KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The most hyped exhibition game in college basketball history has come and gone.
Watching the much ballyhooed Andrew Wiggins era begin at Kansas didn't really leave a lasting impression on me one way or the other. He looked like any other 18-year-old freshman playing in his first college game. He had a major case of nerves for sure.
And why not with those 16,000 crazies gasping at every move he made.
The numbers in this game don't count, but Wiggins put up 16 points. He also took more shots than any of the 16 players who got into the game-- and he played the most minutes.
He is certainly being handled like the star he's publicized to be. There's no question he's a great talent. This is more about Bill Self than Andrew Wiggins.
Self has rented this young basketball star for eight months. He's like Selby and McLemore and all the other one and done guys in college hoops: a year of college ball and then on to the NBA.
Self is going to get tested with this new batch. He's got some high profile ballers on this team in addition to Wiggins.
It's not a question are there enough basketballs; the bigger question is are there enough playing minute for everyone.
These aren't a bunch of greenhorn freshmen. There's a big man on campus mentality in each of these newcomers. And most have egos to match.
They're treated like rock stars on campus. It's a different culture in the way basketball players are perceived at Kansas.
KU has the right coach for this bunch. Self is immersed in crimson and blue and will be as long as the Dana Andersons of the KU alumni world are willing to shell out $5 million a year to bring KU glory on the hardwood.
Hey, Self inherited the right to be in charge at Mt. Oread. That comes with the territory when you win a national championship at Kansas.
Spirits are running sky-high these days at KU, and why wouldn't they be with this stallion of highly talented young players.
Despite Self's popularity, anything short of a final four appearance will be disappointing.
Remember, Coach, fans are fanatics and they will turn on a dime. Good luck.
That's Jack's Smack.