Josh Jackson vs Andrew Wiggins

  • Recently I’ve been reading a lot of comments (mostly on NBA draft articles or videos) about how Josh Jackson is Andrew Wiggins 2.0. It’s easy for people who don’t follow KU basketball as closely as we do to assume they are the same player because they are similar in a lot of ways. Both Jackson and Wiggins are athletic 6’8 SF/SG who went to Kansas and who were at the top of their recruiting classes coming out of high school. Wiggins was the 1st pick in the draft, and Jackson has a good chance to be the 1st pick in the draft. I, however, (and I’m sure many of you as well) have noticed a lot of differences in their games and what they are able to do on the court. So let’s break it down:

    Scoring – I give a slight edge to Wiggins here. Wiggins averaged 17.1 ppg during his freshman season at Kansas. JJ is currently averaging 16.0. Jackson has been more efficient than Wiggins, though. Jackson shoots the 3-ball at 35.5% (he’s really improved in this area since the season started), and Wiggins shot 34.1% when he was at Kansas. Jackson also shoots 50% from the field (which is pretty spectacular for a freshman guard/small forward), and Wiggins shot 44.1% from the field. Jackson has had the luxury of playing with better guards (Senior Frank Mason, Junior Devonte Graham) than the guards who played with Wiggins (Freshman Frank Mason, Freshman Wayne Selden, Junior Naadir Tharpe).

    Free Throw Shooting – Wiggins. Wiggins shot 77.5% from the line at KU. Wiggins is also very good at getting to the line (6.4 FTA per game on the Wolves). Josh Jackson shoots 54.3% from the line. This is, without a doubt, the one area in which Jackson can and needs to improve.

    Defense – Jackson. Jackson plays good individual defense and good team defense. He has good defensive instincts and is really good at playing passing lanes. Wiggins has the tools to be special defensively, but he lacks the kind of mind set that Josh Jackson has. This was the biggest knock on Wiggins at Kansas and continues to be the biggest knock on Wiggins in the NBA: that he’s passive and isn’t always engaged.

    Rebounding – Jackson. Jackson averages 6.8 boards per game. Wiggins averaged 5.8 boards. Again, Jackson’s advantage here likely lends itself to the fact that he plays with more assertiveness and aggression than does Wiggins.

    Athleticism – Wiggins. Not a lot needs to be said here. Josh Jackson is really athletic. Wiggins is a freak. This isn’t really a slight to Jackson.

    Passing – Jackson. Jackson’s way ahead of Wiggins here. We’ve seen several examples this season of Jackson being able to create for his teammates (think 2nd half against Kentucky getting dunks for Lucas). He’s also good at finding his teammates in transition (Lucas against KState, Mason against Kentucky, etc.). He’s averaging more assists per game than Wiggins did at Kansas.

    Ball-Handling – Jackson. Both are actually pretty decent ball-handlers for being 6’8 and hyper athletic, but Jackson’s ball-handling has really impressed me this season. Watching him bring the ball up against West Virginia’s press in Morgantown took me by surprise. And we’ve seen several instances of JJ handling the ball well in transition.

    Mindset – Jackson. Jackson is an alpha. Wiggins is passive a lot of the time. If Wiggins had JJ’s mindset I think he could be the best player in the NBA.

    Overall, Wiggins is a freak athlete and a pretty good scorer, but I feel like he’s still has kind of an AAU mentality. He’s never been a great fundamental basketball player and has relied on being taller and more athletic than everyone else. And that has to some extent continued into the NBA where he’s still more athletic than most of the other players. To Wiggins’ credit, he has developed a nice post game which I think was under-utilized by Self in his time at Kansas.

    Jackson is a better all-around player than Wiggins. He’s more skilled, more versatile, and a better defender and rebounder. He’s not as athletic and not as good a shooter. He plays with more fire than Wiggins. Because of his skill and personality I think he’ll end up being a better NBA player than Wiggins.

  • @KirkIsMyHinrich Nice post!! I cant agree more.

    Wiggins went #1 in the '14 draft because Joel was hurt.

