ROUNDBALL DAILY

DAILY DISH: Andrew Wiggins was a little passive in Kansas debut

AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

I first got the feeling while listening to the shrill, intentionally annoying voice of Tony Reali on PTI.

Mike Wilbon giddily asked him what kind of night this October evening was going to be, with the answer already in mind and Tony Kornheiser already rolling his eyes.

They were doing it to annoy Kornheiser, as always, but Reali’s sweet screech sounded to me like I can only assume ‘California Love’ sounds to a Los Angeles gangster’s ears.

“BAAAALLLLLLLL NIIIIIIGHT!!!” Reali screeched.

What a lovely sound.

Yes, it was a ball night! The first one of the year.

——————–

And, with all of the hype surrounding opening night in the NBA, even the most hearty of basketball junkies may not have realized that tonight was also the first time mega-prospect Andrew Wiggins suited up for Kansas. (That’s why we’re here.)

AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

Wiggins was a little passive in his debut, but he’ll figure it out (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner).

Now, it was only an exhibition game against the fighting Gorillas of Pittsburg State, and it was his first time playing in front of 20,000 maniacal fans analyzing his every move, but Wiggins looked a little sluggish in his debut.

He jogged back on defense several times, let some random Pitt State dudes shake him off the dribble, and never really boxed anyone out.

Wiggins was a little passive, not very helpful on help defense, and generally looked like he was going through the motions. It wasn’t that the Canadian wunderkind looked disinterested—he just looked like he hasn’t quite grasped how hard you have to play every minute you’re on the floor in college.

On offense, Wiggins looked like he didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes. When he took the ball to the basket, he scored at will. But too many times he stood on the perimeter, making one-handed passes to teammates and waiting for his number to be called.

He did finish with 16 points, but only after a brief second-half surge that included a terrific alley-oop pass he served up to a teammate on a fast break. He also had a ridiculous alley-oop dunk and an impressive on-ball block off of a drive that will certainly be shown on the highlights tonight.

Still, Wiggins didn’t play like the best high school prospect since LeBron James. He didn’t immediately look like the kind of guy NBA teams would be drooling over, or tanking for.

Instead, he looked like a high school kid getting his first taste of college basketball.

I guess that’s what you get on the first Ball Night of the year.

WIGGINS’ LINE: 16 points, 5-for-13 shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks.

 

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