Will No. 1 Recruit, Andrew Wiggins Live up to the Hype?

By Anthony Lenahan
Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

The next LeBron James will take center stage next college basketball season no matter where he ends up playing.  Whether it’s in the Dean Smith Center, Rupp Arena, Allen Fieldhouse, or the Donald L. Tucker Center, all eyes will be on top recruit and the next best thing since the King, Andrew Wiggins.

No matter how much Wiggins doesn’t like the spotlight or all the attention he is getting, he will continue to get the same amount if not more no matter where he goes.

The kid is only a senior in high school and experts are already predicting him to be a superstar.  Wiggins was the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2014, but when he reclassified so he could graduate high school this year he immediately took over the No. 1 spot in the class of 2013.

That just shows how good the “experts” predict him to be.

He is a 6 foot 7 inch forward who can play anywhere on the floor whether it is the 2, the 3, or the 4.  He can jump out of the building, and he as the ball handling and quickness to attack the basket where he can use his extraordinary athleticism to finish circus shots.

To go along with his athleticism, Wiggins is an outstanding perimeter shooter.  He has NBA range already and is only in high school.  Every great shooter needs to be able to create space for a shot and be able to move without the ball to get open. Wiggins does just that as he is able to get open when he doesn’t have the ball with quick cuts and by coming off screens.  His ball handling and quickness allow him to get a step on his defender and pull up for mid range jump shots.  It is extremely hard to guard Wiggins one on one both on and off the ball.

His offense doesn’t stop with his scoring ability though.  If you want to be like LeBron, you need to be able to pass the ball with great effectiveness.  His great court vision allows him to be a great passer.

Wiggins also excels on the defensive end of the court.  His length and quickness allows him to block a lot of shots, but it also allows him to get into passing lanes to deflect passes and steal some as well.

Then the question becomes will Wiggins live up to all of this hype is with his will to compete?  In this area, Wiggins reminds me exactly of former North Carolina star, Harrison Barnes.  Barnes came into his freshman year of school as the No. 1 recruit with extremely high expectations just like Wiggins will.

Through his two years of college, Barnes showed his talent at times, but then there were times where he would just disappear on the court and not really care.  He had a lack of will to compete it seemed like.  Barnes never really showed his competitive side and that is a major problem at the next level.

Scouts who watch Wiggins play almost every game feel that he is the exact same way as Barnes.  He has an inconsistent motor and he looks complacent on the court at times.  That is not a very good combination especially at a high college level where most of the time the team who competes harder will win.

Other concerns of Wiggins’ are his lack of strength and the hype surrounding him.  He has been under a national spotlight since he was 13.  That is a lot to live up to, and it could hurt in his development of becoming a superstar.

Wiggins has so much talent and his potential is through the roof, but there are some major concerns that have to deal with his will to compete that could be a better defender on him all season than any single person put up against him.

No matter what though, which ever team lands Wiggins will be landing a superstar.  He may not turn out to be the next LeBron James, but that doesn’t mean he can’t make a difference in a big way.

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