Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks won themselves a prize piece of their potential 2013-2014 title run this morning as the No. 1 player in the 2014 recruiting class, Andrew Wiggins, announced his intent to suit up in Lawrence this fall.
While Wiggins will make a major impact for the Jayhawks this next season, his decision to play there is largely irrelevant in the larger scheme of things. There is absolutely no doubt that Wiggins will be a one-and-done player, and unless something drastic happens between now and the summer of 2014, will be the first player taken in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Sure, he may be able to lead Kansas back to the promised land of another NCAA Championship, but the opportunity he had to do something similar at a program like Florida State, and establish a legacy as one of the greatest players of his generation if he was able to do so, has now passed by in the rear-view mirror.
With the Florida State Seminoles, Wiggins would have been continuing a legacy that saw both his father and mother compete for different teams on campus, and also to help a team which was undoubtedly the least talented of those he was considering to reach a pinnacle of achievement which hasn’t been, and won’t be, possible without a player of his talent level and upside.
At it stands, he’s just another in the long line of players at Kansas that have come and gone, hardly on campus long enough to make any lasting impression. I can’t judge his decision too harshly because I am not in his shoes, and if Kansas was the best fit for him, that’s fine.
There’s a difference between taking a challenge head-on — as he would have in Tallahassee to take the Seminoles where they have never been before — and in making the comfortable move that will have the predictable outcome. As time goes on, Andrew Wiggins will need to challenge himself, because, as it stands, no one will challenge him until the first day he puts on an NBA uniform.
No one can force him to do so, however, so for now, his dominance will continue unfettered and the hype will follow.