A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Andrew Wiggins overrated athleticism watch: McDonald’s All-American game

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Last week I took the opportunity to watch the McDonald’s All-American prospects game. For reasons I listed here, I consider games like this and the Nike Hoop Summit to be valuable because they are filmed on NBA and NCAA-like cameras and thus have a similar frame of reference.

Once again Andrew Wiggins, who’s considered a transcendent physical force enough for some to call him the best high school prospect since Lebron despite a raw skill game, did not impress me athletically. Here’s a clip of his plays:

Only one play has Wiggins blowing by a defender to the rim at 2:40, but he does it after an offensive rebound when the defense is out of position and moreso has to pull down and set himself before leaping to finish the play. A fine athletic play but nothing special. Against set halfcourt defenses he does not get by them as a slasher. On many occasions such as :43, 1:22, 2:03 and 4:18 he impressively draws contact, but I consider these plays to show special instincts moreso than athleticism. His transition speed shown most by :23, is not blazing. The standout play is at 3:24, an impressive spinning hook shot. Once again this shows feel for the game and fluidity more than explosiveness.

There is little evidence in this or other games with reliable frames of reference, that Wiggins has special foot-speed or explosiveness. I would argue peers in his class such as Julius Randle, Aaron Gordon and Wayne Selden are more explosive and dynamic athletes. Wiggins has high potential because his feel for the game is off the charts. Athletically, the hype is just bizarre.

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Written by jr.

April 13, 2013 at 1:16 pm

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