By Rustin Dodd
Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid is expected to make his first career start Tuesday when the Jayhawks tip off against No. 19 Florida at 6 p.m. at the O’Connell Center.
KU unveiled Embiid’s spot in the starting lineup on the program’s official Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon.
Embiid, a 7-foot native of Cameroon, is averaging 9.3 points and 6.6 rebounds while playing 19 minutes per game off the bench. Senior forward Tarik Black, a transfer from Memphis, has started Kansas’ first eight games in the post alongside sophomore power forward Perry Ellis.
Embiid is no stranger to Gainesville. He played his final season of high school basketball at The Rock School, a Gainesville private school that also produced Florida senior guard Scottie Wilbekin.
It could make for the youngest Kansas starting lineup in years. If freshman point guard Frank Mason again starts in place of junior Naadir Tharpe in the backcourt, the Jayhawks probably will trot out a lineup of four freshmen and one sophomore against a ranked team.
The Jayhawks enter Tuesday having lost two of three since starting the season 5-0, including a buzzer-beater loss at Colorado on Saturday. Kansas is trying to avoid losing three games before Dec. 11 for the first time since the 2005-06 season, when the Jayhawks began the year 3-4 before rallying to win a share of the Big 12 regular-season crown.