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Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Impressions: Big 12 media day

By Myron Medcalf


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As expected, the reporters who gathered at Big 12 Media Day at the Sprint Center on Tuesday were focused on Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins -- the unanimous No. 1 recruit in the 2013 class.

Bill Self said the event was a good opportunity for Wiggins to become more accustomed to the cameras and voice recorders that will be thrust in front of him throughout the season.

But he also tried to dismiss some of the buzz that has come from the early comparisons to NBA stars LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

Bill Self
Bill Self has been busy this offseason tryin to manage expectations for super frosh Andrew Wiggins.
“Well, he hasn't asked for any of it,” Self said. “If you talk to him, he's humble and a lowkey guy that deflects attention as much as anybody I've been around. But when you hear those things, it's not fair. … He’s just Andrew.”

That’s not entirely true.

Wiggins is the top recruit in college basketball since Durant. So it’s natural to point to a current NBA star he resembles. But Wiggins echoed his coach’s sentiment about the comparisons.

“I’ve got a long way to go before I can be compared to LeBron and Durant,” Wiggins said. “Those are the best players in the world right now and I’m still in college. So I think it’s really unfair to compare me to someone of that caliber. Hopefully one day I can be compared to them, but I think I still have a long way to go before I can be.”

Self has both recognized the hype and tempered expectations throughout the offseason. He used his platform in Kansas City for a similar purpose at the league’s media day.

And it makes sense.

Andrew Wiggins seems like a guy who’d rather be doing anything other than talking about Andrew Wiggins. The Toronto native smiled when asked about Canadian rapper Drake. But he was reserved during the bulk of the one-on-one session with reporters. His subdued demeanor belies that of other players who’ve entered the scene with similar hype.

The attention will continue to grow, though.

This is something that Wiggins will have to endure throughout the year and, possibly, the rest of his career.

Other impressions:

Smart is the player most have focused on. But Oklahoma State has a diverse crew with weapons all over the floor.