The Kansas Jayhawks have had 27 players selected in the NBA draft since the Big 12 began operation in 1996, the most of any team in the conference.
The selections of Andrew Wiggins No, 1 and Joel Embiid No. 3 in the 2014 NBA draft held Thursday night in Brooklyn were the 17th and 18th players drafted since Bill Self became head coach of the Jayhawks.
Wiggins was the first under Self to be selected with the No. 1 overall pick and only the second in the Big 12 era to go No. 1 (Blake Griffin of Oklahoma was the other, in 2009). Wiggins’ No, 1 selection tiee Self with former Kansas coach Larry Brown, who had the only other Jayhawk player to go No. 1 in the draft when Danny Manning was the top overall pick in 1988.
Kansas coach Bill Self was at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the draft on Thursday night. Here is what he had to say, according to the Lawrence Journal-World:
“You know what his agent told him?” said Self, who was in the green room with Andrew Wiggins before he became the No. 1 pick. “‘If you’re going to be the first pick you gotta carry something with ya.’ Twenty years from now they’ll go back and he’ll still be here. So from a marketing standpoint, I think it was a pretty good move.”
Those who watch the television broadcast of the 2014 NBA draft on ESPN undoubtedly noticed what Wiggins was wearing when he came up on stage to have the obligatory photo with the commissioner: Wiggins stood out dressed in a silver and black sparkling custom-made suit and a black bow tie.
“It tells you a little bit about how conident he (Wiggins) is because he didn’t care,” Self said. “He wanted to stand out. A lot of guy shy away from that, but he didn’t.”
“We’ve been been really fortunate to put a lot of guys in the league (NBA). But we haven’t put NBA all-stars in the league. But I’m not sure (those other guys) ceilings were all-stars. Jo and Andrew might not be the best players we’ve had right now, but they’re certainly the best prospects.”