LAWRENCE — When Andrew Wiggins arrived at Kansas last summer, he was open about his list of goals for the coming year: He wanted to win a Big 12 championship, win the NCAA title; and become the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
One of those goals, of course, was crushed in a season-ending loss to Stanford in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 32. But Wiggins is poised to take another step toward his last goal on Monday, when he will officially declare for the NBA Draft at a 2 p.m. press conference at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence.
Wiggins will be joined by Kansas coach Bill Self at the press conference, which has become a customary step for KU players that leave early for the draft. Wiggins will also leave college basketball at the same time as his older brother, Nick, a senior at Wichita State.
“(It’s) a pretty special feeling,” Nick said in a text message on Sunday night, confirming the news.
Wiggins remained mum about his future in the moments after Kansas’ loss to Stanford last Sunday, but he’s never shied away from his intentions of spending one year at Kansas before leaving for the NBA. After Kansas’ Senior Night victory over Texas Tech on March 5, Wiggins reminisced about his last game at Allen Fieldhouse.
“I wish I had more time to stay here and do my thing and just be with the team and the coaches and all these wonderful fans,” Wiggins said, before adding: “I’m sad it’s my last time. But I’ve enjoyed my time here. I couldn’t ask for more.”
Wiggins averaged 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in his freshman season, breaking the KU freshman scoring record set last season by Ben McLemore. He finished with 597 points on the season, eight more than McLemore’s 589.
He was voted first-team All-Big 12 by the coaches and the Associated Press, and was selected second-team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. A 6-foot-8 wing with freakish athleticism, Wiggins is projected to be a top-three pick in this year’s draft — and could go as high as No. 1.
Embiid still waiting — Freshman center Joel Embiid, who is still mulling his own draft decision, will not join Wiggins at Monday’s press conference. A report at Yahoo! Sports last week pegged Embiid to be leaving early for the draft, but Embiid countered that he has yet to make a decision.