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Monday, March 31, 2014

Done deal: Wiggins expected to declare for NBA today

Kansas head coach Bill Self smiles and gives a pat to Andrew Wiggins after pulling him from the game late in the second half on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self smiles and gives a pat to Andrew Wiggins after pulling him from the game late in the second half on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas University freshman basketball guard Andrew Wiggins will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. today, at which he will announce his intentions to enter the 2014 NBA Draft.

KU freshman Joel Embiid, who like Wiggins is expected to be taken in the top three of the draft, will not be part of this news conference.

Wiggins has long acknowledged he’s a one-and-done college player. Nothing has changed entering this news conference, sources said Sunday night.

The 6-foot-8 guard from Ontario, Canada, addressed his emotions after his last home game as a Jayhawk, KU’s 82-57 Senior Night victory over Texas Tech,

“I am happy, yet sad it is my last game,” Wiggins said after scoring nine points with four boards in 23 minutes. “I’m thankful for everything. I’ve been blessed with a good team, great coaches and the best fans anyone could ever ask for.”

Wiggins, who averaged 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds for the 25-10 Jayhawks, recently rated his one-and-done season a “10” on a scale of 1-10.

“It did,” he said of his year in Lawrence exceeding his expectations. “(There’s) nothing like college, sharing moments with your brothers you’ll never experience again.”

Wiggins never wavered in his decision to play college basketball one season only.

“I would say just being able to enjoy my last year of school,” Wiggins said in November to ESPN when asked what he was most looking forward to during the 2013-14 school year.

Wiggins is listed as No. 1 pick in the 2014 Draft by draftexpress.com. Embiid is listed as No. 2.

“To reach his full potential, NBA teams will want to see Wiggins become more aggressive with the way he approaches the game. He has somewhat of a laid-back demeanor on the floor, which can be seen in the way he finishes around the basket at times, his tendency for shying away from contact, and his propensity for settling for long jumpers. He looks reluctant at times to just explode down the lane and dunk on people, which his physical tools suggest he should be able to much more frequently than he does. Part of that might have to do with his youth, lack of experience and strength,” wrote Mike Schmitz of draftexpress.com.

“To his credit, Wiggins only recently turned 19 years old, and is obviously nowhere near a finished product. His tremendous scoring instincts and defensive prowess give him outstanding two-way potential, and that, coupled with his incredibly rare physical tools, makes it very easy to see why he’s such a coveted prospect.”

Comments

Reggie Flenory 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Thx for a great season andrew i know your gonna kill it at the next level

CHAD ANTHONY 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Wish him the best, but have to say disappointing season for KU given the expectations by me and many others

Robert Brown 8 months, 3 weeks ago

You really think this was a successful season?

Brian Mellor 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Honestly, at times it seems like I was one of the only KU fans that had this team perform at their expectations. They pretty much matched what I expected them to, losing the games I was worried about, and winning the ones I suspected they'd win.

As for successful season or not, I'd have liked them to get to the second weekend, but regardless, if you put it up anonymously to fans of all the D1 programs, and asked them if this scenario:

Team loses all starters from previous year; Team posts winning record in most difficult non-con; Team wins conference season in difficult conference; Team makes tournament and wins at least one game;

. . . was a successful season, probably 295 out of 300 would say yes. That the above was a down year (and of course it was), only shows how spoiled we as KU fans are by such a high level of success over the last several decades.

Ryan Sullivan 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Dude averaged 17 and 6. What would have made you happy?

A 2nd round loss is not a successful season for KU, but are you putting that all on Wiggins?

What if he averaged 22 and 10 but we still lost in the 2nd round?
What if he averaged 17 and 6 and we lost in the Elite 8?
What is he average 10 and 4 but we won the NC?
I'm just trying to figure out your criteria for what would have made Wiggins year a success?

Wiggins was by far the best one and done we've had, and he's ready for the NBA. KU fans have NOTHING to complain about Wiggins time here.

Chris Blake 8 months, 3 weeks ago

17 and 6 against Stanford would have helped.

Billy Gibbons 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Your expectations are your problem! Anyone who doesn't see winning a 10th straight conference title with the 4th youngest team in div 1 is nuts, in my opinion. The only thing I can be disappointed in is that we got an injury at the wrong time of year, but that doesn't make me label the season unsuccessful.

Robert Brown 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I see a team that was ranked in the Top 10 most of the year not make it to the Sweet 16. I could probably be OK with a loss in the Round of 32 if they played well. I think winning the conference championship by two games is an important accomplishment but the tournament measures success and this team even without Embiid, should have played better in the tournament.

Billy Gibbons 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm one of those guys that enjoys the season regardless of the outcome, but I'm curious...those of you who do not label this year as successful, which of Bill Selfs years do you label successful? How about Roy's? Was a year like '97 a "successful" year in your eyes? '98?

