Andrew Wiggins' one-year apprenticeship in Lawrence, Kansas, began with some posterizing that should be passed on for posterity.
The Canadian small forward who's a sure shot to give this country consecutive No. 1 overall picks in the NBA draft, in Kansas Jayhawks coach Bill Self's considered view, is still taking baby steps an 18-year-old: "He has to get comfortable. He’s thinking too much which takes away from his explosiveness." Yet when he was at ease during Kansas' so-called soft opener on Wednesday vs. Pittsburg State, a Division II team, he managed to get high above the rim to finish of an alley-oop for two of the 16 points he put up in limited minutes.
Fans of odd coincidences will note this falls in the same news cycle with a Toronto Star column claiming the Toronto Raptors have 45 days to start winning or await a tank job to get into the NBA's draft lottery. Granted, the 2014 draft class is considered a strong one well beyond Wiggins.
No wonder TSN has committed to showing a package of Jayhawks games throughout the season. That didn't happen during current NBA top pick Anthony Bennett's season at UNLV.
Anyway, as the Toronto media hype machine gets cranked up, please be mindful of the reality Wiggins still has a lot of learning to do on the job. It's about what ceiling he will scrape in March, not where he is in November.
From Rustin Dodd:
Wiggins finished the night with 16 points and six rebounds, making five of 13 shots in a game that teetered between choppy and downright sloppy. Wiggins wasn’t made available for postgame interviews — except to Canadian media — but Self said he was generally pleased with his heralded freshman’s debut.
“He’s a thinker right now,” Self said. “All freshman are thinkers right now. There’s very few freshmen that are reactors. So he’s gotta get comfortable. But he’s thinking too much, which takes away from his explosiveness. …
“To me, you look up, he’s got 16 points and he really didn’t play that much and really didn’t make any shots. And that’s pretty positive to me.” (Kansas City Star)
Wiggins also distributed, provinding the alley for Kansas big man's Joel Embiid oop during the contest.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.