The Norman Transcript

National Sports

October 23, 2013

Smart issues challenge to young Jayhawk at media day

(Continued)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —

Wiggins has taken all of the hype, which included a Sports Illustrated cover comparing him to former Jayhawks stars Danny Manning and Wilt Chamberlain, with a shoulder shrug. In fact, his low-key temperament almost makes it seem as if he’s bored by all the attention.

The truth is that he’s never craved the spotlight. He’s had to learn to accept it, surely, but he’d rather lace up his sneakers and step onto the floor without saying a single word.

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

Smart and Wiggins are in some ways microcosms of their teams.

Smart leads a team that returns its top four scorers and seven of its top eight from a year ago, including sharpshooter Markel Brown and swingman Le’Bryan Nash. That means the Cowboys, who finished a game behind the Jayhawks in last year’s Big 12 race, promise to be one of the nation’s most experienced teams after winning 24 games and reaching the NCAA tournament last season.

Wiggins is the headliner of a freshman class at Kansas that includes five-star prospects Wayne Selden and Joel Embiid, all of whom have the potential to turn pro after this season. Selden is a physical, 6-foot-5 guard whom coach Bill Self said has been in the best player in practice so far, while Embiid is a raw 7-footer from Cameroon who has only been playing for two years.

“Even without Andrew Wiggins, I still thought they were the team to beat,” Ford said. “I knew who they had, who they had returning. They’re still Kansas, no question, and then they added that piece, no question it made it a little more difficult for everybody.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Hamlin crew chief out 6 races

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Darian Grubb and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Bell focuses on every facet of his game

    LATROBE, Pa. — Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw....

    July 30, 2014

  • Sam factor may ready Rams for sensitivity class

    ST. LOUIS — To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp....

    July 30, 2014

  • Romo skips full-pad session for the first time at camp

    OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys are taking it easy with Tony Romo’s back....

    July 30, 2014

  • Vikings hire help for Kluwe talks

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings have hired the attorney who investigated the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal and another who played a prominent role in the fight for marriage equality to help in settlement talks with former punter ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Cards’ Abraham charged with DUI

    ATLANTA — Authorities say Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham was arrested on a drunken driving charge a month ago in the Atlanta area. Abraham has been absent from the team’s training camp since Friday....

    July 30, 2014

  • Players elect new executive director

    Michele Roberts has watched basketball for as long as she can remember. It was an easy choice growing up in a home with one TV and two older brothers....

    July 30, 2014

  • NCAA settles head-injury suit

    CHICAGO — The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports’ governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn’t go nearly far ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Yanks hold off Rangers

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Brett Gardner had four hits to go with a tremendous sliding catch and the New York Yankees held on for a 12-11 victory at Texas on Tuesday night in spite of J.P. Arencibia’s seven RBIs. Gardner had a leadoff homer and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Twins pick up undrafted arm ‘out of nowhere’

    SAN FRANCISCO — In one of their craziest scouting experiences, the Minnesota Twins have reached a deal with a 24-year-old pitching prospect who has thrown 100 mile per hour fastballs but has never been drafted....

    July 30, 2014