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Andrew Wiggins Should Stay In College

Submitted by on April 1, 2014 – 1:51 pm35 Comments

As expected, Andrew Wiggins announced that he would be leaving Kansas after one season and heading to the NBA. It didn’t come that much as a surprise considering that Wiggins entered his freshman season well aware that he likely would have been the #1 pick in the 2013 draft should he have been eligible to enter.

During the season, it was apparent that Wiggins was far from a finished product although he flashed brilliance often as a Jayhawk. The 6-foot-8 Wiggins led Kansas in scoring at 17.1 points per game and averaged 5.9 rebounds and helped the team earn a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

“This wasn’t an easy decision for me,” Wiggins said according to ESPN. “College goes by so fast. I can see why people stay all four years.”

But then the Jayhawks were bounced in the second by 10th seeded Stanford, and Wiggins turned in an abysmal performance of 4 points on 1 of 6 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds, 1 steal and 4 turnovers. If that’s the lasting memory of Wiggins as a collegiate athlete, it’s not going to go well for him in the NBA.

The truth is that Wiggins never lived up to the hype and often showed points of weakness that the league will exploit. As a matter of fact, it isn’t concrete that Wiggins will be selected first. It was evident as the season progressed that Wiggins needed some more reps to adjust to the game. Yeah, the stats are nice but throwing up a dud against Stanford hurts. He sizzled against West Virginia (41 pts, 8 feb), Oklahoma State (30 pts, 8 feb) and Iowa State (19 pts, 17 reb) but completely vanished against UTEP (6 pts, 7 reb), and in earlier games against Oklahoma State (3 pts, 2 reb) and Texas (7 pts, 5 reb). He’s been solid but not necessarily extraordinary. Obviously, the steaming turd he dropped against Stanford will be held against him, and it should be. On the grandest stage he came up short.

Unless Wiggins is worried that his stock could drop further in another NCAA season, he should stay put and get the much needed experience under his belt. His ceiling is huge but the NBA doesn’t allow much time for a young player to reach that ceiling. Either you’re ready or you’re not and this season was a pretty good indicator that Wiggins could use some more seasoning to help with his sizzle. This isn’t to say that he won’t be a great NBA player. He very well could be with some offseason work. But if you’re using his freshman season as a thermometer, Wiggins went from scorching hot to pretty hot and that’s not good enough.

The money isn’t going anywhere but Wiggins could very well flop in the league and be one of the bigger busts of the draft if he can’t adjust to the big time. Shooting 45% as a 6’8″ player isn’t going to cut it when defenses are much tighter in the NBA.

Furthermore, if Wiggins were to remain as a Jayhawk and helped the team do better than this year’s NCAA tournament, he could easily become the player we thought he was coming out of high school. Redemption is key and heading to the NBA now could do more harm than good.

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