Oddly enough, a lot of people have been disappointed with Andrew Wiggins at the University of Kansas in his freshman season. I'm not sure what we were all expecting when his one-and-done college season tipped off, but I'm sure we wanted validation that he was worthy of the hype. We wanted to know that he was a professional playing against children, none of them his peers. We wanted domination and confirmation of all the attention paid to a Canadian teenager, as if he were the hoops version of Justin Bieber. He's been very good but he hasn't been a freshman we've never seen before. That's where the disappointment has come for most people. When I spoke to Gary Parrish of CBSSports on the Eye on Basketball Podcast about Wiggins, he made a very astute comparison. He likened what Wiggins is going through in his freshman season to what we saw from Derrick Rose in his one redacted season at the University of Memphis. Rose had incredible hype (nothing like Wiggins though) and didn't really blow anybody away until his tournament run. It was at that point in which Rose showed his star potential and broke down most debates of whether or not he should be the number one pick in his draft class. For Wiggins, we could be seeing a similar realization as we prepare for conference tournaments and the big dance in March. Over the past two games, Wiggins has shown how brightly his star might shine over the next two months of play. While he's had plenty of good games to cancel out the poor showings, his averages of 16.5 points and 6.1 rebounds aren't blowing anybody away. However, the way he's played the previous two games is really showing the type of skill set that will help him excel the rest of this season and when he gets into the NBA. He's scored 56 points on 29 field goal attempts over the past two contests. 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.
Is Andrew Wiggins starting to justify the hype?
CBS Sports | Jan 31