News About Wiggins

  • Creating a topic for stories in the coming days for Andrew Wiggins and his decisions.

    ###** KU freshman Andrew Wiggins sets press conference for 2 p.m. Monday**###

    Kansas freshman guard Andrew Wiggins will join coach Bill Self for a press conference at 2 p.m. Monday at Allen Fieldhouse, the school announced late Sunday.

    ####Starting with Wiggins’ scouting report from Draft Express:####

  • @bskeet He is so fun to watch. He’s been enjoyable at KU and wish him all the best. He’s a great kid.

  • I could only handle watching so much of this. It pisses me off to see how gifted this kid is and that Self did nothing to get him going against Stanford. I’m sure the fact that the tournament isn’t any other game where you’re capable of trying something just to see how it works. But the more I’ve thought about it the more I’m pissed of about Self’s almost absence in March.

    This time of year always serves as a painful reminder that you’re remembered for what you do in March. Winning the Big 12 is great, being able to thumb up our noses at the likes of Big 12 teams is certainly a nice thing…but I’d trade it all to still be dancing.

    Something that I’ve been thinking about lately is how March success is a crap shoot for KU. What I mean by that is, isn’t it interesting how we need a lot, and I mean a lot of things to fall in place for us to have a team that is capable of winning it all. Yes, all teams need a little luck in March, but we need luck just to have the right pieces in place to win it all. To provide a good example, if Brandon Rush didn’t get hurt before the draft do we win the NC in 2008? I don’t think so. Watching this tape of Wiggs makes me wonder what it would be like if Wiggins and Embiid returned (not that I blame them for going or expect them to stay), with those pieces in place we’re a high-caliber NC contender just like 2008 and 2011…it’s extremely unlikely though, right? The fact is we’re probably another two seasons away from having a team capable of winning it all, and even that is contingent on whether Oubre really does stay two years (like his father has eluded to), or by some miracle Alexander stays another year. You’re almost left hoping that they show flashes in their freshman campaign, but struggle enough so that they’re forced into a position like Selden was where it’s just stupid to go because you could become a lottery pick by staying compared to a late first round, or early second round pick (which is still why Josh Selby leaving early is mind boggling).

    March Madness is the best time of year…but it can very quickly turn into a nightmare that you can’t get away from. It seems to me that we need the ball to bounce the right way for us to get another shot at a NC, the last quality, 2008-caliber team was in 2011, and we all know how that ended. I don’t know when we’ll have another chance at that sort of team with players leaving early for the NBA. This is why @HighEliteMajor so eloquently proposed the question, would you rather have Embiid or Shepherd? If Shepherd (in the hypothetical sense at KU) is capable of developing significantly between his first and second year, thus giving KU a shot next year at an NC, yes. I have no doubt that by his third year, he’d be at a high enough level with the pieces around him to give us a shot at the NC. So again, yes, I’d take Shepherd (purposely sic) over Emiid. But he chose TCU over KU…so there’s nothing we can do there…unless he transfers (not happening).

    I guess what I’m getting at in this tirade is that I’d gladly trade places with ISU right now. I would no doubt trade places with Florida reaching four Elite Eights in a row. I’d rather be at team built for March, rather than one trying to pull off the trifecta of 2008 every year (winning the Big 12 season, tournament and the NCAA tournament. This is all very difficult to do). Think about it, look at UK, UConn, or even Wisconsin. These are teams that had serious question marks at some point in the season, but easily could be pulling themselves together just in time for a run at the NC. I’m sick of the March disappointments. I don’t care about everything else. This is Kansas. I want to boast the mounting national championship victories, being the winningest program all time, not beating up on our little brothers every year only to get ousted once we get to the big boys table.

    As always, RCJH.

  • @MoonwalkMafia Unlike HEM and you (and maybe most others), I consider the whole season important and not just the last tournament. In fact, I would gladly sacrifice our place in the tournament if we had the guts to quit the stupid NCAA.

    Our 2008 win and 2012 final are the high points of the Self years, no doubt, but our 10 straight conference titles are more talked about and more respected even than Florida’s 2 straight national titles.

    Every player recruited by Self who hasn’t left early has been to the NCAA Final. Every single one. There’s another nice streak.

    Yes, our NCAA landscape has deep valleys as well as peaks, but our early exit (with our most valuable player out) should lead to disappointment, not disenchantment.

    That being said, lessons can surely be learned, which is why I am still here reading - and not trading places with anyone!

