By Clint Corey
Andrew Wiggins had the best game of his short collegiate career Wednesday night, scoring a career high 29 points in a victory over Big 12 rival Iowa State in a game played at Allen Fieldhouse.
Wiggins has seemed to start to finally feel comfortable in a Kansas uniform in recent weeks and has shown glimpses as to why some scouts made him the most ballyhooed recruit since LeBron James.
In his last three games including Iowa State, Baylor at home and TCU on the road Wiggins has averaged 24.3 points on just under 60 percent shooting and six rebounds.
The most eye popping statistic, though, is that he shot 7-14 from three during this run raising his percentage for the year from beyond the arc to just under 37 percent from just over 33 percent prior to these games.
As a result, I re-watched the Iowa State game focusing on Wiggins to see where I have him on my 2014 NBA Draft board.
Where Wiggins excelled during this game was on catch and shoots and coming off down screens for threes.
He also is skilled at pump faking his defender at the three for one dribble mid-range jumpers.
His ability to break people down off the dribble is suspect although when he is able to get into the lane he has a really nice touch with floaters around the rim.
In this respect he is much more Ray Allen than the oft cited Scottie Pippen and Tracy McGrady comparisons.
Speaking of, he is listed at 6’8 but looks more like a true 6’6 to me which makes those comparisons to Pippen and McGrady egregious.
He has great bounce but I would not say he has great explosiveness. Which means he is a highlight reel in the open court when he’s all alone but once again will rarely break his defender down off the bounce for a dunk at the rim.
On defense, he is solid but somewhat lackadaisical and very much lacks the intensity of a lock down defender.
As a result I currently still have Andrew Wiggins as number four on my draft board.
Ahead of him is teammate Joel Embiid, who is the no brainer number one pick.
Embiid is incredibly athletic and quick for his size, has excellent timing and makes great decisions out of the double team. All attributes that could make him a franchise center at the next level.
At number two is Duke’s Jabari Parker. Easily the most polished offensively of the perimeter players in the upcoming draft, Jabari is much better in the open floor and breaking his defender down off the bounce than Wiggins.
Australia’s Dante Exum just barely comes in ahead of Wiggins largely due to his versatility. Exum has a lightning quick crossover and first step and has drawn comparisons to Penny Hardaway due to his being a 6’6 point guard.
However, he just as easily could play a wing giving an NBA team two dangerous outlet options on the break.
Exum’s one glaring weakness is his outside shot which should improve with pure shot repetition.
Wiggins will be in action this weekend on ESPN, this Saturday at 4 p.m. E.T. as Kansas plays at No. 25 Texas.
This will be a good test for the Jayhawks, my pick to win it all this season, in a hostile environment on national television.
Photo provided courtesy of The Kansas City Star
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