two Jayhawk wins by averaging a double-double (14.5 ppg, 10.0 rpg) along with 13 blocked shots. The Yaoundé, Cameroon, center had 16 points, nine rebounds and five rejections at Iowa State before adding 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight blocks versus Oklahoma State. Against the Cowboys, he became the first freshman in Big 12 history to have 10 or more points, 10 or more rebounds and eight blocked shots in a game. The eight rejections broke his own KU freshman single-game record, tied the Big 12 freshman record for all contests and broke the freshman mark for a conference game, previously seven. Embiid has 50 blocks this season, third on the Kansas single-season freshman list.

Embiid is the second Jayhawk in successive weeks to be named the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week. Last week, KU guard Wayne Selden, Jr., earned the same honor from the USBWA.