On Saturday, Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins scored a career-high 27 points, dished out five assists and collected five boards as the Jayhawks dominated TCU, 91-69. What Kansas coach Bill Self said about his freshman after the game was intriguing:
"He can defer a little bit and he can kind of get lost, but he never got lost today," Self said. "He was able to put his handprint all over the possessions and create opportunities for himself and others. I thought he played the way he should play every game."
Wiggins didn't defer on Saturday and the Jayhawks never lost control of the game. The freshman swing man knocked down two three-pointers, caught an alley-oop and sank 9-of-10 free throw attempts. In all, he shot 8-of-13 from the floor and looked like the superstar prospect that scouts were yelling about before the season.
At times this season, however, Wiggins has deferred to his teammates. On Jan. 18, he got up just five shots and scored three points in a big conference match up against Oklahoma State. On Jan. 8 against Oklahoma, he shot only nine times and accumulated nine points.
Wiggins is shooting the ball 11 times a game. Per 40 minutes, he shoots nearly five shots less a game than his freshman counterpart at Duke, Jabari Parker, does. Wiggins does, however, shoot more free throws a game than Parker, signaling that he understands how to use his athleticism.
Some will say that Wiggins should shoot the ball more, but it's important to remember that Kansas is jam-packed with talent. Rather than forcing shots, Wiggins looks to play within Kansas' offense, but, like Self said, he can "get lost" at times when he's deferring to those teammates.
When Wiggins doesn't defer and puts his "hand print all over the possessions," he has the ability to transform into the superstar everyone wants to see. That's what happened on Saturday.