Originally published October 3, 2013 at 01:48p.m., updated October 4, 2013 at 12:35a.m.

Andrew Wiggins named to preseason all-Big 12 first team

KU's Tarik Black voted as conference's newcomer of year

Media members crowd around the highly-touted Kansas freshman, Andrew Wiggins during Media Day on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo

Media members crowd around the highly-touted Kansas freshman, Andrew Wiggins during Media Day on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. Nick Krug/Journal-World Photo


Kansas University freshman Andrew Wiggins was named Big 12 preseason freshman of the year and senior Tarik Black newcomer of the year on Thursday in a vote of conference coaches.

Wiggins, a 6-foot-8 guard from Thornhill, Ontario, also was named to the all-league team with preseason player of the year Marcus Smart and Markel Brown, both of Oklahoma State, plus Baylor’s Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson and Iowa State’s Melvin Ejim.

KU’s Perry Ellis and Joel Embiid earned honorable mention all-league with Michael Cobbins and LeBryan Nash (OSU), Shane Southwell (Kansas State) and Eron Harris (West Virginia).

“I’m honored that the Big 12 coaches recognize my potential,” Wiggins said Thursday after becoming the first freshman in Big 12 history to be named preseason all-league. “I’m glad to see Tarik, Perry and Joel also in there. There are a lot of great freshmen in the league and especially here at Kansas. Any one of my fellow freshmen teammates could have also been on this list.”

Black, 6-9, is immediately eligible after transferring from Memphis, where he earned an undergraduate degree.

“It’s an honor,” Black said. “I feel it’s a blessing to even be considered somebody that’s even worth mentioning. I take it all in stride. At the same time if it wasn’t for a team like this put together I wouldn’t be up for something like this. The team around me is what makes me seem like a good player. Really, truly, it’s all of us coming together forever,” Black added.

Conference coaches were not allowed to vote for players on their own team. There was a tie in the voting for the all-league team, accounting for six players.

“That is a pretty solid first team, and it’s great to see a freshman get named to the first team in Andrew,” KU coach Bill Self said. “It’s also good to see Tarik, Perry and Joel recognized but, like all preseason stuff, we won’t take anything from this because it’s based on potential. Now you have to go prove it.”

Preseason Player of the Year

Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

Preseason Newcomer of the Year

Tarik Black, Kansas

Preseason Freshman of the Year

Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

2013-14 Preseason All-Big 12 Team

Isaiah Austin, Baylor, C

Cory Jefferson, Baylor, F

Melvin Ejim, Iowa State, F

Andrew Wiggins, Kansas, G

Markel Brown, Oklahoma State, G

Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, G

Honorable Mention (listed alphabetically by school):

Perry Ellis and Joel Embiid, Kansas; Shane Southwell, K-State; Michael Cobbins and Le’Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State, Eron Harris, West Virginia.

* — A tie in the voting created a six-member preseason team.


William Blake 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Okay... Wiggins can score, Wiggins can run, Wiggins can jump... but will he integrate well enough into a Kansas offense that will allow him to take over games? Yes, he will. We know the structure is already in place for Wiggins to dominate at D1. Last year, Head Coach Bill Self showed the desire to create offense for star wing Ben McLemore, giving him the green light anywhere and anytime on the floor, and in doing so, shifted slightly off center from his past philosophy of "team offense" to "team offense with an emphasis on one." McLemore left Kansas with a 20-point scoring average, but often didn't show an alpha-dog instinct to take over games. Wiggins is 100% alpha-dog, but also is the most considerate and giving alpha-dog on the planet. That should translate into a win-win relationship for Wiggins and his supporting cast. And if everyone shares the ball on this Kansas team, the synergism generated on offense should not only be explosive for Wiggin's stat line, but also for the team's stat line. Just remember "team offense with an emphasis on one."

Where on the floor will Wiggins get his points? Potentially, anywhere on the floor. He may not be the same threat from the 3-pt line as Conner Frankamp, but he is showing his capability from that distance and definitely every location on the floor inside the 3-pt stripe. His midrange touch is soft and accurate, making him a threat even from the base line, adding a weapon few teams have in D1. When he finishes at the rim, you might mistake him for a 7-footer with springs. And in the open court, you'll have to focus sharply on the game or you'll miss his moves because of his lightning speed.

Backing up Wiggins at the small forward I've penciled in 6'7", 215-pound freshman, Brannen Greene. Greene is a big time scorer on the wing. He can stroke it as well as anyone from behind the 3-point line, and has shown an ability to score off the bounce as well. Greene is a solid athlete who can create scoring space for himself with ease. There are questions concerning his aggressiveness to attack off the dribble, though he'll more than likely work that out quickly under Head Coach Bill Self.


William Blake 6 months, 3 weeks ago


I've been psyched to do the 3-spot (small-forward) match-up ever since we started this project.

Drum roll.... to no one's surprise, I've chosen Andrew Wiggins to start at the small forward, a guy who has collected more hardware in high school than most finish carpenters have collected in their entire thumb-smashing careers. Wiggins was named the 2013 Naismith Prep Player of the Year, 2013 Gatorade National Player of the Year, 2013 Mr. Basketball USA and was ranked the number one high school basketball player by SLAM Magazine. Since that time, Andrew has moved on to Kansas and has already attracted plenty of attention and has been selected as a preseason All-American in the annual Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and named to the preseason all-Big 12 first team.

Wiggins is a 6'8", 200-pound freshman, who many consider him pound-for-pound the top player in college basketball today and a sure winner of the POY award given later in the year... and he hasn't even dribbled a ball in a live D1 game yet!

