Andrew Wiggins Needs Stronger Showings to Justify Hype

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIFebruary 1, 2014

LAWRENCE, KS - JANUARY 11:  Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Kansas Jayhawks waits during a timeout in the game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Allen Fieldhouse on January 11, 2014 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Andrew Wiggins entered his expected one-and-done season with the Kansas Jayhawks surrounded by an immense amount of hype. After all, he was the top prospect heading into the college ranks in 2013 and can potentially be considered as the top NBA draft pick in 2014.

It's not that Wiggins hasn't been good this season, because he has; however, he cannot seem to put together enough consistent performances to validate his high expectations.

Wiggins has been able to put together many solid performances, but even his best showings have failed to completely overshadow his poor ones. Looking over Wiggins' statistics against ranked opponents this season, his inconsistency becomes rather apparent:

Andrew Wiggins vs. Ranked Opponents in 2013-14 Season
OpponentRankFG %RebTOPoints
San Diego State21.2865114
Kansas State25.5385122
Iowa State8.43819617
Oklahoma State9.200223
Iowa State16.6257429

Some of these performances were absolutely impressive. Wiggins looked unstoppable when he put up 29 points during his last game against Iowa State. On the flip side, he followed it up by laying an egg against Texas just three days later.

It is clear that Wiggins has the potential to be great—he has shown glimpses of it throughout the season. Unfortunately, he has also shown that he still has a great deal of growing to do before he can be considered a force—especially at the professional level.

Zach Harper of CBS Sports eludes to the fact that Wiggins' inconsistency partially stems from his jumper. Harper notes Wiggins' numbers heading into his game on Feb. 1 against Texas:

It all starts with his jump shot. Wiggins' big drawback heading out of high school was his lack of a consistent jumper. The bad news with his jumper this season is it hasn't been all that consistent even still. He's made just 28.8 percent of his spot-up jumpers (38.1 percent for effective field goal percentage) this season. When you factor in all catch-and-shoot shots, that number goes up to 35.7 percent with an effective field goal percentage of 55.4 percent. Basically, he's been pretty solid on 3-point shooting but has suffered inside the arc on jumpers.

Where Wiggins does excel is in the paint. He has a tremendous amount of control over his 6'8" frame and can get to the hoop without creating contact with defenders. He is at his best when he can take advantage of undersized teams and create most of his opportunities without having to rely on his jump shot.

All scrutiny aside, Wiggins is just 21 games into his college career. We have seen NBA superstars of the past and present struggle in the early stages of their college careers, only to light it up in the tournament and continue riding their new-found success into the pros.

Wiggins has the potential to do just that. But he must find his consistency in order to do so.

It could all be a matter of confidence for this young man. He is just 18 years old and is still adjusting to playing on a large stage. By the time Kansas finds its way into the tournament, Wiggins will have enough experience to deliver big performances on a consistent basis.

We just have to wait and see if he progresses enough in a short amount of time to make that happen.