Wiggins’ Sports Illustrated cover.
It’s going to be a really, really fun year of college basketball.
The 2013-14 landscape is one of the most talent-laden ones in recent memory, and the players are already chomping at the bit to get started. We’ve already seen some drama in the SEC, as Kentucky freshman Julius Randle was named the conference’s Preseason Player of the Year, which didn’t sit well with Tennessee’s Jordan McRae. Now, we are looking at a similar situation in the Big 12.
Andrew Wiggins, the Sports Illustrated and GQ Magazine model, is also pretty good at basketball. He’s the consensus top pick for next year’s NBA Draft, and Jayhawks fans are hoping he can lead them to a national title.
However, Wiggins was not named the Big 12′s Preseason Player of the Year, as the coaches selected Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart instead. Smart is also a serious NBA talent, and he’s already commenting on the hype surrounding Wiggins. Smart talked to USA Today Sports about his competition:
“They are saying he is the best college player there is and he has not even played a game yet. Of course that hypes me up. It is all talk. He still has to put his shorts on one leg at a time like I do. It is all potential. I am not saying he can’t do it. But he has not done it yet.”
Smart also said he would absolutely love to guard Wiggins on the court:
“Definitely. I am not going to back down from any challenge. Like I said, you are going to have to prove to me. I am a fighter; I will keep fighting and will never give up.”
The first Oklahoma State-Kansas matchup will be in Lawrence on January 18th — you’d better believe that we’ll be watching. You can read Eric Prisbell’s full piece on Smart, Wiggins, and the upcoming Big 12 season here.