  • @MoonwalkMafia Let me say we all feel this angst that you put into words so well. But after watching KU ball with 15yrs of Roy (same story, right?), and now 10yrs with Self (yes, some Tourney disappointments, but also a NC win and a Champ game appearance)–we should be able to put this team and why it exited early into some sort of analytical perspective. That’s 2 Hall of Fame coaches, both highly respected around the nation. I heard the ESPN guys yesterday analyzing how Dayton beat Stanford, “when Bill Self and the Jayhawks couldnt break them down”–> Which leads me to the MAIN point about this season’s team: Man, we knew and saw the flaws all season long. Heck, the whole season was a rollercoaster, starting with the W over Duke, but then getting an L slapped in our face at AFH by SDSU. FL downright embarrassed us…then there is the dreaded “soft” play at TX, even with Embiid playing. Now he covered some of our flaws, making us more dangerous at both ends of the floor, which opened things up for Wiggy&Co., but Embiid gone unmasked our flaws & inexperience totally.

    We had a curious combination of expected freshman inconsistency (doesnt matter how highly ranked) + soft play from 2 returnees (Ellis + Tharpe) which is HIGHLY unusual for a Self team. And it felled us.

    I do have a problem assuming that Self didnt try in the tournament: didnt we see the red-faced version patrolling the sidelines, calling timeouts, etc. Maybe the truer analysis against Stanford is that we didnt hit the shots we usually do, right? And we didnt execute key things, just like we didnt all season long, right? People at work followed the game on live websites saw “missed layup” after “missed layup” after “missed layup”. Story of the game is the offense failure, which is partly missing paint shots, which we usually excel at, especially Traylor…and partly your PG-by-committee isnt breaking down the opponent to GET his scorer teammates easier looks. So that ESPN guy’s analysis is only superficially correct: KU did not break down Stanford, but I’d add thats because this is not a typical Bill Self product. Too inexperienced, and sad PG issues, and pisspoor D all season long. The way we handled TX in the rematch in AFH tells us there is way more in this team, and these players than they are able to consistently show nightly (compare to the 08Champs, or the overall #1 MorrisHawks of 2011). We got felled by an off-shooting day foremost. 2011 got felled by an off-shooting, no-defense day. Same vs UNI in 2010. The 2012 Tyshawn/TRobHawks only lost the Champ game to KY due to poor initial shooting (which they did all year, then had to mount furious comebacks…), and 3 missed dunks + 2-3 clanked FTs. When you dont do what “brought you here” in the Tournament game, you exit. That’s the only time the season’s lofty win total didnt help. But up to that final game, you absolutely need as many W’s as possible to set up the best possible Tourney seed. But you still got to go win each game, against a motivated foe. Every team in the Tourney has their backs against the wall, and KU is never the underdog, except possibly vs. UNC in 2008 F4 (we fed off that rare chance to feel disrespected).

    So think analytically: Once Embiid was out, I thought we were very susceptible to this team’s rollercoaster, no-D play causing an early exit. We’ve watched enough of our own team, compared to past Roy and Self teams to know MORE than even the ESPN guys do about our own team.

    I disagree with the sentiment that you’d “trade the conf. title to still be dancing”. Think where our seeding would be if we didnt even win the BigXII? And wouldnt even more losses in our own league mean even MORE fundamental flaws with the team? We were 25-9 for a reason. The 08Champs went 37-3 for some very fundamental reasons. Think about that: Bill Self’s BEST team in his whole career ended with 12 more wins than this year’s “most talented” team. Even if 08 guys lost to Davidson, they’d have 35 wins, which is still 10wins better than the 13-14TharpeHawks. Why was that team so much better? Therein lies the answer to KU fans’ current angst and frustration:

    Why the 08Champs were SO much better than this year’s Hawks:

    1)They defended like all hell. This is why they would crush the TharpeHawks in a hypothetical head2head. SelfMantra No.1: Defense keeps you close when your shots arent dropping…still got a chance at the end. Ask Stephen Curry and Davidson. We couldnt shoot that game (thank god Kaun could), but we dogged Curry like a pack of wolves. Ask No.1 Seed UNC about KU’s defense in the Final 4. Right when it mattered…in the BIG dance, in the Final4. Those 08veterans showed up to play, and knew what to do. They also recall blowing it against UCLA in the Elite8 in 2007, right? Experience is a great teacher. Also, ask Derrick Rose about the D played on him in the 1st half in the Champ game. Absolute PTP’ers, our guys were. Now consider & compare to the TharpeHawks…

