Kansas’ basketball fortunes improved greatly on May 14th. The top-ranked recruit in this year’s high school class, Andrew Wiggins, decided against the University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina, as well as Florida State University and committed to join Bill Self’s team at Kansas.
This is a big deal for Wiggins.
First, he spurned the One-and-Done “Mecca” that is Kentucky and head basketball coach John Calipari. Calipari is known for getting his hands on the top recruits of every class and putting together super teams that generally go deep into the postseason, with last year being the exception. Had Wiggins committed to Kentucky, Calipari would’ve gotten his hands on the top player at every position, which would’ve made for a very potent squad when paired with the pieces still lingering from last year’s team.
The most important thing it does for Wiggins is showcases not only his character but also his confidence in his abilities.
Even the one-and-dones of the college basketball landscape aspire to win a NCAA National Championship in their lone season at whatever school they decide to attend. As the Kentucky Wildcats team loaded with super freshmen did two seasons ago, Wiggins could’ve bolted to play in historic Rupp Arena and potentially emulate their success, but Wiggins had other ideas.
By choosing Kansas, Andrew Wiggins shows that he is supremely confident in his own abilities. This decision shows his belief in himself that he does not have to rely on someone else to rebound, score, defend, or hustle more than him. This decision puts the responsibility solely on him. This gives him no one to blame when the going gets rough or if he has an off night. The spotlight will always be on him. Win or lose. He’s more than willing to answer to the call of winning a National Championship.
The character of Wiggins will be on full display. This decision shows he’s willing to take the hard road. He’s not afraid to make the tough decisions and he’s not afraid to go against the popular pick and the seemingly best destination. He’d rather go somewhere he would fit best and could get the best coaching than somewhere with the most NBA potential. This decision will allow him to showcase his talents nightly, which will be nothing but positive for Kansas if he performs like he has in high school.
Ultimately, this decision helps his development more so than it stunts it. The newly assembled Kentucky team may look good on paper but Mr. Wiggins looks to have a say in how well things pan out, for them and himself.
If all goes well, he’ll be chanting “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk” all the way to the top of the NBA Lottery.
Check out his highlight mixtape below and tell us if you think he has what it takes to help the JayHawks win it all.