Andrew Wiggins to Kansas: How the Move Impacts Wiggins' NBA Future
I can't say I saw this one coming. I'm not even sure Kansas did either.
When I say KU didn't know I mean the kid and program had not been in much contact recently. What a surprise. Holy Cow.
— Dave Telep (@DaveTelep) May 14, 2013
Andrew Wiggins, the consensus No. 1 overall recruit, announced on Tuesday he'll be attending Kansas University to play basketball for Bill Self. Wiggins picked Kansas over powerhouse Kentucky, North Carolina and Florida State, the perceived favorite over the days leading up to the announcement.
Kansas will be an excellent fit for Wiggins and an effective stepping stone to the NBA given his style of play, the current supporting cast and the coaching staff that's helped produce numerous top draft picks.
The Lineup and How He Fits
The Jayhawks lost all five of their starters from a year ago, including potential top-three selection Ben McLemore, and veterans Elijah Johnson, Jeff Withey, Travis Releford and Kevin Young.
There won't be any questions as to Wiggins' role next year. He'll immediately become Kansas' top offensive gun and most versatile lockdown defender.
Wiggins will join two other consensus top-20 recruits in Joel Embiid, one of the most promising center-prospects in the country, and Wayne Selden, a sharp-shooting guard who can light up the nets. As a projected small forward at the NBA level, Wiggins will slide right in between the two, with speedy point guard Naadir Tharpe and big man Perry Ellis returning to help fill out the lineup.
Kansas is also expecting Conner Frankamp and Brannen Greene, two more top-50 recruits, to join the rotation, making this a rather young group of kids. However, the talent amongst them is undeniable. Wiggins is a game-changer—a guy who can take over on both sides of the ball.
He's at his best when there's room in front of him, as Wiggins brings both lightning and thunder in transition. Expect coach Self to have Kansas get up and down the floor, playing to the strengths of his newly acquired prize.
While scouts are already aware of Wiggins' remarkable athleticism, most of their attention will be paid to how he uses it in the half court. He was just so physically superior at the high school level that it carried him at times, leading to dozens of easy baskets he's unlikely to get in college.
Still, Wiggins has the tools required to be featured in a college or NBA offense, including a handle and the ability to separate and convert off-balance shots from all over the floor. Self is likely to run constant screens in attempt to free up Wiggins and give him the space he needs in order to pull up or attack.
Kansas' non-conference schedule is out of control. Scouts will be foaming at the mouth once they see the basketball buffet they're about to encounter.
How about we start off with a head-to-head matchup of Wiggins and Kansas versus Jabari Parker and Duke at the Champions Classic in Chicago? Both players have been linked together for years due to their dominance at the high school level. And now scouts will get a chance to see them battle each other, representing two of the most prestigious college basketball programs in the country.
Kansas will then later get Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, Georgetown and San Diego State. This lineup will give scouts a ton of solid material to review considering the competition Wiggins will be going up against.
And that's not including Marcus Smart, Markel Brown and LeBryan Nash of Oklahoma State and Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson of Baylor in the Big 12.
Getting an early start against some of the top prospects and schools in the nation will aid in Wiggins' development.
NBA Draft Outlook
Kansas will give Wiggins all the opportunity he needs to become the No. 1 overall pick in 2014. He'll have the offensive freedom to get the shots he wants, and Coach Self has also lined up a stunning non-conference schedule, giving Wiggins the stage to shine on and scouts the best view to evaluate from.
All eyes will be on Kansas in March, as Wiggins gives the Jayhawks a strong chance to win the Big-12 Championship and make a deep run in the Final Four tournament.
The stars are aligned for him to strike down and fulfill his promise as the next can't-miss college superstar since Kevin Durant.
In 2012-13, Kansas produced stud Ben McLemore, who's likely to be a top pick in this June's upcoming draft. Coach Self understands how to maximize the talent that's given to him and showcase it for NBA scouts.
Wiggins' decision to choose Kansas does nothing but enhance the likelihood of having his name called first at the 2014 NBA draft.
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