BROOKLYN, N.Y. – For the second time in Kansas men’s basketball history, a Jayhawk was taken No. 1 in the NBA Draft. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Andrew Wiggins with the first selection in the 2014 NBA Draft Thursday night at the Barclays Center.
Wiggins became the 75th player to be drafted in Kansas men’s basketball history and the second-ever No. 1 selection, joining Danny Manning in 1988. Jayhawk Wilt Chamberlain was a territorial selection in 1959 by the Philadelphia Warriors after leaving KU for the Harlem Globetrotters in 1958.
Wiggins, from Vaughan, Ontario, Canada, was joined by head coach Bill Self at the draft and became the 30th first-round draft pick in Kansas men’s basketball history. His call-up to the professional ranks marks the fifth-straight season a Jayhawk has been selected in the first round, while the top-overall pick makes three-straight seasons that a Jayhawk has gone in the top-10 overall. Wiggins joins Ben McLemore, who was the seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Sacramento Kings, and Thomas Robinson, the fifth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, also by the Kings.
A Consensus All-America Second Team selection, Wiggins set the Kansas freshman single-season scoring record with 597 points in 2013-14, making him the second-straight Jayhawk to surpass Danny Manning’s record-setting rookie mark in 1985. McLemore broke Manning’s mark with 589 points in 2012-13 before declaring for the Draft.
The 2014 Big 12 Freshman of the Year and All-Big 12 First Team selection, Wiggins was his own highlight reel throughout the year, including a half-court shot at Baylor (2/4), the game-winning basket at Texas Tech (2/18) and a KU freshman record 41 points at West Virginia (3/8) – the first Jayhawk to break the 40-point barrier since Terry Brown scored 42 points on Jan. 5, 1991. In the Big 12 Conference Championship alone, Wiggins averaged 26.0 points per game to earn all-tournament honors.
On the defensive end, Wiggins led Kansas in steals with 41 and came in second to Joel Embiid, KU’s freshman season shot-blocking leader, with 34 blocked shots. Gifted and athletic, the combo guard pulled down 5.9 rebounds a game.
Besides his 597 points, other Kansas freshman season records Wiggins set included: scoring average (17.1), field goals attempted (422), free throws made (176) and free throws attempted (227).