    Josh should Absolutely be a top 3 pick in this years draft!!! not even a question. it should happen

  • @KirkIsMyHinrich Nice post! It’s hard to quantify the eye test, but JJ just seems to be the much better player while at KU than Wigs was. I’ve had some pissing matches with some people here over how I was a little disappointed at Wigs career here. Part of it had to be being on a team that lost more frequently than we’re used to. Part of it was disappearing acts on his part in some games. He’s a marvelous player I’ll acknowledge, one of the greatest ever at KU.

    But JJ is just special. He’s a stat sheet stuffer. He passes beautifully, defends tenaciously, and is a fast learner.

    We’re all hoping of course that JJ’s season ends much better than Wigs’ did.

  • @KirkIsMyHinrich

    A really good breakdown.

    They are definitely not the same player and its always great to find ways to differentiate that point

    I always like to point out that Josh is a year older then Andrew was when they were both freshman because I think Josh being 19 has been a major advantage for him here. He’s basically a College Sophomore and when you combine his character and mindset you get what we see on the court every day.

  • Wiggins is a scorer in the NBA because his game is not as well rounded.

    Josh Jackson probably won’t be as good a scorer, but he could have a Scottie Pippen type of career as a really talented #2 guy on a championship contender because he can do a little bit of everything, which could allow a dominant scorer to do his thing while Jackson does the dirty work of guarding the other team’s best player.

    That said, I think there is potential for both Jackson and Wiggins to both be special players. In fact, I would take it a step further and say that Jackson and Wiggins could actually be very complimentary players if they were to end up on the same team, with Wiggins being the scorer and Jackson being the defender/facilitator on the wing. Put them with a solid PG, a stretch 4 and a rebounding/shot blocking 5 and you have a pretty good team.

  • I concur with your assessment. Wigs is athletic freak but Josh is more powerful, if you know what I mean.

  • Andrew wiggins is, in the words of weezy, “softer than Roseanne’s son”

  • I truly enjoyed watching Wiggins play at KU and I am also enjoying Josh play now. They are both gifted athletes, Wiggins already a star in the NBA and Josh on his way. Each one has strengths and weaknesses but above all they are both lifetime Jayhawks who along withe Embiid, the twins, Oubre, Withey, Aldrich, Arthur, TRob, Ben, Tarick, Collison, The Truth and Brandon Rush (who is playing a lot more not that Lavine is out for the season) represent KU very well. It is likely that in the near future Mario or Kirk will also be playing and hopefully Perry, Selden and Green…and Xavier can also make it (back) to the League. Hopefully I did not miss anyone.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Whitey? I love how appropos, if not PC, typos can be!

  • @justanotherfan That would be very cool. Its pretty likely to happen too. I imagine Minnesota will get a pretty high draft pick this season.

  • @mayjay

    Sometime you gotta love that auto correct…ROTFL…😄

  • How about we have Chalmers at PG, Wigs at SG, JJ at SF, MK Morris at PF, Joel at C and MC Morris, Trob, PP, BRush, Hinrich, Arthur and Black on the bench. :bowtie:

  • Can we dig around for some old quotes on who thought Freshman Jackson wouldn’t have much of an impact on this team?

  • @betterfireE Remember, someone deleted all those old posts from last Spring. Now we know why!!

  • @mayjay

    Them Russians don’t like our basketball players and have the best hackers…I don’t mind when they mess with politicians but when they mess with sports I have a problem…just kidding…😃

  • @JayHawkFanToo Careful, with the HotLine Bromance in full bloom, the NSA is likely to add anti-Russian comments to the Alert list…

  • @mayjay

    …but…but…but…I said I was just kidding…

  • @JayHawkFanToo Waterboard!

  • @mayjay

    McCain would never allow it.

  • @JayHawkFanToo you are always the one to say leave politics out of here, but you are the one who always brings it here.👈

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Lighten up Francis, we are joking not talking politics…I did say just kidding, right?

    Don’t worry…I know my way to the dog house…

  • @JayHawkFanToo you lighten up Francis!

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    How about if we both do.

  • @JayHawkFanToo @Crimsonorblue22

    You two have definitely been “lighting up” one Francis (ESPN’s), at least!

    And there is always room for political jokes so long as they are not mean spirited or only intending to ridicule a certain side. I often poke fun at the apocalyptic predictions of my fellow snowflakes…as well as the people who generate such predictions.