Sam Hinkie’s “unofficial” goal for this season is to lose a ton of games, secure the best odds for landing the top spot in the 2014 NBA Draft and with that pick select a franchise changing player like Andrew Wiggins of Kansas
With those thoughts in mind, welcome to “Wiggins Watch”.
In this season long series I will break down everything Andrew Wiggins. From performances, to upcoming games, to scouting reports, to possible controversial photos of Wiggins partying with Johnny Manziel in College Station.
Now, for any 76er fans that have been hiding under a rock for the last year, Wiggins is the most hyped up high school recruit since Lebron James. Wiggins stands 6’8 and originally hales from Ontario Canada, but transferred to Huntington Prep in West Virginia to finish his pre-college basketball (Recent Huntington Prep alumni: O.J. Mayo, Patrick Patterson and Chris Wright). Before committing to Kansas, Wiggins was awarded with Mr. Basketball USA, Gatorade Player of the Year, Naismith Prep Player of the Year and McDonalds All-American honors.
Long before Mr. Basketball USA stepped foot on Kansas’s campus, speculation began on which NBA teams would possibly tank a season in hopes of acquiring this phenomenal talent. At first the 76ers seemed as if they were too loaded to secure good odds of getting the number one pick, boom, enter new GM Sam Hinkie. In one fell swoop Hinkie traded away All-Star guard Jrue Holiday for a lottery pick in Nerlens Noel, who is expected to miss almost the entire season (Tanking Genius). Hinkie’s inaugural GM move put the 7-6 clear at the front of the “Winless for Wiggins” parade; fellow participants include the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic, Utah Jazz and Charlotte Bobcats (Yes this is a small parade.).
Now to the player himself, what can we expect from Wiggins this season realistically? I will break that down and let you know the key showcase games to watch this year after the break…
The Jayhawk’s season un-officially got underway with a preseason game Tuesday night vs. Pittsburg State and Wiggins had just a mild debut. In only 25 minutes of action Wiggins racked up 16 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and one sick alle-oop. Still, Wiggins looked hesitant in his first preseason game, but that is to be expected. Going forward, the vibe coming out of Kansas is that Wiggins will be used frequently in the low post this year. Becoming a low post threat will be crucial in his long-term career, just remember how LeBron had to hire Hakeem Olajuwon 8 years in to fix that problem. Wiggins will also no doubt learn some post moves from fellow big man and projected first round pick, Wayne Selden.
Alright, what will Wiggins do this year stat wise? My initial prediction would be 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game while shooting just over 50 percent from the field. I believe shooting from the post will help increase his shooting percentage significantly. Now forget the post up rumors, how else will Bill Self use Wiggins? You would have to be a fool not to push the break with this Jayhawk team so expect an outrageous number of Wiggins dunks, alley-oops and last second dishes to pile up the stat line. In fact it wouldn’t be crazy to bet that over 50 percent of Wiggin’s points and assists this year come from fast breaks alone.
Kansas 2013-14 key games
Nov. 12th at Duke (United Center, Chicago)
Nov. 28th-30th Battle for Atlantis (Nassau, Bahamas)
Dec. 10th at Florida
Dec. 21st Home vs. Georgetown
Jan. 5th Home vs. SDSU
Jan. 11th Home vs. Kansas State
Jan. 18th Home vs. Oklahoma State
Feb. 4th at Baylor
Feb. 8th Home vs. West Virginia
Feb. 10th at Kansas State
The only things to do now are root for the Sixers Tank season and check in here to see how Wiggins is playing.
Alex Gorge is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @apg3000.
You can follow us on Twitter @philadunkia.