Andrew Wiggins could end up being the first pick in the 2014 NBA draft, but he first must answer some questions this season.
The top recruit has already stated that he wants to play for the Toronto Raptors in the NBA. However, it is important that he does not get ahead of himself. Before moving onto the next level, he must first prove he has mastered the college game.
As good as he is, there are still some aspects about the player's game that remain in doubt. Wiggins will try to be the big man on campus at Kansas next year, but those wanting to see a bright future out of him will have to see these questions answered.
How Will He Play With Talented Teammates?
As one of the top high schools in the country, Huntington Prep was more than just Wiggins. Moses Kingsley, Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Dominic Woodson are all talented players going to high-major schools next year.
Still, it was mostly the "Andrew Wiggins Show" during the games, with the wing often taking over 15-20 shots per contest. This might be harder to do with guys like Perry Ellis and Naadir Tharpe on the roster, plus fellow freshmen Joel Embiid and Wayne Selden.
With everyone gunning for opportunities, this could leave fewer chances for Wiggins to get his points.
Additionally, it will be interesting to see how the small forward develops as a passer. While he has drawn comparisons to LeBron James (subscription required), he is not even close to the NBA MVP when it comes to court vision. At this point, it is unlikely he would rack up a high number of assists.
This is not to say he is selfish or incapable of getting better in this area, but he must prove that he can handle the fact that he is not the only one on the team.
The talent around him is only going to get better as he moves on throughout his career. NBA teams have little use for a player who simply jacks up 25 shots per game while making his team worse.
Will He Continue to Develop His Perimeter Game?
Wiggins wants to do everything to help Kansas win next year, but it is also important that he helps his own development to prepare him for the next level.
This is not always what happens to college players, with many of them simply choosing the path of least resistance.
In Wiggins' case, he has the athleticism and slashing ability to get by most of the college players in the nation. He will certainly be able to throw down highlight-reel dunks to please the crowd and put points on the board.
However, he also needs to make sure he continues to work on the other areas of his game. The small forward could stand to improve his consistency with his outside shot, as well as a mid-range game that allows him to get points off the dribble.
If he neglects these aspects of his game while only worrying about putting easy points on the board, he will be worse off when trying to succeed in the NBA. He certainly will not be able to just jump over everyone in a league where everyone is just as athletic as he is.
The young player has to find a way to help his current team as well as prepare for his future at the same time.
Can He Live Up to the Pressure?
During the high school season, there might be scouts at most games and a few might even be televised on ESPN, but it is nothing like the college atmosphere.
With Wiggins, Kansas is expected to be one of the top schools in the country. With that comes sold-out arenas, national television appearances and more media coverage throughout the season.
If the incoming freshman has a poor game or seems like he is not giving his full effort, it will be discussed around the country for days and maybe weeks.
This could lead to even more pressure than he already has on him.
Compared to some other top prospects in football and basketball, Wiggins is a relatively humble person that does not seek the extra attention. Instead of having a huge announcement ceremony, he went in a different direction:
That shows that he will try to do what it takes to stay out of the spotlight when he has a chance. Unfortunately, this will not be an option on the court.
If things go wrong at any point at Kansas, Wiggins will have to show that he can recover from the problem and get back on track. Otherwise, his career can stall in a hurry.
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