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PHOTO: Mitch Kupchak Scouts Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins At Big 12 Tourney Reviewed by Momizat on . [new_royalslider id="154"] College basketball fans love the month of March. The NCAA Tournament begins next week, and teams across the country are using this we [new_royalslider id="154"] College basketball fans love the month of March. The NCAA Tournament begins next week, and teams across the country are using this we Rating: 0
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PHOTO: Mitch Kupchak Scouts Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins At Big 12 Tourney

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College basketball fans love the month of March. The NCAA Tournament begins next week, and teams across the country are using this week to build their resumes for the selection committee by playing well in their conference championship tournaments.

NBA teams and scouts will pay close attention to the following weeks in their preparation for the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft. With the Lakers headed into the lottery this season, GM Mitch Kupchak took some time Thursday to scout Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins and appeared to like what he saw from the kid:

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Wiggins came into his freshman year as the number one recruit from high school, and many draft experts had him going number one in the talent-heavy 2014 NBA Draft. Throughout the season, Wiggins has been outperformed by other freshmen phenoms, Duke’s Jabari Parker and his teammate Joel Embiid.

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Embiid was ruled out indefinitely after visiting a back specialist in Los Angeles Monday. With Embiid out, all of the attention on Kansas starts with Wiggins, and he did not disappoint Kupchak and everyone else in attendance Thursday. Wiggins led the Jayhawks to a 77-70 victory in a Big-12 Tournament Quarterfinal overtime thriller against Marcus Smart and the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

During the game, he dropped 30 points while shooting 53 percent from the field and grabbed eight rebounds. Wiggins’s versatility and upside was on display Thursday as he relied on his jumpshot to punish the Oklahoma State defense as he said after the game according to AP sports writer Dave Skretta:

My shot was falling the whole game. They cut off the base line, and step-back is one of my main moves, and it just fell through.

Athleticism is one of Wiggins’s main strong points, and the Cowboys made an effort to stop him from getting to the rim. Wiggins took on that challenge and shot his way to the victory. He was still able to get the rim when he wanted and went to the free throw line 10 times, sinking nine from the charity stripe.

With more high profile college games coming, Lakers scouts will be sure to be busy in the upcoming weeks. If performances like Thursday continue for Wiggins, Kupchak might have to consider selecting him in the draft should he still be available when the Lakers’ selection is up.

H/T to Daniel Buerge of TWCSportsNet
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About The Author

Russell Valenzuela graduated from UC Irvine and writes for Lakers Nation. As a Laker fan since childhood, he follows and tracks statistics for a variety of sports.

Number of Entries : 113
  • destiny brown

    Lakers Should Get DEFENSE, Athleticisim, Youth, Offense…Resign Farmar, Xavier, Nick(if possible) Kent Bazemore, Wesley, Meeks..Sign Lance Stephenson, Sign Taj Gibson ,Sign Another Big Defenseive Get Ben Meclemore, Draft Exum & get Hayward , trade for Klove.. Starters:Exum Kobe Hayward Klove Monroe..Bench: Kent, Meeks, Nick, Farmar, Lance, Wesley, Xavier, Ben, Taj or Something Like That

    • Spitfire

      You are so unrealistic.. Do you even know the word CBA and Cap space? Or the current situation of Lakers cap space?!
      You guys cracked me up, youre posting comments like you know anything but in reality you know nothing. Educate yourself boy! SMDH!

  • destiny brown

    Points- Farmar, Exum Shooting Guards- Kobe, Meeks, Kent,&Ben Small F- Nick, Wesley, Xavier Hayward, PF-Klove,Taj Center-Monroe,Gasol, And Trade 2 Guards And A Pick for Love

    • kobe24

      Sounds great however never happening lol

      You aren’t going to get Taj Gibson and kevin love and Hayward lol it just isn’t going to happen. Maybe without Kobe’s contract but lets not be delusional here ur team comp is never going to happen

  • TheTruthKills

    I’ll say it again, Wiggins is the one. He’s the player we need to draft by any means necessary. It’s time to move on to the future. With Wiggins that future is very bright.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Andrew Wiggins is the best freshman college player i have ever seen.Wiggins plays both ends and he is not like Jabari Parker just a scorer Wiggins is much more well rounded,also way more athletic and much more explosive.Wiggins is very humble and very quite he barely gets his words out in interviews since he is so humble and soft spoken.Wiggins is a great kid.The Lakers should draft him if they have a chance to draft Wiggins then it’s a easy choice yes get Andrew Wiggins.Hell ya he will be the face of the Lakers franchise.Do it Mitch!

