GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Jeff Withey says Kansas coach Bill Self was “shocked” when he landed Andrew Wiggins and that the Jayhawks can win the 2014 NCAA championship with the Canadian star.
“Everybody [in Lawrence] is excited for him to come in and play big minutes and I think next year they have a chance of winning it all,” the 7-foot Withey said Monday after working out for the Knicks.
“Coach Self is going to develop him and they got a young, athletic team.”
The 6-foot-7 Wiggins is the projected No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and he surprised many folks last month when he chose Kansas over Florida State, Kentucky and North Carolina.
“I think [Coach Self] was more shocked just because everybody did think he was going to go to [Kentucky or Florida State],” Withey said. “And when he was on his visit to Kansas, he was really quiet so you couldn’t get a good read on it. So everybody there is just really excited to have him and he’s going to have a lot of pressure but hopefully he can develop into a great player and lead that team.”
Wiggins will skip playing with the Canadian U19 team this summer in order to be at Kansas for summer school. Withey thinks that’s a wise move.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “Coach Self’s system, it’s hard to learn right away, but if you go early and you put in the work, you’ll learn it and get good from it.”
Myck Kabongo, a fellow Canadian who also worked out for the Knicks Monday, agreed that Wiggins will have a huge impact at Kansas.
“Oh, man, he’s a great player,” Kabongo said. “With Wigg, he’s talented, man. He’s one of those guys that comes every once so often. He’s done a great job with what he’s done this summer. I know he’s working up there in Kansas, and I know he’s going to be fine with whatever he does.”
Asked if Wiggins makes the Jayhawks contenders for a national title, Kabongo smiled and said, “I go to Texas. I’m rooting for Texas. It is my boy, but at the same time that’s a rivalry right there. I’m all about Texas. Hats off to him at Kansas, but at the end of the day I’m going to root for Texas.”
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