Beware of the Blog’s Player of the Game is Tarik Black. Black went out with a bang. The senior played the game like you would expect someone who knew it could be his last to play it. Had he not fouled out late, things may have ended differently for the Jayhawks as Black was their best offensive threat today. In his 26 minutes, Black contributed 18 points, 6 rebounds and 0 turnovers. He will be sorely missed next season in Lawrence.
- 1. Andrew Wiggins (10)
- 2. Perry Ellis (6)
- 3. Naadir Tharpe (5)
- 4. Wayne Selden (4)
- T-5. Tarik Black (3)
- T-5. Joel Embiid (3)
- 6. Frank Mason (2)
- T-7. Jamari Traylor (1)
- T-7. Brannen Greene (1)
You let the whole team down Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins had one of his worst games as a Jayhawk. It is a shame because this proved to be the last chance he had to shine for KU. He was never plugged into the game and just wasn’t the aggressive rim punisher we have seen over the past four games where he averaged 28 points. In his team high 34 minutes, he had just four points on 16 percent shooting. He added 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block and 4 turnovers. A game to forget for the freshman, but one he probably wont be able to. Neither will his Kansas fans.
The Rock Chalk Blog Player of the Year: Andrew Wiggins
Clearly, Wiggins was the best player on this team. He faded at times, but usually impacted the game in ways nobody else could. Then there were the times he completely took over and carried the team on his back. It was a great season that will go down as one of the best freshman campaigns by any KU freshman, ever. That is saying something. A deeper run in the tournament might have established Wiggins in legendary status. The way the year ended, and particularly how he played in the final loss, might change the perspective on this kid decades from now. But, for those of us who saw him play this year, he will remember as spectacular.
The Rock Chalk Blog Defensive Player of the Year: Joel Embiid
Wiggins was the best individual defender on the team this season, but the end of the season demonstrated that Embiid was more important to the team defense. His long, athletic presence changed KU’s defensive stance and when he was out, KU got really average really fast on that end. Add to that the freshman block record and I think Embiid takes this one from Wiggins, but barely.
The Rock Chalk Blog “Glue Guy” Player of the Year: Tarik Black
There are a few guys that you could toss into the hat for this one including Jamari Traylor who I think was the next closest. Black did everything that was asked of him this year. He started over Embiid early so the freshman could grow into his role. He relinquished his minutes when Joel was ready. And then he stepped up big time for KU late in the year when Embiid went out with injury. He did it with class and poise fitting for a senior who has been there and done that. He was a real leader for this young team and for that he should be commended.