    • Zimmeredge

      don’t diss Jabari because he’s a good lad he’s certainly the most versatile at the moment. durant is humble and soft spoken. those guys are young. give them 2 seasons with uncle Kobe and they will trashtalk very quickly haha
      i’ll be glad we get Randle, Parker or Wiggins. but if we grab Wiggins and if Embiid does not represent this summer but next summer. we definitely have the upper hand on him. him loving LA and teaming up again with his university bro. you won’t even have to interview him.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    The Lakers are going to win the lottery i guarantee it.I got a strong feeling about it.

    • Zimmeredge

      let’s not forget we have a lottery pick for next season too. We have multiple assets for this year’s draft (our lottery pick and Gasol who can be a trade bait).
      the biggest problem is Nash’s contract… we have to get his contract out of our cap. I’m sorry for him. all due respect to his career. but we kept waiting and waiting for him. We might miss on Thomas, Bledsoe or Stephenson because of his shooty contract and i don’t see us drafting a guard.
      if we are truly targeting Love in 15 we should get a “dominant” big inside with a defensive mind. Embiid or Randle (not a great rim protector and a bit short though but a good defender and has a huge body in the paint). If not… well go all in for Wiggins or Parker.
      imo they are 4-5 nba-ready product in this draft. we know them by heart. since day one. Smart, McDermott, Wiggins, Parker and Randle. Those guys will make an impact asap.
      Exum too much uncertainty imo. he reminds me of young kobe. same body. if he can develop in something between lilliard and kobe that would be awesome. so might take few years before giving his best. Embiid is excellent but he needs to get bigger and stronger tbh. if his back is screwed after 30games of ncaa what’s going to happen when he will face nba centers. he loves LA? fine. wait a year. develop. get back stronger next year and we will go after you summer 15. your hype won’t drop if your stats increase.

      • Chrmngblly

        I think you are wrong about having a 1st round pick next year. We have one this year but not next. We traded for Nash, remember?

        • kobe24

          Actually we do have it next year although its top 5 protected so if we don’t suck next year like how we are this year then it transfers over

        • Zimmeredge

          we do have one but it depends on if we are under top 5 or over top 5. it’s a protected draft pick.
          it’s gonna be really complicated for us to get to post season in 15. western conference is not getting any weaker. Spurs, Thunder, Rockets, Clippers, Warriors, Portland, Phoenix all those teams are ahead of us. So it’s gonna be neck and neck with the Mavs, Sacto, Denver, New Orleans, Grizz and Minny. So just like this season we can get lucky and finish 8 or… finish 14…

  • 22,23,24

    BOSTON CELTICS draft JABARI PARKER and LOS ANGELES LAKERS draft ANDREW WIGGINS

  • Zimmeredge

    my favorite ones are Randle, Wiggins and Parker. Randle is a beast. Anger, Rage. Brutal force offensively the guy is unstoppable. His left hand is priceless. so much power in the paint. so much will. he’ll thrive in this league. people might compare to Webber or Randolph. Others will talk about Lebron and Griffin. He’s a guy of his own I believe. he has a lot of room to improve his game (right hand, shooting wise, court vision it will come in time).
    Wiggins… just have to say his name. he needs to get stronger imo but the guy is already ready for the nba game. at kansas he is playing inside collective team. we saw that once he has more space and freedom he can dominate. Freaky athlete who’s using his athleticism both offensively and defensively.
    Parker is, by far, the most complete and versatile player both offensively and defensively. Eventhough is a not a physical/athletical beast inside. he can play everywhere around the court. he does not remind me of Melo but more of Danny Granger. not a selfish player. he’s got court vision. he can pass, shoot, rebound defend from 2 to 4. truly, an amazing player.
    what they have in common is leadership. they have this attitude, this spirit. they can go nuts they can rise the bar on their game and put the team on their back because they are natural leaders.

