Andrew Wiggins is on the cover of Sports Illustrated

Kyle Porter —  October 9, 2013 — 19 Comments

Andrew Wiggins is on the cover of SI this week (here’s the insanely cool iPad version):

Some people want to know why Marcus Smart wasn’t chosen over the never-played-a-minute Wiggins.

I don’t really have a problem with it — SI can do what it wants with its magazine, I’m not even totally sure OSU is credentialing SI right now anyway for anything much less an in-depth look at its best athlete.

But I get what people are saying about SI and that they should profile the really great Smart story over the “haven’t we been here before with, like, everybody since LeBrown” Wiggins story.

Fact is I’m kind of glad it went down like this. The more OSU can defer expectations and hype to the 18-year-old with zero college points, the better.

We’ll see who’s on the cover come March.

  • John

    “We’ll see who’s on the cover come March.” haha. I would bet a lot of money KU will be featured on covers and OSU won’t. We want to bash this kid because he hasn’t even played yet and that is fine. But he has one of the best coaches in basketball teaching him and he is being billed as the best prospect since Lebron and KD. Smart couldn’t get past the first round last year, or beat out a weak KU team for the Big 12 and he still has Ford. Advantage: Wiggins and KU and it isn’t even close.

    • Matt Mortimer

      Although I agree Kansas does have an edge over OSU, I do believe it’s close. To poke a few holes in your story, let’s not forget OSU’s first round matchup this past March was an Oregon team many projected as a 6 seed that ended up playin OSU as a 12. Not to mention the fat Smart came out months later saying he injuries his wrist during the Oregon game, which explains his terrible play for that game.

    • Steven

      John, let’s not forget Marcus Smart housed KU in Lawrence last year…remember that graceful backflip he converted on the sacred Phog Allen hardwood? #Memories

      • John

        No doubt. Brown was outstanding in that game and Smart’s will to win took over late. But lets not forget that this year’s KU is easily the most talented bunch Self has ever had, with three potential top 10 draft picks and another guy in Ellis who will probably be their leading scorer. Think about this, Joel Embiid, a 5-star recruit, 7-foot athletic freak will probably come off their bench…. Selden is pretty much a mirrored image of Smart, and we all know about Wiggins. Going to be tough for anyone to beat this team once those young guys figure it out.

  • Robert

    Great players and teams want high expectations. OSU should want this type of publicity. The fact that OSU will say they dont want this for Smart and OSU are simply just jealous.

    • dmgrantham

      The author stating his opinion, not the school, team, nor player.

      Big difference.

      • Robert

        I may have worded my comment poorly. Yes great players and teams want high expectations and i have no doubt Smart and Co. want and welcome high expectations. OSU fans* should want this type of publicity for their team and players. The fact that OSU fans* will say they dont want this for Smart and OSU are jealous of Wiggins and KU getting all the preseason love.

  • Scott in Texas

    SI means nothing to me. Haven’t they proven themselves to be something other than a forum for reporting credible sports information?

    I’d love to see Smart and Holder turn down any overtures for interviews with no comment.

  • kevin

    BY ALL MEANS, PLEASE DON’T PUT SMART ON THE COVER

  • tomintulsa

    I’ll look for the new SI next to The National Inquirer (where it belongs). Every time someone is on the cover it jinxes them so I am fine with KU on the cover. Agree with John though, he will have one of the best coaches in the league.

    • Pat

      Semantics, but he has the best coach in the league and it is not close.

  • OSUVet

    OKay everyone is gonna kill me over this but I really don’t think Smart is as good as we think he is. His jump shot is average and he is a decent ball handler, but he is a great athlete, competitor, and leader which makes up for a lot. As the season wore on he became a huge complainer, every little thing was looking at the refs (as was the whole team). I am excited for what he can be because he is such a great competitor and def has the attitude and outlook on life to be a great player, so I cant wait for the season to start to see his growth, but i wouldn’t call him the hands down best player in the country.

    • davids

      I tend to agree. I love his leadership, defense and passing ability. Above average free throw shooter and has a tendency to get into foul trouble. I’m glad he’s a Cowboy. Don’t see stardom at the next level.

    • Randle

      Finally! someone else agrees with me. He makes up for a lot of his shortcomings with pure effort and will. He plays harder than most guys so he gets those put back buckets and “and-1″ calls. That stuff will win you a lot of games in college, which is great for us. Truth is, he is a poor shooter and turnover prone. Those two things aren’t going to get you far in the NBA as PG even with his determination and tenacity.

  • Randy Cardin

    When I’m using SI in the toilet the front page goes first.

  • Clifton Hall

    I’m an O-State alum going to grad school at KU, and let’s just say everyone is going bonkers over Wiggins. I think all their starters leaving coupled with the fact that he’s so good make that the one thing the Kansas basketball machine puts their hope in for this season. I’ve even heard really KU faithful people say it’s kind of funny that they have such high expectation for the team based off a kid who hasn’t played a second at the collegiate level.

    • Darryl

      Well, the fans there sure won’t be going bonkers over their pathetic football team. LOL tell them that when they diss OSU. Gayhawks indeed.

    • John

      KU is much, much, much more than just Wiggins. Anyone that tells you differently is foolish. Their fans are excited because Self has never had this much NBA talent on one roster. That though alone is scary, considering what he has been able to without this type of talent.

  • KansasPoke

    For Kyle, or anyone else. What exactly did Smart and OSU do last season, besides beating KU in AFH that warrants such lofty expectations and SI covers? I remember being in GIA for games against ISU, Baylor and OU where OSU barely won and even needed overtime in some to get the win. If one or two plays go differently in any of those games, last season could have looked a lot different (I hate when people use “Ifs” and “what ifs” in arguments, so my apologies). OSU finished third in weak Big 12, got waxed by KSU in the Big 12 Tournament and lost in the first round to a 12 seed. Smart, Brown and Nash are very talented and capable but there is a HUGE drop off in talent after those three. Cobbins may close that gap this year, and he will need to if OSU is going to take the next step. The bench isn’t very good, and Ford is an average coach at best.