Kansas University freshman basketball player Andrew Wiggins was recognized at the ESPY Red Carpet Show on Wednesday in Los Angeles — a day after being named Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year in a ceremony in Hollywood.
“It’s so much more physical,” Wiggins said of college basketball compared to high school in an interview with Rivals.com. “Everybody is hungry. Coming in as a freshman, you are taking someone’s spot. You are taking someone’s minutes. They (returnees) are going to fight for those minutes. On the court, you have to bring it every day. If you are not playing hard, not playing well, you’ve got to work harder. The style of play .. there are more pick and rolls.”
He said everybody on the Jayhawk team contacted him after his commitment to KU in May.
“At KU, the brotherhood is so tight,” Wiggins said.
He was asked by esnewsreporting.com if there was pressure to be picked No. 1 in the 2014 NBA Draft.
“There’s always pressure when it comes to stuff like that. Pressure is not always bad,” Wiggins said. “I think there’s good pressure. It motivates me to want to fulfill what everybody thinks I can be capable of doing, which is being No. 1. I’m going to work hard, so if I’m not No. 1 it’s not my fault. I’m going to work as hard as I can to become No. 1.”
Asked who he thought would take him No. 1 if the draft were today, he said: “I’d like to say the Raptors. I’d like to play for them (in hometown of Toronto).”
KU coach Bill Self last week spoke with ESPN’s Jeff Goodman about Wiggins and the Jayhawks’ 2013-14 team.
“I love his potential,” Self said of Wiggins. “He’s still getting his feet wet and his legs under him.”
Goodman said Self praised freshman Wayne Selden “for his toughness, ability to get to the basket and also his propensity to make shots.” Goodman said Self “raved about (freshman point guard Frank) Mason’s tenacity, especially on the defensive end of the floor.”
Former KU guard Ben McLemore scored one point off 0-of-8 shooting — he made one of two free throws — in Sacramento’s 92-54 loss to Minnesota in Las Vegas Summer League play on Wednesday. McLemore was 0-for-4 from three. He had five rebounds in 21 minutes. ... Former KU forward Travis Releford scored three points and grabbed two rebounds while playing 16 minutes in Denver’s 87-82 victory over New Orleans. Former KU center Jeff Withey had three points and six boards in 19 minutes for the Pelicans. ... Former KU forward Thomas Robinson had 17 rebounds and 13 points in Portland's 70-69 win over Atlanta. ... Former KU guard Elijah Johnson had zero points and an assist in seven minutes in the Los Angeles Clippers 95-89 loss to Dallas.