I was at a bar in downtown Boston on Friday night with some friends after the Celtics
The first thing we were in agreement on - Jabari Parker is fantastic. Why he is not a lock to be the top overall pick baffles me, but of course he would need to leave Duke for that to be possible, something that Parker continues to insist he has not decided on. Every Celtics fan should be a huge Blue Devils fan come March Madness. A successful tournament not only for Parker, but for his team, could be the difference in him coming out.
We both said that we like Joel Embiid a lot, but still would take him after Parker. The potential is nice, but we just saw Parker as a sure thing. Speaking of potential, we arrived at Andrew Wiggins.
My friend led off with a statement that Celtics fans know all too well; "he reminds me of Jeff Green." I responded that I can see how some may think that, I bash Wiggins from time-to-time for being inconsistent myself. But the difference is that Green has been in the NBA for seven years. . . Wiggins celebrated his 19th birthday last month.
Consistency very well could come with age for any of these NBA prospects, I'd be willing to bet on it arriving for Wiggins. To be honest I really don't have a good NBA comparison for Wiggins, if I had to pick I would go with Tracy McGrady. Keep in mind it took T-Mac four seasons to become a full time starter putting up big numbers. At the same time, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist can remind me off Wiggins on occasion, an even less flattering comparison than Green.
But in end, despite seeing different futures for Wiggins, we both agreed that he was overhyped and had no shot at being better than Parker, not even long-term. The future is open for debate, but what is not is that Parker is a much better player right now. Wiggins must have heard us talking, because Saturday afternoon he showed us that he is certainly capable of putting all that potential to good use.
Wiggins was fantastic on the road against West Virginia, finishing with a career-high 41 points. Unfortunately it was in another upset loss for Kansas, but none of that was of the fault of the freshman. Down by as many as 25 points Wiggins led Kansas back to within five before the game slipped away from them, virtually taking control of the game on his own.
Wiggins was 12-for-18 from the field (2-for-5 from three) and finished 15-for-19 at the free-throw line - a great sign that he was attacking the rim. To go along with the 41-point main course, Wiggins tallied eight boards, two assists, four blocks and five steals before fouling out in the final seconds.
The only word to describe the performance - dominant. A word we have yet to apply to Wiggins this season until now.
Good things just continued to happen when Wiggins drove to the basket, evident by his enormous totals at the free-throw line. But on top of it Wiggins shot the ball very well, including a second half stretch where he seemingly could not miss.
Lets see if Wiggins can build off of his historic game, as well as if coach Bill Self will begin to feature his freshman star more prominently in the offense. A big March for Wiggins could help ease some of the criticism he has been dealing with all season long, just in time for the NBA draft.
No Youtube highlights available yet, but here's a link to the game highlights from ESPN.
Follow Julian on Twitter @julianedlow
Read more of Julian's articles here
Read the entire 'eye on the draft' series here
Julian Edlow 3/08/2014 04:08:00 PM Tweet Edit