It’s early. Let me start by acknowledging that. Perhaps too early to be posting this. But with each passing game the near consensus number 1 recruit in the country (and Bill Self’s most heralded recruit ever) not only doesn’t look like the best freshman in the country, but doesn’t even look like the best freshman on his own team. In fact you could argue that for several games, 2 or 3 freshman have looked better.
I like Andrew Wiggins. I think he’s an incredible player. I think he’ll be a great pro for many years. How great? All-star? Hall of Fame? Not sure. And that’s not the point of my post here. In fact, I don’t even want to talk about Andrew. I want to talk about Coach Self. I think Coach Self is one of THE best college coaches in the game. I wouldn’t trade him for anyone. That said, I’m starting to wonder about his ability to adapt. I know he can adapt pretty well to what the other teams throw at him. I’m talking about his ability to change the way he coaches in order to best utilize the talents he has at his disposal. Is he running the best offense to utilize the once in a decade talents of an Andrew Wiggins? That’s not a rhetorical question. I honestly don’t know. I’ll leave it up to @highelitemajor , @drgnslayr and others to speak intelligently about that. It seems to me that Andrew isn’t the focus of our offense. It seems to me like we’re running the same stuff we always have. That’s why Perry Ellis and even Embiid have been looking so good. The big men always look good in a Bill Self offense, right?
So back to my original question: Is this Bill Self’s last chance to showcase a top recruit? If the rest of the year looks like the first 7 games, I’d have to say probably so. I don’t think you can recover from an underachieving Wiggins who was (unfairly) hyped as the second coming of Kevin Durant. Add on an underachieving Josh Selby (yes I know he was hurt and suspended - no one else cares about that) and Coach Self will have strikes one and two against him. He’ll become known as the coach that can get you from a 10-50 Rivals ranking to the NBA draft, but if you’re a top ten talent he won’t know how to showcase you.
Depending on how you feel about the Calipari “strategy” of bringing in the best of the best, perhaps that’s a good thing? I mean we all want Self and KU and Wiggins to succeed, but perhaps the silver lining to the collegiate failures of Selby and Wiggins is… no more Selbys and Wigginses.
I’ll say it again. It’s early, and this may all be premature. But in my opinion, Andrew and perhaps even more so, Coach Self, is on the clock.