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November 15, 2012Center Joel Embiid and forward Brannen Greene have signed National Letters of Intent to play basketball at Kansas, coach Bill Self announced Thursday.
Embiid is a 7-foot, 220-pound, center from The Rock School in Gainesville, Fla. The Cameroon native began playing at one of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute's basketball camps in Cameroon when he was 16. Mbah a Moute, who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, encouraged him to attend Montverde Academy (Fla.). Embiid transferred to The Rock School for coach Justin Harden for his senior season.
"Joel's potential is untapped," Self said. "I think he's just now starting to figure it out and get confidence. He will develop and be one of the very best tall guys in college basketball in just a year or two. The way we play, we can move him around and he made me a much better coach when he put his name on the dotted line."
In his first weekend tournament at The Rock School, Embiid guided his team to three victories and scored 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds in one contest and had 12 points and 20 rebounds in another, both wins.
"He is long but what I like most about him is that he is tough," Self said. "I think he will adjust well to the physical play of the college game, especially when he gets into the weight room. His personality is contagious and he's fun to be around."
Though Embiid is unranked due to his lack of playing, Rivals.com has reported Embiid to be in the 25-75 range when its next rankings are out. Last summer he played for Florida Elite on the AAU circuit. Embiid chose Kansas over Florida and Texas.
"We've had success with big guys," Self said. "Of the 26 NBA players we've coached, I think 15 are between 6-8 and 6-10. Joel fits what we do and how we play. He has so much to learn and he's just now getting it. He's a different player today than he was in the summer and I guarantee he will be a different player in February than he is now. I just think he's going to continue to get better and better at an accelerated rate."
Greene is a forward from Monroe, Ga., where he heads into his senior season at Tift County High School in Tifton, Ga. The 6-foot-7, 200-pound Greene is ranked as the No. 25 overall player by Rivals.com and the No. 5 small forward in the 2013 class.
"Brannen is one of the most skilled 6-foot-7 guys in the country," Self said. "He can shoot it. He can put it down. He's got good vision. He's a guy that should have a smooth transition from high school to college, in large part because he is a big guard. He's not a guy that has been playing inside a lot."
Last season Greene averaged 25.4 points and 14 rebounds for Mary Persons High School in Forsyth, Ga., where he was named the Macon Telegraph's All Middle Georgia Player of the Year. Additionally, Greene carries a 4.0 grade point average in the classroom.
Greene, who verbally committed to KU in December 2011, chose Kansas over Louisville, Connecticut, Florida and Ohio State.
"He committed a long time ago to us and held true to his word," Self said. "He's been well coached by his father (Jeffrey) throughout his life and is an outstanding student. His dad was a great player at Pittsburg State and is one of the school's all-time leading scorers."
In August, Greene participated in the Under Armor Elite 24 all-star event in Venice Beach, Calif., which considers the best 24 high school players in the country. He was joined by Frankamp at the all-star event.
"They (the Greene's) have a beautiful family and he's playing at a basketball program that is one of the premier programs in Georgia." Self said. "We truly believe that Brannen's best basketball is ahead of him."