CHAD ANTHONY 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Im sorry but at some point we have to expect more than just winning the Big 12, I might be in minority here, but winning the Big 12 means little when we consistently lose to 10 seeds to end our season. I don't blame Wiggins, I blame Bill Self for consistently failing to gameplan for the tourney. Everyone and their brother knows we were gonna have to create an offense against the zone, but once again fails to create one. He hasn't shown a play at the end of the game other than the Mario Chalmers play which is the only one he knows how to call for the last 5 years.

CHAD ANTHONY 8 months, 3 weeks ago

For being such a crappy coach, Calapari sure doesn't have the problem does he? Self is treated like a God with KU fans and I don't get it...yes I'm a spoiled KU fan, but it's becoming a trend with him in the tourney. If Chalmers misses that 3, I wouldn't be the only one questioning him either

Benz Junque 8 months, 3 weeks ago

If Steph Curry makes one more three for Davidson, Bill Self is a former KU coach.

CHAD ANTHONY 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes you are correct. Hate playing the if game, but that's how close he is to being this great "I wouldn't trade Self for anyone type coach" and one that is replaceable.

Brian Mellor 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm actually less disappointed in KU's season than I am in how little noise the rest of the conference made in the tournament.

Chris Blake 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Their success appeared to be almost solely based on talent. Led by Wiggins. If they don't get a PG next season (Franzekamp or Mason will need to be better) it will not as successful.

Bill Kackley 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Probably best for program that he leave. He did great but the rest of the team seemed to defer to him, Andrew will do it, and when he didn't do it they were still depending on him to do it, coach included.

Yonatan Negash 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Good luck Andrew and thanks for the memories.

Very grateful you choose to come to Kansas.

Beau Woolsey 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Couldn't be more happier about his career at KU great guy best of luck.

Marc Frey 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I read the last two paragraphs and have to wonder how a player with all of those issues is going to be on of the first players taken. It seems he needs another year in college to work on "shyness, demeanor, laid-back, strength, and experience. I get that it is better to work on those things making $Millions.

Aaron Paisley 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Every player at his age still have a lot to work on to be a finished product. It's all about what can the player be as a finished product and Andrew Wiggins absolutely has the skill set to be a top 5 player in the NBA and the NBA drafts on potential.

Ryan Michael 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks for coming to Kansas and giving us a preview of the amazing career you will no doubt have Andrew! Jayhawk nation will follow you wherever you go, congrats!

Joe Baker 8 months, 3 weeks ago

He's a great kid and handled himself really well. It was special to watch him at KU, in a KU uni, and his character was always far and above expectations.

Rock Chalk Wigs

Scott MacWilliams 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks for a great season, Andrew! We hope you have a long and successful NBA career, and show everyone how to fly through the game with the best of them.

Rock Chalk!!

tommy glenn 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Good kid it seems like, unlike our point guard who posts naked pics on Twitter

Chad Greenlee 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Wiggins was better than McLemore.. the only way Wiggins could have lived up to the hype is to average a triple double or win the NC..

Jonathan Allison 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Is this like the backup quarterback mentality? When the team is struggling the backup QB becomes everybody's favorite player?

the next recruit is always the best, at least until we see him play.

Me I'm just thankful for the season we got to see those guys (McLemore and Wiggins) play. Both seem like terrific young men who were great ambassadors for KU. That's a trend that I hope continues.

Tony Bandle 8 months, 3 weeks ago

OAKVILLE ODDITIES:

1] I, for one, fall on the side of thinking this a great season...10th Straight Big 12, Frosh of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, nearly the youngest class in Div. 1 playing the #1 SOS, beating Duke, 25th straight NCAA appearance, 14 -1 at Allen, Top Ten most of the year. Sure we could have gone further, but 67 other teams eventually feel the samer way!!

2] Thanks for the memories, Andrew...unfortunately, the last one will be the one that will stick with us the longest....what if he had only scored half his season average against Stanford....what if that first charging foul had been correctly called a block....what if, etc. Still, I am happy he will always be a Jayhawk and wish him only the best.

3] For the sake of conversation, let's assume Jo Jo is gone. Look at the OAD class of '14. Embiid, Parker, Randle, Wiggins, the Harrison Twins...this may be one of the all-time great classes and this could be an All-NBA Team in three or four years.

4] Wiggins announces.....then Jo Jo announces...then Myles announces [did not commit at Texas..a good sign]..the wheel keeps a turning.

5] It pains me to say it, but Kentucky looks like the toughest team in the Final Four..was happy to see Sparty get eliminated though, even if it was UCONN who did it....

6] Which Bandwagon has Dickie boy jumped on since Duke, North Carolina and Mich.State are gone???

7] Calipari is up 5 NCAA Final Fours to 2 for Bill Self..OH WAIT...I forgot, 2 got eliminated...make that 3-2!!!

8] ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY SIX days till Late Night 2014.........let the countdown begin!!!!

Mike Riches 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Ok so I know it's not going to happen but wouldn't it be cool if he shocked the world today and announced that he's staying! I guess it would also be cool if Wiggins called me and offered me half of his future income, which is about as likely...I'll just keep on dreaming. Best of luck Wiggs!

John Fitzgerald 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm disappointed in all of you that are turning this article into questioning Bill Self. He's a great coach and has done things no other coach has done for Kansas. We consistently compete for the NC regardless of the team we have. It sucks to lose early in the tournament but to use one loss to judge an entire season is not fair. We had a big injury late in the season and obviously didnt cope well with it. We still had a good year and Wiggins exceeded my expectations. I'm excited for Wiggins and hope to see him do well in the NBA.

CHAD ANTHONY 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Self can't be criticized ever? Really? That's my point, his team didnt play hard for him this year, we looked like crap at end of season, we lost to an inferior team AGAIN. I'm sorry this is KU, it comes with high expectations. I don't know about most of you, but it's all about the tournament, and we underachieved in it again

Billy Gibbons 8 months, 3 weeks ago

You're welcome to criticize Self as often as you want, Chad, and we're welcome to think you're a nut job for doing so. But if you're going to criticize Bill, who wouldn't you criticize? What current college coach would you replace him with if you could have anyone?

CHAD ANTHONY 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Wow thanks for proving my point again! So Self can just continue to not make even the Sweet 16 every year & you wouldn't mind a bit? He's above & beyond criticism? I never said he should be fired, just saying he isn't without blame...I mean this is KU right? Last time I checked we expect better than losing to 10 seeds and inferior competition every other year. I love KU, but I can admit that us losing early in the tourney and less talented teams is becoming a trend...I'm not gonna just put my crimson, blue, & rose colored glasses on and act like it isn't becoming one.

Billy Gibbons 8 months, 3 weeks ago

IF Self missed the sweet 16 every year, I would mind and I would understand why folks would criticize him. But since KU only misses the sweet 16 every FOUR years, and we've won the BIG 12 each of those years, no, I don't mind a bit. Because I don't honestly believe there's any coach out there that could do better than Self has done. So I'll ask you again, who would you rather have as our head coach?

CHAD ANTHONY 8 months, 3 weeks ago

To answer your question...I know this is gonna hurt everyone's feelings, but here's a list of better coaches since u asked: 1. Donovan 2. Coack K 3. Calapari (3 out of last 5 final 4s, 8 out of last 10 elite 8s...sorry but he's better) 4. Izzo 5. Pitino

Billy Gibbons 8 months, 3 weeks ago

All great coaches, but I don't believe any are BETTER than Self. During Self's KU tenure, none of these guys have made the title game more than twice (yet) and they've all lost two or three first round games (and ALL more recently than Self) except Calapari who lost to Robert Morris in the first round of the NIT! THAT is absolutely unacceptable for a KU team. I'd rather MAKE the real tournament and miss the sweet 16 each year than play in the NIT!

Sam Constance 8 months, 3 weeks ago

With your reaction to failing to make the Sweet 16, I can only imagine how ballistic you would go were Self to ever miss the tournament. That list is pretty laughable. If you applied the same standards to those guys that you were applying to Self, you wouldn't really have much of a list at all...

Billy Donovan completely missed the tournament in 2008 and 2009, then followed that up with a first round exit in 2010. That's three years out of the last seven that have been lower than ANY of Self's results the last seven years.

Coach K hasn't made the Sweet 16 since 2011 (the last time KU missed the S16 before this year was 2010), AND in his last 8 years, he's lost in the first or second round 4 times.

Calipari completely missed the tournament last year with a highly talented team and couldn't even win a home game against lowly Robert Morris in the NIT. Plus, he's kind of a sleazeball. I'd gladly trade a few coaching shortcomings in exchange for being able to like my team's coach. Case in point--he no-showed the press conference after the Robert Morris loss, because he's more than happy to yammer away when things are going well, but can't even bear to face the music when they go poorly.

Izzo is the best suggestion you made, but even he has a first round loss in 2011 and more first round losses in his last 13 years (4) than Self has had in his last 16 (2). And keep in mind, five of those 16 years came at Tulsa and Illinois, not the powerhouse that Izzo has coached at for his entire career.

And Pitino has exited the NCAA tournament in the first round in two of the last five years.

So yeah, a case could be made for each of the coaches you listed being better than Self. But it has an over-reliance on tournament success while ignoring tournament failure. Don't mistake my comment for suggesting that Self is beyond criticism. He's made some choices this year that I question. But at the end of the day, you don't get to pick and choose the good parts of your coach. No one is perfect, and the bottom line is that Self has done as much or more for this program as any coach since perhaps Phog Allen (argument could be made for Roy, but he was conspicuously absent from your list), and has led KU to 11 years of dominance unlike anything we've seen in recent memory.

