How Andrew Wiggins’ poor day impacts his draft stock
March 24, 2014 § Leave a comment
Andrew Wiggins does this sometimes. The most talented player in college basketball disappears, forces whatever shots he can get up and seems displaced.
This is the player projected to go first overall in many NBA mock drafts, if you can find him.
The Kansas freshman racked up all of four points on 1-for-6 shooting Sunday in the No. 2 seed Jayhawks’ 60-57 loss to No. 10 seed Stanford. When the game was on the line, he did not even touch the ball as backup freshman Conner Frankamp fired up frantic three-pointers.
This was the worst game of Wiggins’ career, with four turnovers and relatively minimal defensive impact compounding the shooting woes. But he’s had similar performances in the past, in wins and losses, dropping 14 or fewer points in 11 games this season.
Wiggins’ draft hype was formed before he even signed with the Jayhawks, before he fell into a lull to start the season and well before he posted 71 points and 16 rebounds in consecutive games against West Virginia and Oklahoma State earlier this month. His athleticism and natural instincts, particularly on defense, shine above other prospects.
But then he disappears.
The college game wasn’t made for Wiggins. He rarely matches up with someone who lights his competitive fire, the way fellow top prospect Jabari Parker of Duke did in their November game. Pick-and-roll offense is stripped down and minimally run, and Kansas lacked shooters to help open the floor.
NBA scouts love Wiggins, even with performances like this mixed in with the dominant ones. He reminds people of Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen and Indiana Pacers star Paul George. And no one’s passing him up on the basis of this game.
It’s just a matter of keeping him involved.