    1. Experienced in half court O, and in breaking zones. 08Champs ate zone-D’s for appetizers, washing them down with perfect penetration-scoring, or perimeter passing to open shooter (excellent ball reversal), or penetration-dish (for lob dunk out of nowhere). You see elements of that in all Self squads, but 08 was the best at breaking zones…and this zone-busting all begins with guard play. Now witness TharpeHawks with PG-by-committee. Not going to get it done, folks. 08Champs had Junior Chalmers, Senior RussRob, Soph Sherron Collins as their 3 guards. Hmm, that 3 guard roster would blow the living hell out of Tharpe, Frankamp, and Mason, in my analytical opinion. Mason and Selden show promise, but just too inexperienced–as showed vs. FL. And that’s after watching Tharpe fail miserably at TX and at FL.

    Nonphysical guardplay is why I dont like short, skinny, non-aggressive guards. RussRob would eat Tharpe. Rush would blanket Wiggins. Chalmers would steal weak duck pass attempt to Selden. TharpeHawks would have trouble getting ball across midcourt --> that’s how dominating, and standard-setting the 08Champs were. And maybe that still wouldnt have mattered if Davidson beat them. Luck or matchups (or whatever, like injury) can still happen. We saw how far the 08guys got with “luck” also: Davidson, and Memphis FT%. We see our bad luck with BigBiid’s back injury. Now look at IowaState’s luck with Niang’s broken foot. How far will they get??? Although I disliked IowaSt fans last year, I am pulling for Hoiberg and his very good team.

    Finally, dont feel alone. UNC sitting at home, no defense as usual. Marcus Paige red-hot, but they “couldnt stop the other guy” (Self phrase), as IowaState beat them. Duke sitting at home, beat by Mercer. If you follow the royalty programs, as I do, you notice Duke is also NOT a full-fledged Mike Kryzyewski product. Jabari Parker couldnt save them. They have too many fundamental flaws this year. And Kentucky: Amazingly, that no-chemistry, inconsistent-effort, inexperienced group of talented kids actually has started to put together solid play, just in the last 2-3 games. They handled KState’s pressureD, they sadly were able to beat WSU in a heavyweight-bout type of game…maybe they finally put it together? Calipari looked like he’s aged 10years this year. I also see Self has put on 20lbs. Stress, when the kids cant execute what you know they MUST, or your system cannot show its full devastating effect. All these coaches are very high-level because they have systems that are proven (even Cal’s), and just need fuller, more consistent/reliable execution of their proven systems. Bill Self doesnt have the best winning % in the nation the last 6yrs straight without some very detailed, fundamental reasons. Stat by stat, trend by trend, the 2013-14 TharpeHawks serve as the ABERRATION to the Self system of basketball. And its absolutely NOT because Bill Self isnt trying. Kids need more time in his system. A sad corollary is starting to emerge (and absolutely affect Bill Self’s on-floor product): imagine Wiggins in year 2 or 3? Imagine Selby in year2? Imagine if Twins returned for final year. When you subtract experienced, high level athleticism, its a double hit, especially for a experience-necessary and physicality-necessary system like Bill Self’s.

    Summary: This team isnt who we usually are, statistically. Doesnt matter what athletes stock the roster…its how they play. Or dont play.


  • @ralster Great post, ralster. I can’t sink my teeth into it because I’m at work, but overall very nice.

    I didn’t mean that I would sacrifice THIS year’s Big 12 title to still be dancing, I honestly meant in general. If you came up to me with Doc Brown and the Delorean say in 2010 and said, “hey kid, I got a proposition to make. I can tell you that this year’s team won’t win the Big 12, but they’ll go to the Final Four. Now, I’m not gonna tell you who wins or loses in the FF, but you can choose one outcome or the other.” I would take the Final Four outcome and not give it a second thought.

  • @MoonwalkMafia Agreed about the pure joy of making a Final 4 appearance. I do think, though, that its inextricably linked (except for that rare cinderalla that makes a Final4), that a school’s fanbase has “legit” final 4 aspirations because of how their team dominated all season. I just dont think this year’s inexperienced team dominated like Self’s past and more experienced squads.

    And clearly, it is not a talent issue…it is definitely an experience issue, and a consistency issue. Now keep in mind that even a seasoned, veteran team can have an occasional inconsistent outing: that’s exactly my theory of VCU and UNI losses.