    • kobe24

      Parker is not great defensively not saying he doesn’t play defense buy he won’t be looked as a defensive minded guy

      • Zimmeredge

        yeah i know that. i didn’t say he was great btw ;) only that he is a valuable player on both ends of the floor (read: he is not a Rudy Gay in the making haha)

    • LAL

      Randle? With those short hands, good luck with that! He ceiling is ZBo, that’s all! Very much doubt that he would be a franchise player. Parker is not a defensive player – average at most (that’s me being generous). Nonetheless, he is a good offensive player – more like Paul Pierce/Melo type.

      • Chrmngblly

        Randle is 6-9 and can’t jump.

      • Zimmeredge

        no way Randle is like Z-bo. it’s not because they are both lefty that they are the same type of player. short hands? yet he’s got the best touch around the rim. a big wingspan. concentration moves that stops the clockwork, body control to score in traffic, his left is diamond. there is, really not much you can criticize about his game. he has a lot of room for improvment instead and I emphasize the word im-prov-ment!!! Randolph never evolved. Randle will evolved that’s for sure. the player he is right now he won’t be the same in 5-6 years. look at their respective body (for me that’s already the biggest difference between them that put Randle above Randolph). Randolph is a “fat” guy, Randle is a freaky athletic guy with good ballhandling skills. Yet they make the same weight? To me it means that Randle is a more agile, jumps higher, runs faster and is powerful player.

        as for Parker… where did you read I said he was a defensive minded player? I said he is the most complete and versatile one because he is good on both ends of the floor. 19yo and you want him to defend like a boss? come on. he will get better. give him time. for example, Durant is 25yo. he is the best offensive player in the game. But defensively? he’s far from being a monster yet he is a superstar and he’ll be MVP this season. So, Parker… he’s a devoted young player and he knows where he has to progress to develop his game.

        The only problem with this draft is that you’re always trying to find comparison with what we already had/have. there’s no new lebron, no jordan, no bryant, no magic, no Durant, no paul, hakeem or kareem, no randolph, no melo. they have pieces of their game, certain aspects, that resemble and make you think about them but those young guys will develop in players that you won’t be able to compare. let them develop and be themselves.

    • Chrmngblly

      Thanks for the poop, Z. I don’t think we will finish this low so easily next year—who wants to? Randle is a beast in COLLEGE. But he is only 6-9 and can’t jump very high so he would not be my 1st round choice. There is also some white guy that is big and has ups. Who am I thinking of?

      Do you know what Embiid’s doctors say about him yet?

  • Kay Carter

    i don’t care who we get, as long as they compliment Love nd any other all-star we may get

    • TheTruthKills

      Love is not coming.

      • Kay Carter

        and how you come up with this conclusion buddy?

        • Chrmngblly

          Sorry Kay. Probably Truth is right.

        • TheTruthKills

          Simple. Why would an elite star of this league join a poorly run franchise that’s clearly in rebuild mode? I hate to break it to you but that’s exactly what we are. We are a poorly run franchise that’s in rebuild mode. And did you forget that other more well run teams will be in the mix? Phil and the Knicks will have plenty of money to throw around next summer. I’d rather put my trust in the hands of Phil over Jimmy “short” Buss. Sorry to tell you that, but you know how the truth is.

          • Zimmeredge

            minnesota will not tolerate to loose Love without a compensation. if they are 100% sure that Love is going to test the market then they will make a move because they know that he will leave if he test the market.
            i don’t see him play for the bulls. i hardly see him play with the Celtics (they already have Jared Sullinger who’s sort of Kevin Love type of player). He does not have the mentality to play in those franchise.
            so we are in a pretty good position. if we are smart and make good moves this summer. Let’s say we bring in Stephenson and Wiggins do you really think that he’ll refuse to play with us. he’ll be the corner stone of our franchise for a little less than a decade with a bright future.

          • TheTruthKills

            And what assets would we trade for Love this summer? The Wolves won’t be forced to trade him anywhere. They’re going to make the best deal for their franchise. A team like the bulls would love (no pun intended) to rent him for one season if they could.

