Kansas' Andrew Wiggins the star of Big 12 Media Day

Hype has surrounded Jayhawks' heralded freshman.
by Ryan Aber Published: October 22, 2013
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— Andrew Wiggins isn't much for the comparisons.

He's been likened to Wilt Chamberlain and Danny Manning on the cover of a recent Sports Illustrated.

Wiggins has been compared to LeBron James and Kevin Durant in the months since the 6-foot-8 son of a former NBA player and an Olympic track star from Ontario chose the Jayhawks over North Carolina, Kentucky and Florida State in May, long after most players had signed.

“I've got a long way to go before I can be compared to LeBron and Durant,” Wiggins said at Tuesday's Big 12 Media Day. “Those are the best players in the world right now, and I'm still in college. So I think it's really unfair to compare me to someone of that caliber. Hopefully one day I can be compared to them, but I think I still have a long way to go before I can be.”

But the comparisons are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.

Wiggins enters his freshman season with the Jayhawks with at least as much hype as anybody since Durant and Greg Oden began their freshman years in 2007. The hype for Wiggins is probably even more intense than it was then.

“(The hype is) probably something that happens more today than maybe would've 10 years ago,” Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger said. “Ten years ago, the mindset would've been, 'They've got to earn their stripes and we're not going to put them on the preseason team as a freshman,' but I think that mold's been broken.

“As much as anything, people are more aware of them coming in as freshmen than they were a few years ago, given the YouTube stuff and the highlight tapes and the exposure that they get.”

Wiggins was the clear star of Tuesday's event, drawing a crowd of reporters around him that dwarfed those gathered around the tables of the other nine teams' players — combined.


by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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