So what kind of an impact can a freshman player like Andrew Wiggins be expected to make on an always-talented team like Kansas? Without considering Wiggin's supporting cast, let's take a closer look at the man prodigy himself.

Can Andrew Wiggins take over a D1 game? Simply put, yes, Andrew Wiggins WILL take over D1 games. In Wiggins final year of high school basketball he averaged 23.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, 2.4 steals and 2.5 assists per game. Opposing teams tried every defensive tactic in the book in hopes of slowing down Wiggins. Wiggins played his high school basketball at mach speed, which seemed to make all other players on the court look like they were playing in slow motion. That speed differential may tighten at D1, but rest assured, it will not close entirely. Wiggins will run circles around most D1 players. And if he's not running circles around players, he's jumping over them. While in high school Wiggins protracted a 44-inch vertical leap to go along with his 7-foot wingspan. What's happened since Wiggins left high school? Hardwood Paroxysm's Scott Leedy commented, "when staff attempted to quantify Andrew Wiggin's vertical leap, Wiggins jumped higher than the measuring apparatus could measure." Leedy commented further, "after repairing the ceiling the staff decided to just draw a star in the box for vertical on Wiggin's sheet."


Bewareofthephog Fifety-Five 6 months, 3 weeks ago

1st Team All-Americans

Marcus Smart

Russ Smith

CJ Fair

Doug McDermott

Cory Jefferson

Freshman 1st Team All-Americans

Tyler Ennis

Wayne Selden

Andrew Wiggins

Jabari Parker

Julius Randle


saad007 6 months, 3 weeks ago

new season new avatar :) Rock Chalk Jayhawk - Hala Madrid


Steve Jacob 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I am trying to dial down expectations, but it's hard. The only things I can think of is four guys on the list, but only one guy can score at a time, and KU is due for a injury plagued season one of these years.


jaybate 6 months, 3 weeks ago

It is important for people to remember about Derrick Rose. As a freshman, he was good enough to help his team get to the final game of the season, but he was badly outplayed by Sharon Collins among others. And his teammate, senior CDR, carried the team much of the season. If Andrew Wiggins were the best college freshman, since Crooke Derrick Rose, we can expect some big highs and lows. And we can expect him to underachieve and some big games. Since Coach Self, and slayer, have encouraged us to embrace the hype, let's hope that Andrew Wiggins, as a freshman, is a better player than was Derrick Rose. If he were, it would be ring city.


Andrew Moore 6 months, 3 weeks ago

My big 12 1st team:

Smart Niang Wiggins Ellis Austin

Second team

Brown Selden M Brown Jefferson Black


akgjenkintown 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Based on the comments from his own teammates, Selden might be the biggest surprise to all. Lets hope that all of the KU players lives up to their hype and more importantly their potential and that the individuals left off prove the "media geniuses" wrong.


DanR 6 months, 3 weeks ago

And the Academy Award goes to... (tears open envelope)... wow, we have a tie: Georges Niang and Marcus Smart!


Boouk 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson ahead of Perry for the all-Big 12 first team?


jhawkrulz 6 months, 3 weeks ago

"KU forward Tarik Black was chosen as the conference's preseason newcomer of the year, while forward Perry Ellis and center Joel Embiid earned honorable-mention status."

This sentence makes it sound like Perry Ellis and Joel Embiid were honorable mention for newcomer of the year, later it splits it to Conference team honorable mention.

I'm not the best at grammar, but even this one threw me for a loop.


BucknellJayhawk3 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm fairly surprised we don't have 2 on the list given how deep and talented we are. I don't know as much about the other players in the league but this just goes to show we are really a team that's based off of potential right now. Anybody care to guess what the postseason big 12 team will look like? I think we'd have 2 on it, but who will be the second?


Waylon Cook 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Selden and Frankamp will make the Big 12 cry and they aren't even on there:)


Warhawk1941 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Still sleeping on Selden. STUD.


mikehawk 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Nothing but paper. Means nothing except pressure on some players and a chip on the shoulder of others. Let's play.


Ferd Magellan 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Maybe I'm underselling the kid, but I don't think he'll have all conference numbers. I expect more statistically from Ellis and Selden to be honest.


Brent Cagle 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Kevin Durant wasn't preseason first team all-Big 12 as a freshman? How is that possible?


iamakufan 6 months, 3 weeks ago

It is refreshing to see such humility and diplomacy from a young man with so much potential. His parents did a terrific job raising him. I'm betting some of our other players will end up very highly rated in the season ending recognition. There are some terrific players, terrific young men on this team.


Hawk8086 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm surprised that Embiid is Honorable Mention given the comments that Self has made about him being raw and the resulting chances of him putting up numbers good enough to be All Big 12. Again, the potential is there and maybe the belief is that he will likely turn into a defensive force that will merit such an award. I am also surprised that Wayne wasn't Honorable Mention.


Andrew Moore 6 months, 3 weeks ago

How do Baylor and OSU both have two players on the first team???? They will be good teams, but I have to ask the question: Where will those two teams be ranked relative to Kansas in the preseason...

How many people really believe those teams will finish ahead of Kansas in the Big 12? Not me.

How many people really believe that Marcus Smart will be player of the year? Not me.

How many Jayhawks will finish first team this season? More than one? I think so.


clevelandjayhawker 6 months, 3 weeks ago

No love for Wayne?

I would like to think we have a shot at an all KU post season Big 12 team


Ron Prichard 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Wow...not a single player from Texas or OU on any of the lists. How the mighty (aside from KU) have fallen. I wonder if that has ever happened before?


dnvrhawk 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Wiggins seems like a very media-saavy and humble young man.


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