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Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins on AP All-America list; Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early honorable mention

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, at 1:40 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, March 20, 2014, at 6:22 p.m.

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FORT HAYS STATE AT NO. 5 KANSAS

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence

Radio: KFH 1240-AM, 98.7-FM

TV: Cox 22

— Another week, some more history for Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins.

Wiggins, a 6-foot-8 small forward, became just the second freshman ever selected to the Associated Press preseason All-America team. Wiggins, who was previously voted as the preseason freshman of the year in the Big 12, joined Oklahoma State sophomore guard Marcus Smart on the five-man team, released on Monday.

Wichita State senior Cleanthony Early was named honorable mention.

Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott, Louisville senior guard Russ Smith and Michigan sophomore Mitch McGary rounded out the team.

Smart, expected to be among the first players chosen if he had declared for the NBA Draft, was on every ballot from the 65-member national media panel. The last unanimous preseason All-American was Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger in 2011-12.

McDermott, a prolific scorer in his three seasons at Creighton, said no to the NBA to return to Creighton after averaging 23.2 points and 7.7 rebounds during his junior campaign, while Smith returned to Louisville after leading the Cardinals to the NCAA championship last season.

Wiggins averaged 23.4 points and 11.2 rebounds as a senior at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep School. Harrison Barnes of North Carolina in 2010-11 is the only other freshman to earn preseason first-team All-America honors.

As the consensus top recruit in the country — and one of the best high school prospects of the last decade — Wiggins’ presence in Lawrence has turned this upcoming Kansas season into one of the more anticipated in recent memory. Wiggins has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, featured in GQ and watched as more than 20,000 fans tried to cram into Allen Fieldhouse for Late Night in the Phog on Oct. 4.

“It kind of grew on me over the years to where I’m used to it,” Wiggins said of the attention. “I just think of it as a blessing. A lot of people don’t get an opportunity to be showcased like that.”

Wiggins will make his Kansas debut on Friday against Louisiana-Monroe at Allen Fieldhouse. He finished with 16 points in the Jayhawks’ first exhibition game, a 97-57 victory over Pittsburg State last Tuesday at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Jayhawks will play their second and final exhibition game at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night against Fort Hays State.

AP PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM

Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State, 6-4, sophomore, 65 votes (15.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 4,2 apg, 3.0 spg)

Doug McDermott, Creighton, 6-8, senior, 63 (23.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 54.8 fg pct, 49.0 3-pt pct)

Russ Smith, Louisville, 6-0, senior, 52 (18.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.9 apg, 80.4 ft fg pct)

Andrew Wiggins, Kansas, 6-8, freshman, 42 (HS: 23.4 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 4.3 apg, 58.0 fg pct)

Mitch McGary, Michigan, 6-10, sophmore, 34 (7.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 59.8 fg pct)

Others receiving votes:

Isaiah Austin, Arizona State; Jahii Carson, Arizona State; Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky; Aaron Craft, Ohio State; Cleanthony Early, Wichita State; C.J. Fair, Syracuse; Aaron Gordon, Arizona; Gary Harris, Michigan State; Joe Harris, Virginia; Rodney Hood, Duke; Roy Devyn Marble, Iowa; James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina; Jabari Parker, Duke; Adreian Payne, Michigan State; Julius Randle, Kentucky; James Young, Kentucky.

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