On a night when three freshman sensations were on display, perhaps the one with the biggest spotlight was Andrew Wiggins. There hasn’t been a high school athlete as hyped as Wiggins since the great LeBron James.
There was such a spotlight on Wiggins even before the season started that he actually requested head coach Bill Self close off media to the freshman phenom. This is the type of attention the young man is getting. That can certainly be overwhelming at times and can also place unrealistic expectations on a player.
Wiggins has had solid showings in his first two games, but he has hardly exploded onto the scene. Then again, that’s not what Self wants from Wiggins. He wants him to share the basketball, play within the team concept, and the stats will come.
That seemed to be the case Tuesday night. Wiggins had a quiet first half for the Kansas Jayhawks with only six points in limited minutes thanks to foul trouble. It was fellow freshman Jabari Parker that was hogging the spotlight with his brilliant first half.
Wiggins may have had the last laugh. We finally saw what all the fuss was about down the stretch. He hit a pretty step-back jump shot to put the Jayhawks ahead, and then stole the ball and came thundering down the lane for a dunk, a thee-point play that sealed the game and knocked Parker out of action as he fouled out after hammering Wiggins.
For a moment, it looked like a cheetah racing down the court. It was a great display of Wiggins’ elite athleticism and speed, something Jayhawks fans hope to see more of. Wiggins is just getting started; by the end of this season, I’m guessing there won’t be many questions about this kid’s game.