This picture is old and needed to be used again.
Jeff Goodman was one of the few national analysts who correctly predicted to that Andrew Wiggins would pick Kansas. He believed in the pick so much that he wrote an entire article about why Wiggins picking Kansas saves college basketball next season. His reasoning? Had Wiggins picked Kentucky, the Cats would have dominated college basketball, whereas now that he’s headed to Kansas, the wealth will be spread out a bit:
Kentucky would have been one of the favorites to cut down the nets come April with or without the smooth, athletic and talented 6-foot-8 Canadian forward. The only drama that Wiggins would have added is whether the ‘Cats would have been able to run the table in 2013-14.
I know what you’re saying. We built up last year’s Kentucky group as a Final Four and national title contender, and look what happened. But this group is different. It has experience with key returnees in Cauley-Stein, Kyle Wiltjer and Alex Poythress to go along with this insanely talented freshman group. It also has a point guard in Andrew Harrison and quality depth. It has a warrior in Randle. There’s also a toughness that will resonate throughout this group as opposed to last season, when Nerlens Noel was about the only one that Calipari could count on to bring it on each and every possession.
Kentucky will be just fine without Wiggins and could well still cut down the nets in Cowboys Stadium. However, college hoops is better served that he wound up in Lawrence.
I don’t think Wiggins’ decision to go somewhere other than Kentucky narrows the gap between the Cats and everyone else that much, but talk of total domination might be out the window until this group gels in the second half of the season. The real winner of all this? The Champions Classic, who will pit four of the nation’s top teams against each other in Kentucky, Michigan State, Duke and Kansas.
To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best, right?