Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Andrew Wiggins can't do it alone
By Myron Medcalf
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Andrew Wiggins held the ball above his head and screamed in desperation.
With the game on the line in the final minutes of No. 19 Florida's 67-61 win over No. 13 Kansas on Tuesday night, his teammates had abandoned him on the baseline, nearly prompting a turnover on the inbound pass before Frank Mason rescued him.
That moment was a metaphor for this entire troubling start. Wiggins can't overcome Kansas' weaknesses alone. Even if he could walk on water – and he was otherworldly in his definitive 26-point, 11-rebound, two-block performance – the rules wouldn't let him pass to himself.
The Jayhawks need a combination of a deliberate Wiggins, efficient starters, reserves who make an impact and a defense that protects the paint and the perimeter (the Jayhawks rank seventh in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage defense).
They didn't have that combo in Gainesville. They didn't have it in Boulder, where they lost to Colorado, or at the Battle 4 Atlantis, where they lost to Villanova, either.
"I think it's on everybody," Wiggins said. "No one on the team lets all the pressure or all the negativity go to one person."
Wiggins needs someone, anyone, to ensure that he never goes another five minutes without a touch in the middle of an opponent's 21-0 run. He needs someone, anyone, to alert him when Patric Young's gladiator screens are threatening his livelihood. He needs someone, anyone, to recognize that it's not all on him. Can't be.