Kansas Basketball: How Andrew Wiggins Will Impact Jayhawks on Defense in 2013-14

Ryan CuriFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2013

LAWRENCE, KS - NOVEMBER 08:  Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks watches from the bench during the game against the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Allen Fieldhouse on November 8, 2013 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Andrew Wiggins was the most talked about prep player since LeBron James, though, that stage of his career is now over. Wiggins' collegiate debut came on Friday night, in an 80-63 victory over the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.

In the contest, Wiggins led the Jayhawks in scoring, dropping 16 points. He also contributed three rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes of action. Like James, Wiggins will prove himself as more than just a scorer as he will rebound and distribute as well.

What gets overshadowed amongst all of Wiggins' impressive statistics and accolades is his ability on the defensive end of the court. Not to overkill the James-Wiggins comparison, but LeBron is heralded as one of the NBA's top defenders and is truly a complete player.

Wiggins also swiped three steals in his collegiate debut. During his final prep season in 2012-13, Wiggins averaged 2.6 blocks and 2.4 steals, in addition to his 23.4 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists. Wiggins, a 6'8" Canadian-born player, stands 6'8" and weighs 200 pounds.

An incredibly gifted athlete, Wiggins is capable of defending opposing shooting guards, small forwards and power forwards. On Tuesday, Bill Self's Jayhawks take on Coach K's Blue Devils, giving Wiggins a chance to match up against the likes of Rasheed Sulaimon, Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker at those respective positions.

Wiggins possesses a wingspan of 6'11". Couple that length with his extreme athleticism and Wiggins will be able to disrupt passing lanes, leading to easy fast-break opportunities, where he'll be able to flash his ability to jump out of the gym. 

Wiggins will be able to get into his matchup's grill, though, not nearly as much as in the past with more foul-happy rules implemented by the NCAA. Nonetheless, he will cause deflections, while continuing to put up gaudy steal and block figures.

Though his collegiate career is anticipated to be a short one, Wiggins has that superstar ability that could get the Jayhawks back to the Final Four and give them a chance at winning their first NCAA title since 2008 when they defeated John Calipari, Derrick Rose and the Memphis Tigers.

Wiggins showed plenty of poise for someone who had the all of the college basketball world's attention in KU's season debut. The Jayhawks and Blue Devils take the court this Tuesday night at the United Center in Chicago, a huge stage for an 18-year-old kid. 

He was efficient and didn't force things offensively, letting the game come to him. This allowed him to focus on the defensive end as well, though, Friday's competition cannot be compared to Duke or even any Big 12 team. Still, Wiggins proved he'll be rock solid for KU, "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" solid.