          • Zimmeredge

            Tom Thibodeau…defense… love. The bulls nor The celtics will go after Kevin Love.
            Houston Rockets are the only honest rival in this one.
            Wolves will be forced to trade him because love already annouced that he will test the market. If the Wolves are not making the playoff it’s almost 100% sure that Love will leave summer 15. Do you really think that the Wolves can afford to loose their superstar for no compensation? we can put Pau Gasol if Pau resign or if Greg Monroe comes this summer… if an opportunity present itself they won’t pass that opportunity. Kevin Love have a huge potential in LA. On court he will be our leading scorer and rebounder for many seasons. He will sell shirts by wagon. the guy is in his prime. probably one of the best big men in the league 25/12/4. He’s an all-star. A superstar in the making because LA will be able to capitalize on his image as the future face of the franchise (Time Warner deal will be important in the negociation). You can’t refuse him and he will be a leader for our new guy.

          • TheTruthKills

            He doesn’t have the “spirit” to play for the Bulls or Celtics, but he has the “spirit” to play in LA? That’s your argument? The Bulls will do whatever they have to do to win a championship while their window is still open. Even if it means bringing in Love. Pau is as good as gone. Why would he take a pay cut to stay with a dysfunctional franchise when he can take a pay cut for a contender? Greg Monroe? Doubt it. And even if we did have him it would take a lot of picks to make that deal work. Why mortgage the future? Love is good but he’s not that big of a game changer. Otherwise he would have led the Wolves to the playoffs at least once in his career. Like I said before, The Wolves will make the best deal for them, not the best deal for the Lakers. They will demand close to a king’s ransom. We have no assets. None. At this point Love is a pipe dream, but you can go ahead and keep dreaming.

          • Zimmeredge

            we are talking Tom Thibodeau the guy who’s asking to defend first, defend second and defend third…. and maybe attack on few attemps. btw the bulls will be more busy with Melo this off season…
            yeah Kevin Love is a shiny piece of thing and LA loves shiny stuff.
            i’d like to see Durant, Paul or Lebron play for Minny that would be delightful. smh have you seen the roster in Minny? I mean Love could score 50 points, grab 20 rebs per game his partners will still suck BIG TIME!!!!
            minny’s front office is scared as hell because if Love leaves they have NOTHING!!! he is the one who win ball games out there but he is f***ing alone in the cold.
            Love is a game changer. a guy who’s scoring 26/12/4 is by defintion a game changer. Minny is 10th… Well put him with 2 great players and he will be awesome. that’s the reason why I fear the Rockets. Harden-Love-Howard that’s the big thing.
            but for me knowing that we are in rebuilding mode with a future face to find and probably a new era starting soon with young, talented kids Kevin Love might find LA challenging as hell.
            i’m optimistic, i know the rebuilding process gonna take time but we can do it.

            and btw Greg Monroe ain’t gonna take more than 44 in four this summer so it’s likely to happen if Gasol leaves town.

      • Chrmngblly

        I doubt Love makes it, too. Why would he come to play for MDA or some other junior scrub coach? Truth is, the JBs are not secure enough to hire top people.

        • Kay Carter

          MDA may not be around in 15′ that’s when his contract ends i believe, or they’ll just fire him after this season…..he doesnt want to be in Minny, if FO can sign new players, then he may come….just have to wait and see

        • Zimmeredge

          Sloan, Karl or Hollins will coach next season. Mda will get his arse kicked out of LA. and I hope that, by doing that, Nash will change is mind and get away too.

          • Chrmngblly

            God that would be great. I thought of Jerry Sloan when they brought Brown in—but I know he would demand a certain amount of FO influence. All 3 of those coaches might. This is something I view as a positive. Sloan and Karl are getting older, aren’t we all, but they are classy coaches and so is Lionell Hollins. I would worry about Karl’s cancer coming back is all. Sloan or Hollins for me.

  • Terrence

    I like both Wiggins and Embiid. Wiggins is explosive with a lot of upside. Embiid is a worker. Took his critics advice last year and got better defensively and won the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Best scenario is that Embiid’s injury causes him to drop out of the top 4, Lakers get a top 4 pick and we still have a chance to pick up Embiid with our first round pick.

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