In case you’re not following Andrew Wiggins’ basketball career, I’ll give you a quick update. He’s possibly the best basketball player of his age, or at least could potentially one day be. Right now, he’s a Freshman playing at Kansas University, but will likely be a very high draft pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
When you’re as good at basketball as Andrew Wiggins is, some people expect you to score all the points and have a big game every time you play. Contrary to this expectation, Wiggins has not had a big game every time out so far this season. Jay Williams even quoted an anonymous NBA scout who implied that Wiggins has no skills. Tyler Brooke and others have chimed in with articles about the need for Wiggins to be more assertive.
But let me tell you, news people and basketball fans whom Wiggins apparently is disappointing: Wiggins does not need to live up to your expectations.
For one, even if Wiggins has the worst season conceivably possible, he will still go pretty early in the NBA draft and soon be more wealthy than any of us. That right there means that if Wiggins were the type of kid to say “Boo-yah” (he doesn’t seem to be–seems pretty polite!), he is guaranteed the right to say it next year when he signs an NBA contract.
As a second reason, Coach Bill Self’s program at Kansas University doesn’t churn out high scorers. He runs a program with a very balanced attack, full of players who can each score 20 points in a single game. Kansas will usually win through a concerted effort from the entire team, not by relying on one person to take charge all the time. And the talent on the team this year is amazing–there could easily be seven players or more who hit 20 points in a game before the season is over.
In my own very uneducated opinion, Wiggins is an extremely talented, polite, hard-working, and team-focused player. Could he be more aggressive? Sure. And so could all the Kansas players at this early stage in the season. Do I expect him to average more than 16 a night? Sure, but give him and the team a chance to figure out how to play as a team. It will develop, and it’s likely that the team will change in a way that helps Wiggins focus on scoring a few more points per game.
However, does it matter what I expect of Wiggins? Certainly not. Wiggins appears to be far more well-adjusted than I was at that age, and has incredible potential because of who he is, as a person. I will not measure his success by how many points he scores or how many rebounds he pulls down. I’ll just be pleased if he continues to be the hard-working and team-oriented person he has been so far.