Much has been made about the arrival of Andrew Wiggins on the campus of Lawrence, as it should be. The Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year is extremely gifted. Many felt that if Wiggins was able to enter the NBA Draft this year he would’ve been the first overall pick. Dare we say it that he might even be the most anticipated arrival since LeBron James. However, it takes more than one player to win a championship. While Wiggins was easily the most talked about freshman, he won’t be the only top player to join the Jayhawks this season.
The Jayhawks have four other guys listed in the ESPN 100. Joining Wiggins in the talented freshmen class for Kansas will be the 6, 14, 46 and 47 overall prospects.
The top ranked center in the 2013 class will be joining the talented Wiggins. Joel Embiid is a legit seven-footer. The long and lanky Embiid is extremely athletic. Embiid has already developed a solid offensive game for a young athlete and can do more than just post moves. Although not with the most graceful form, Embiid can step out and shoot threes and has a fluid mid-range game. One thing that Embiid will need to work on is his shot blocking ability. The Jayhawks will need somebody to fill departing center Jeff Withey’s role as a defensive stopper and Embiid will need to improve his shot blocking to be that guy. In his senior year, he averaged just 1.9 blocks per game. Like most seven-footers he’ll also need to add some weight to battle in the post.
In addition to Embiid, 6-foot-5 Wayne Selden will also be with the Jayhawks this fall. Selden is has a long wingspan and a great frame for such a young athlete. By comparison, Ben McLemore who starred for the Jayhawks last year was the same height as Selden but was 30 pounds lighter than the forward from Boston. Selden brings good range with him as well as the ability to drive the ball to both sides of the floor. One thing Selden lacks is athleticism. At his height and length Selden doesn’t quite have that freak athleticism that his wing-mate Wiggins has.
The last two freshmen in the ESPN 100 who will join Wiggins this fall are Conner Frankamp and Brannen Greene. Frankamp is a lightning quick point guard who will look to compete with Naadir Tharpe for the starting point guard position. Frankamp is a smart basketball player with tremendous passing ability. Greene brings great athleticism and three-point shooting ability with him to Kansas.
Adding four top 100 prospects to talent like Wiggins is a formula the Jayhawks are hoping leads to success. It’s true that one player can’t win it all on his own, but adding four talented stars around the top player like Kansas has done is a great way to start.