Andrew Wiggins' 1-Year Thrill Ride at Kansas Finally Underway

C.J. MooreCollege Basketball National Lead WriterNovember 8, 2013

Andrew Wiggins started off his pit stop in Kansas on Friday night with one of his signature spin moves. He took two dribbles to the right, spun with the force of an F5 Kansas tornado and was up in the air before the defense knew what hit 'em.

Welcome to the show, everyone.

Every time Andrew Wiggins takes the court, he does something that makes you say, "I can see what all the hubbub is about."

But every time Wiggins takes the floor, especially early on this season, some are going to say, "What's all the hubbub about?"

Wiggins was special and absent and then special again in his debut against Louisiana-Monroe, a sloppy 80-63 win for the Jayhawks.

The special was that opening spin move, another flash to rim from the wing in the second half and a steal and dunk in the final minutes with Wiggins showing off his reach that goes on for ever.

His final line read: 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting with two assists, two turnovers, three rebounds and three steals.

Nice enough.

Duke and Jabari Parker had the most dominant performance of the night in a 111-77 win over Davidson.
Duke and Jabari Parker had the most dominant performance of the night in a 111-77 win over Davidson.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

But it wasn't Jabari Parker, who looked like a pro on Friday night for Duke. Parker scored 22 points and only missed two shots. And it wasn't as spectacular a line as Julius Randle's. The Kentucky freshman star went for a double-double with 23 and 15 rebounds in a blowout win.

Something to remember: It's just one game. We're one night in.

Wiggins and the Jayhawks are a work in progress. They're still trying to figure out how to run offense, and it's worth noting they had to play this game without their junior point guard Naadir Tharpe, who was suspended for playing in a summer-league game in Chicago. Tharpe's backup, freshman Frank Mason, only played 18 minutes because of foul problems.

There were 58 fouls called. And the game lacked much flow. And so the Wiggins Show lacked flow too.

After his early bucket, he didn't make another basket until the 2:13 mark of the first half. (He did have two free throws in between.) Wiggins will have those lapses because he's not going to demand the ball and try to show the world what he can do. That's a positive and a negative.

He's unselfish, which is good, but he also is still learning how to play without the ball. He's standing too much on offense.

He's learning. As he should be.

Remember, this was a freshman playing his first game.

Nov 8, 2013; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Andrew Wiggins (22) celebrates after scoring during the second half of the game against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won 80 - 63. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY S
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Self said on his radio show this week that he has to watch what he says about Wiggins because any criticism becomes the story.

Self is trying to figure out how to deal with all this attention and all this hype, and this is a coach who has won a national title, nine straight conference titles and coaches in a place that sells out no matter who suits up.

We'll know a lot more about how good Wiggins is on Tuesday after he faces off against Parker and Duke. And we'll know even more about Wiggins in January and February and March.

Obvious, yes. But sometimes we need a little reminder it's best to wait for an actual sample size to analyze. With Wiggins. With Parker. And Randle too.

But at least the show has started. And Wiggins showed enough potential on Friday that it's going to be worth tuning in again on Tuesday.