ST. LOUIS (KTVI) Depending on the outcome Sunday, St. Louis could bear witness to the end of Andrew Wiggins’ brief college career. The sensational freshman from Ontario, Canada who averaged 17.4 points per game and 5.9 rebounds, was the prized recruit of Bill Self’s class this year. The assumption has always been that his first season in Lawrence would be his last before going off to the NBA. A Sports Illustrated cover indicating that the torch had been passed from Wilt Chamberlain to Danny Manning and onto him did little to dim those expectations. Self said he thought the cover was unfair to his player, but also thought it a cool picture at the same time.
“I thought it would help prepare him for the pressures that’s going to be before him because if he didn’t get hit between the eyes early on, he wouldn’t have been prepared over the course of the season,” Self told reporters earlier this week.
When asked Saturday how much better Wiggins could be with another year at Kansas, Self laughed, saying there was no doubt he should come back. “That’s not anything we’re going to hold out hope for at all. What I’d like to see him do is, you know, on the biggest stage that college basketball has to offer, play very, very well to give him confidence and help springboard that his next step is, whatever it is.”
Wiggins wasn’t directly asked Saturday if he’ll leave early for the NBA at a podium session Saturday, but when asked if Kansas career would be judged by how the Jayhawks performed in the tournament, he said “It will be better, you know, if we won this tournament, but we still had a good year either way. Even though we won one of the toughest conferences in college basketball and no one can take a good year away from us.