College Basketball Insider

Wiggins, Randle and Parker all impressive in college debuts

Andrew Wiggins (USATSI)
Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins scored 16 points in his debut vs. ULM Friday. (USATSI)

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Not bad, young fellas.

Not bad at all.

The college basketball season opened Friday with zero games between ranked teams, but it was still interesting because of the debuts of three of the most heralded freshmen in recent years -- specifically Kansas' Andrew Wiggins, Kentucky's Julius Randle and Duke's Jabari Parker. ranked those prospects first, second and third in the Class of 2013. Two of them have already been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and they all project as one-and-done stars who could theoretically go first, second and third in June's NBA Draft.

So how did they perform Friday night?

Like this:

  • Andrew Wiggins: The 6-8 wing took nine shots, made five and finished with a team-high 16 points, three rebounds, two assists and three steals in KU's 80-63 win over Louisiana-Monroe.
  • Julius Randle: The 6-9 forward took 12 shots, made six and finished with a team-high 23 points and 15 rebounds in UK's 89-57 win over UNC-Asheville.
  • Jabari Parker: The 6-8 wing took 10 shots, made eight and finished with a team-high 22 points, six rebounds and two assists in Duke's 111-77 win over Davidson.

With that, I'll say this: Please remember Nov. 8, 2013 the next time you're tempted to criticize the preseason hype surrounding a freshman and yell "but he hasn't even played a game yet!" As I've noted many times, a lack of experience at this level doesn't matter when it comes to projecting who will be great at this level. Special talents are special talents, you know? And these three prospects -- Wiggins, Randle and Parker -- have forever been special talents. They all just led top-five teams to season-opening wins. And they'll be under one roof the next time you see them -- at the United Center in Chicago for Tuesday's Champions Classic doubleheader featuring the top four teams in the latest Top 25 (and one).

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