Five-star forward Andrew Wiggins has decided to commit to the Kansas Jayhawks.
Grant Traylor of The Herald-Dispatch first reported the news:
Grant Traylor @GrantTraylor
Andrew Wiggins will be attending Kansas5/14/2013, 4:09:34 PM
Wiggins is the No. 1 player in the 2013 class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. Kansas head coach Bill Self likely spent the past few weeks figuring out how he was going to replicate Ben McLemore's production from this past season, who led the team with 15.9 points per game as a freshman.
Now, Self will have the opportunity to coach a player in Wiggins who boasts even better scoring abilities than McLemore.
Self commented on Wiggins' announcement, via Kansas Basketball on Twitter:
Kansas Basketball @KUHoops
Watch @CoachBillSelf's reaction from inside the #kubball offices… http://t.co/X078VmrNKA #wiggins5/14/2013, 6:37:31 PM
Not only will the Huntington Prep product provide overwhelming scoring potential to the offense, but he also has the ability to fill up the box score due to his versatility. On a team losing a ton of production from last season, Wiggins will be seen as a saving grace for the coaching staff, the Kansas fanbase and his future teammates.
While the squad will be without its top five scorers from last season, there are plenty of examples of Kansas players who dramatically raised their level of production when given the opportunity. In the past few years alone, Thomas Robinson and Markieff Morris both doubled their scoring averages from one year to the next.
Next season, fans should expect to see big years out of Perry Ellis and Naadir Tharpe. Each player showed tons of potential in limited minutes as underclassmen and will receive plenty of playing time in 2013. With Wiggins' LeBron James-like abilities to facilitate the rock and lead an offense, his teammates will excel both inside and outside the paint.
In addition to Wiggins, the rest of Kansas' recruiting class is top-notch. The group is ranked the No. 2 class in the nation, according to 247Sports, and it features some elite talent that will make an impact right away.
Wayne Selden is a shooting guard in the mold of McLemore, with the ability to score and defend as well as anyone in the class. Selden was as interested in Wiggins' decision as anybody across the nation and took to Twitter as soon as Wiggins announced his commitment to the Jayhawks:
Alongside Selden and Wiggins is Joel Embiid, who is one of the fastest risers in the class. He is a great shot-blocker who has the athleticism to develop offensively as well.
If these players perform as expected and the experienced members of the team step up their efforts, Kansas will once again be one of the top teams in the country next season.
It is important, however, to note that one-and-done players have been quite hit or miss during Self's tenure. While McLemore was great last season, Xavier Henry and Josh Selby did not live up to expectations. However, nobody expects Wiggins to follow in the footsteps of previous subpar players due to his overall skill set and maturity.
Putting too much pressure on an incoming freshman could lead to poor results, regardless of how good the player is expected to be. Still, Kansas will have a balanced attack next season full of promising, well-rounded players.
This is how things have run for years, and it has led to plenty of success.