I find it amusing that you chide others for the fact that their feelings will be hurt for your suggestions, all while ignoring the fact that these posts come across as someone who is still stinging from this season's admittedly disappointing ending and is letting his emotions get the better of him.

Aaron Paisley 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Bill Self absolutely deserves criticism when he fails. Show me a coach who has never lost a game and then you will see a coach that does not deserve criticism. Every coach has their flaws and when those flaws cost their team a game, they will be criticized for it. Bill Self is absolutely a great coach, one of a handful that have a national title on their resume, but that does not mean he is perfect. I wouldn't voluntarily trade Self for anyone else, but if we woke up tomorrow and someone like Pitino, Coach K, Izzo, or a handful of other coaches was suddenly the coach at KU, I wouldn't complain because Bill Self is not the only great coach today in college basketball.

Sam Constance 8 months, 3 weeks ago

"It's all about the tournament"

A sure-fire way to be disappointed year after year. We (NCAA basketball fans as a whole) already place FAR too much weight on the tournament in spite of the fact that the tournament is specifically geared to produce shocking upsets.

Saying the tournament is the most important thing is somewhat like saying that full court shot at the end of a game to win is more important than hitting 40% of your three-point attempts over the course of a season. Yes, hitting the full court shot is technically harder and carries more weight than the season-long three-point shooting percentage, but it's also something that is so isolated and isn't nearly as fundamental to basketball.

I also fail to understand why everyone seems to be willing to ignore the fact that we lost one of our most important players at the worst possible time of the year. Yes, we had some time to adjust, but this was one of the youngest teams in all of Division I basketball this year and lacked a consistently solid point guard. If any team was going to be vulnerable to losing a key piece at that time of the year, it was this one. Good coaching or not. And not sure if you noticed, but we drew a second round matchup that was going to be tough for us sans Embiid no matter what--both New Mexico and Stanford were big teams. The NCAA committee does these sorts of things on purpose, because to them, the winner of the tourney doesn't matter--what matters is creating compelling matchups and results. Things like KU losing in the second round draws viewers. Things like Mercer beating Duke draws viewers.

Yet we, as fans, treat the NCAA tournament as if it is THE only thing that really matters. To the point where we have fans of our own team crapping on the season because we only won a 10th straight conference title. It's garbage. You're falling for the NCAA's narrative, when we--especially as KU fans--should be more knowledgeable than that.

One more example to underscore my point: UCLA has, by far, the most NCAA titles in history. But it's the programs with the gaudy win totals (Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina) who are really the elite programs in college basketball.

There is no shame in admitting that the end of the season was disappointing. There is (should be ) shame in dumping on our coach and season because you were disappointed by the outcome.

Aaron Paisley 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Let's apply Chad's standard to Bill Self that national titles are the only measure of success. Bill Self is tied as the third most successful active coach since Self arrived at KU because only Donovan and Williams have multiple titles during that stretch. Since Bill became head coach at Oral Roberts, that drops him to 5th since Coach K and Pitino have multiple titles during that span as well. So even going by the ultimate measure of success and only using national titles, Bill Self is still the 5th most successful active coach in college basketball today.

John Fitzgerald 8 months, 3 weeks ago

You're a very angry person Chad. I didn't say you can't criticize him, I'm just saying I'm disappointed in those that turn an article about Andrew Wiggins into criticizing Bill Self. And me being disappointed doesn't mean I think you're a bad person or wrong, I just don't agree with you. Take a deep breath there buddy.

Terrence Cernech 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I certainly feel that another year at Kansas would not hurt AW's development as a basketball player and would be a relatively safe haven compared to the NBA. I can see him, in 4-5 years being compared with Scottie Pipken, a lock-down defender on positions 1-4 and steady scorer with explosions along the way. We didn't get to see the best he has to offer because he doesn't realize what that is. Hope he gets to realize that potential. Embiid's injury. if a factor at all, would be a cautionary tale of how fragile that future could be. Good Luck to Andrew! The Hawks move on. Rock, Chalk, Jayhawks!!!

Rich Hetherington 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Is he related to baseball great Cal "Pipken" Jr.?

Sam Burns 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks Andrew for coming to KU. You'll be a great pro! Here's a note for those of you that haven't noticed it yet. The McDonald's All American game is on ESPNU today at 3. (according to Cox TV Guide) I didn't think the game was being played until Wed.

Joseph Bullock 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Sam, The McDonald's Al American Game is April 2nd, at 8:30PM Central Time, at the United Center, in Chicago.

Aaron Paisley 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Andrew, go get your money young man and don't squander the money from your shoe contract.

Beau Woolsey 8 months, 3 weeks ago

I didn't like Andrew Wiggins I loved him.

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