Friday, December 21, 2012
Wiggins' ceiling makes him special
By Dave Telep
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The No. 1 player in America is human and does have work to do on his game. That might be a bit difficult to believe if you watched Andrew Wiggins hang 31 points, eight boards and three blocks Thursday night at the City of Palms Classic.
Andrew Wiggins put up 31 points, eight boards and three blocks at the City of Palms.
The fact that Wiggins has noticeable areas for improvement only gets you more excited from an evaluation standpoint. Great players -- guys with his drive and athletic ability -- improve with natural physical development and continued high-level practice and conditioning. Remember when LeBron James couldn’t shoot? They also said the same thing about Michael Jordan at one time.
I’m not comparing Wiggins to those guys, only using them as a gauge in terms of their ability to improve and the different ceilings those players have when compared to their peers. We aren’t grading Wiggins against the other players in his class. He’s firmly established as the top prospect and unlikely to yield the spot.
Instead, we’re comparing Wiggins to a ceiling -- an idea of who he is and what he can become.
Right now, Wiggins is a spectacular driver, dunker and 3-point shooter. But that means there’s an entire area of the floor for him to operate that’s not being used.
He’s not a heavy post-up guy and doesn’t brandish any kind of mid-range game. One pull-up jump shot after a head fake could freeze an entire Top 100. Those are simple reasons why a player of his ability, one with such a high ceiling, is so special.
Time is on his side. Improvement will be steady, gradual and noticeable. He’s already the best prospect, and there’s so much more he’s capable of doing. You can see the wheels churning.
When guys like Dick Vitale preach to him about work ethic, he’s all ears. Vitale told him to work on his shot. He also told Wiggins to filter out the extraneous voices and to rely on his family for guidance.
There’s another level to Wiggins’ game. When he’s playing in the McDonald’s All-American Game, you’ll notice the differences. A year from now they’ll be more pronounced. Three seasons from now ... well, that’s why he’s No. 1.
No. 1 for today, tomorrow and definitely the future.