Kansas' Andrew Wiggins declares for NBA draft with 'dream' of being No. 1 pick
Kansas freshman wing Andrew Wiggins declared for the NBA draft at a press conference on Monday.
"I'd like to give glory to God for giving me this opportunity," Wiggins said. "Me and my family and my coaches and my teammates have talked about entering the draft and staying [at Kansas]. And at the end of the day, I decided I'm going to enter the draft. It wasn't an easy decision because the fans showed me so much love here. ... I wish I just had more time, college goes by so fast. I see why people stay all four years."
Wiggins was joined by his parents and Jayhawks coach Bill Self at the press conference.
"Certainly a proud day," Self said. "This is a happy day. ... The time is right for Andrew. Opportunity is certainly knocking on the door. ... We're very proud of him, very excited for his future and as good as he's been for us, we know he's only scratching the surface of what he'll do going forward. This is a great decision and one we support 100 percent."
One of the most hyped basketball prospects in recent years, Wiggins indicated multiple times over the course of his freshman season that he planned to go one-and-done. The son of former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins -- a first-round selection in 1983 who spent six seasons in the league and also played professionally overseas -- is a strong candidate to be selected with the top overall pick.
"[Being the No. 1 pick has] always been a big dream of mine," Wiggins said. "That's just the competitive side. You want to be chosen first. You want people to label you the best player."
Wiggins, 19, averaged 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 32.8 minutes per game this season, earning Big 12 Freshman of the Year and second-team All-American honors. He tallied 19 points and four rebounds in Kansas' NCAA tournament victory over Eastern Kentucky and registered four points and four rebounds in a 60-57 loss to Stanford.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix placed Wiggins at No. 1 on his latest big board.
Wiggins began the season in the No. 1 spot -- and finishes it there. He disappears a little too often, has shown a reluctance to consistently attack the rim and his mental toughness has been questioned, but there is too much brilliance to overlook. Wiggins has that rare ability to make difficult plays look effortless, and his on-ball defense is superior to that of virtually anyone at his position. NBA coaches should be able to draw out Wiggins' star talent.
What's next? Wiggins said he will go about selecting an agent and then begin training for the pre-draft process. While expressing confidence that he's ready to make the jump to the next level, Wiggins acknowledged that he is eyeing potential areas of improvement.
"No one's game is perfect," he said. "[I want to improve] strength, ball-handling, shooting, just trying to perfect everything for the next season."A native of Ontario, Canada, who attended high school in West Virginia, Wiggins is listed at 6-foot-8 and 200 pounds and currently ranks No. 1 on both DraftExpress.com's Top 100 and Chad Ford's Top 100. He could become the second straight Canadian selected with the No. 1 overall pick after UNLV's Anthony Bennett was the top selection in the 2013 draft.