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#KU50: 30 Andrew Wiggins

30 days until Kansas basketball!

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images

Anyone who follows either my writing on here or on Twitter knows I am not a big recruiting fan. But one guy I had definitely heard of was Andrew Wiggins. I still remember getting texts from friends when he committed, and springing to write a post about his commitment.

So it's no surprise that Wiggins finds himself featured on this list, despite the fact no one thought for a second he'd spend more than one year on campus.

It might be fair to say Wiggins hasn't really panned out in the NBA (although I think the advanced stats are too harsh on him), he was a stalwart at Kansas. He set KU's record for points scored by a freshman, and did so shooting just under 50 percent on twos and 34 percent on threes. He also went to the free throw line a lot, 227 times in fact, making 78 percent of them. In fact, he's one of just two guards or wings to shoot more than 200 free throws in a season under Self (the other being Frank Mason, who shot a ridiculous 238 this past season). Fun fact, only 3 big men have gotten to 200 under Self (and all are coming up later in this countdown, so we'll leave it as a spoiler for now).

That, plus the sheer number of field goals he attempted, made the "Wiggins is passive" takes extremely puzzling to me. I do think it is fair to say Self didn't use him terribly well in the offense, and I think the learning experience of that is part of what helped him use Josh Jackson so well (although it is fair to say Jackson is a much better passer).

Wiggins had one of the highest usage rates in the Big 12 (26.6 percent), was an efficient volume scorer, was the 10th best offensive rebounder in the conference despite playing the 3 in Self's offense (and in fact was the best offensive rebounding 3 man Self has had at KU), was an underrated, though not great passer (just over 10 percent assist rate in Big 12 play), and drew a ton of fouls.

Defensively, Wiggins was an OK shot blocker (3.1 block percentage), although being out on the perimeter didn't allow him to protect the rim much, and he stole the ball a decent amount of time. The defensive advanced stats (7th in the Big 12 in defensive win shares) underrate him because he didn't have some of those blocks and steals, but frankly Wiggins just didn't let his man score. He didn't let them get off good shots, and oftentimes didn't let them get started at all. It's tough to quantify a guy who makes his man take a dribble and then pass the ball back out because Wiggins won't let him do anything, but that happened all the time.

I certainly think there is an argument to be made for Josh Jackson to be ranked ahead of Wiggins, but I haven't seen a lot of good ones that don't feature team success or lazy comparisons like saying Wiggins was passive and Jackson played with fire. While the latter was true, the former certainly was not. They were comparable offensively, although they excelled at different things, but Wiggins really set himself apart defensively (although that isn't entirely fair to Jackson, who got forced into guarding some guys he probably shouldn't have been due to playing the small ball 4 role), and thus just squeaks into the top 30 on the list.