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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • With Wiggins, KU basketball is dangerous

  • Kansas basketball fans can take a deep breath and relax now that the nation's No. 1 recruit has chosen the Jayhawks for his brief college basketball career.
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  • Kansas basketball fans can take a deep breath and relax now that the nation's No. 1 recruit has chosen the Jayhawks for his brief college basketball career.
    Andrew Wiggins is one of the most-touted high school seniors to came on the scene in a while.
    Instead of insisting on a TV gala to announce his signing, Wiggins kept it a small ceremony attended by just friends and family, which pleased his new coach Bill Self.
    "You have schools that invest so much time, energy, and money sitting there watching it go down and not have a clue because they [network executives] tell them [recruits], 'If you tell anybody, we won't have you on TV.' This was just the high school beat writer, family, friends, teammates - perfect. I thought it was very refreshing."
    Besides Wiggins, KU has signed guards Conner Frankamp, Wayne Selden and Frank Mason; small forward Brannen Greene and center Joel Embiid.
    The Jayhawks return five players who will play important roles on the 2013-14 team: power forwards Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor; small forward Andrew White; redshirt center Landen Lucas and point guard Naadir Tharpe.
    Wiggin's signing and the accompanying celebration is over; it's an appropriate time to try and analyze how Self will use his abundance of young talent.
    First up, how will Wiggins be used?
    "We'll plug him in and do a lot of things we did with Ben [McLemore], plus adding a whole bunch of other things," Self said. "He's a slasher who can shoot...you can post him, you can play really small with him at the four, which we probably will never do, and of course he can be your two-guard which is his natural position."
    The guess here is that Wiggins will start at small forward.
    In addition to Wiggins, White and Green will compete for playing time at small forward, which makes that a crowded position.
    If Self could convince either Green or White to redshirt, it would benefit all concerned.
    Point guard will be handled by Tharpe and Frankamp, with Mason in the mix.
    Frankamp will play some at shooting guard. Self will have Selden and Wiggins and Frankamp to choose from at shooting guard.
    Embiid and Lucas will share time at center, with Embiid having extraordinary potential.
    And Ellis and Traylor will compete for minutes at power forward.
    Coach Self has 11 talented players and that can create problems. Wiggins and Ellis are going to play major minutes and that leaves nine players to split the remaining playing time.
    But Self is a master at doing just that and he'll keep most of his young players happy.
    By the first of February, this will be some basketball team.

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