kyrie-irving

How did our Friday NCAA prospects to watch do?

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Today you should check out our Thursday prospects column again, basically everyone on that list is playing again on Saturday. But here’s a quick recap of Friday, first.

Kyrie Irving, 6’2” guard, Duke: Well, that was impressive. He played just 20 minutes in his first game in three months, and he scored 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting and he controlled the flow of the game when he was in. Yes, it was against lesser competition, and it will be interesting to see how he adjusts as the teams and opposing PGs gets better. But he looked like a guy you take No. 1.

Nolan Smith, 6’3” guard, Duke: He was solid in this game — 9 points on 3-of-7 shooting, he had 7 assists and his team won big.

Jared Sullinger, 6’8” power forward, Ohio State: Texas-San Antonio sagged their zone way down, tried to take Sullinger out of the game. And it kind of worked, Ohio State took 24 three pointers (hit half of them) and just shot over the top. Sullinger still had 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and 9 boards. And he still looked like a man among boys against UTSA.

Harrison Barnes, 6’8” small forward, North Carolina: His stat line — 24 points 16 boards — looks good, but there are two issues here. One, the level of competition was not that good and North Carolina rolled up triple digit points. More of an issue was Barnes going 2-for-10 from three, he kept shooting and some of the looks were questionable. But curious to see what he does against better competition.

John Henson, 6’10” power forward, North Carolina: He had 28 points and 11 boards and looked very efficient, hitting 10-of-16 and getting to the line for 10 free throws. Again, as we said about Barnes, don’t read too much into this one game because of the level of competition.

Marcus Morris, 6’9” power forward, Kansas: He finished with 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting and added 9 boards. Showed his athleticism with a sweet reverse dunk.

Derrick Williams, 6’8” forward, Arizona: He may have been the most impressive player on Friday — 22 points on 11 shots and a game-winning block. He was knocking down threes and attacking the paint and drawing contact. He may have helped his stock.

Joel Embiid: “I feel 100 percent”

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on prior to the game against the Utah Jazz on October 30, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”

There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.

Evan Fournier pokes fun at his ‘NBA 2K’ likeness

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 07:  Evan Fournier #10 of the Orlando Magic dribbles the ball against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on March 7, 2016 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.

Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.

At least they’re having fun with it.

Report: Sixers expected to waive Tibor Pleiss after trade with Jazz

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 30: Tibor Pleiss #21 of the Utah Jazz controls the ball in the game against the Philadelphia 76ers on October 30, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.

Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.

Jordan releases new Russell Westbrook ad, may include a shot at Kevin Durant

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 28:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (L) and Russell Westbrook #0 look on during a press conference after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-101 in game six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 28, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
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As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”

Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.