    Looking back, we almost expected the 2009Sherron/Cole team to “not get as far”, and they didnt, as the frosh soft Twins got manhandled by MichiganState’s bruizerball. And really, we got manhandled with regularity this year. We were physically, and mentally SOFT. Not able to beat zones. Very inconsistent PG play. There are better examples of basketball still playing in the NCAA tournament, as much as that stings to say. Now if Embiid was still playing, he truly did mask some weaknesses, and made us play better overall…we could be still dancing…but such is fate.

    I invest a lot of emotional time and thought into each KU season–> and the earlier-than-expected exits have only made me try to be more analytical, like a coach watching/analyzing game film. As Self says: the tape doesnt lie. For example, I have WSU’s loss to KY pinned down to 5 specific occurrences (ALL of which had an over 60% chance of scoring, but somehow didnt)…

    I must also say that my analytical angle is colored by still playing bkball personally…every week I am fighting thru screens, deciding (depending on who I’m guarding) if I go over the screen, or cut under–and you see Self’s 18-20yr olds making routine mistakes, drives me crazy, but I know they just dont “get it” until they have been burned, which then proves Self “right” in their eyes…then they buy in. And they ride pine until they buy it. As it should be, since we DO NOT get a Bill Self team, unless the players actually execute his principles to a “high degree” of execution. Its not impossible, but that’s why I bring up the 08Champs. I have “lived” Bill Self’s principles since before I knew who Bill Self was (simply talking about defense). Bill Self’s ideas are 100% proven (at every place he’s coached, and by ANY player dedicated enough to stick to them, even in casual basketball), but they have to be executed consistently by capable players. Devil is in the details. KU’13-14 looked deep and dangerous on paper–but the details killed us. Just not able to play (consistently) as Self demands. Team failed the coach. Not the coach failing the team. But most coaches will not throw team under the bus, nor should they…as it IS a learning process. Hope we come back stronger, physically and mentally, next season. Take care, all!

  • @ralster-As usual, good stuff. Great perspective on all fronts. Only thing some believe needs a tweak is a plan B, 3 point, zone busting additional option/approach, that was so effectively used against us this year. The weapons were there but just didn’t get enough reps to pull the rabbit out of the hat vs Stanford. Other than that I think Self’s been superb, but with all the snipers we have waiting in the wings my frustration has surfaced more so than any year since the lost to Virginia Commonwealth. That one hurt much more-very much more. Even they (VCU) got nailed by the 3 in the dance this year. Up 4 under 7 ticks & got forced to OT & lost. Puh POW !! It’s just such a major part of the equation now, I think even if only instituted as a type of “2 minute offense” only under certain conditions, it is important enough to teach & finesse. JMO but that’s my only hoot about Bill & our early demise this year. Plus going forward, I wouldn’t be surprised if both assassins AW III & Greene transferred out due to limited minutes & lack of utilization.Hope not, but I certainly wouldn’t be shocked. Heaven forbid Conner-I think he’s going to be really special soon. Far as I’m concerned he’s a dead even shot to unseat Tharpe right now. Again, JMO.

  • That putback Wiggins had against K-State (2:34 mark of the video) is still one of the most incredible plays I have ever seen. He had his foot out of bounds on the drive, changed his momentum and tipped in his own miss before anyone else could even jump. Just amazing.

  • one of the most incredible plays I have ever seen

    @justanotherfan Agree.

    Super comments by Ralster and others here… Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • @MoonwalkMafia I feel the same pain that you do when we lose early in the tournament. I would not trade places with anyone else as I would rather have 4 1/2 months of success and win the Big 12 than 3 weeks of success in the tournament. That is, as long as we can sprinkle in a NC or 2 and some final fours. If we could have a 2nd 10 years like the first 10 of Self’s tenure…I’d take it.

  • updated headlines:

    Kansas freshman guard Andrew Wiggins will join coach Bill Self for a press conference at 2 p.m. Monday at Allen Fieldhouse, the school announced late Sunday.

  • @bskeet $ad to $ee him go!!

  • ralster. From the bottom of my heart - THANK YOU! Just because we asked Wiggins to do it all without the Joel or a point guard, and learning how to play a different set of players on and off the bench. Look at our last 6 games without Joel. Combine that with lack of guard play the odds were stacked against us with most pundits picking Stanford even though Vegas had us winning. Playing with Withey, Young and Releford gave me a feeling of experienced confidence. They had trust in a system they had been a part of for a long, long time. Thank you again Andrew for the Conference Championship and picking KU and Bill Self. If I was a recruit with tons of talent, I would always pick Coach Self.

  • @wrwlumpy great post! Andrew will always represent us well! He has a really close family circle, we need to remember that when we find fault w/other players.

Log in to reply