Andrew Wiggins goes number 1 overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers and Joel Embiid goes number 3 overall to the Philadelphia 76ers on June 26 in the 2014 NBA draft. After much anticipation and guessing, Kansas Basketball fans don’t have to wonder if Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid will go first, second or where they will land in the 2014 NBA draft. Wiggins became the second-ever No. 1 selection in Kansas basketball history, joining Danny Manning in 1988.
From KUathletics.com, “The duo became the 75th and 76th players to be drafted in Kansas men's basketball history and the 17th and 18th in the Bill Self era. It also marks the 24th time - and fifth-consecutive year - that multiple Jayhawks were drafted.” Wiggins set the Kansas freshman single-season scoring record with 597 points in 2013-14.
Where the duo would land in the draft was the hottest topic of post-season conversation after the 2013-14 KU team fell short of high expectations. The talent laden team notched 10 losses for the season and only 25 wins. While that record may have been the envy of many college basketball teams, it was less than exceptional for a team with two top three NBA draft picks and the potential for more.
Kansas lost to a 4 seed Iowa State in the Big 12 Conference tournament and then lost to 1o seed Stanford in the NCAA tournament after pulling an overall 1 seed in each and winning the Big 12 regular season crown.
John Calipari seems to have a decent formula at Kentucky where he has pulled out a national championship with a team of one-and-done players. Bill Self has had plenty of wins in the recruiting arena, but has had difficulties in blending that talent together quickly for an immediate impact on the court.
The 2013-14 KU team proved that superior individual talent doesn’t trump team unity and quality. While it is a proud moment for KU faithful to watch two young players achieve such success in the NBA draft, it leaves a few wondering why this talent could get the 2013-14 team further in the tournament.