In the months leading up to the 2020-’21 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a new series called the ‘BTPowerhouse 25,’ which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today’s edition will take a brief look at Aaron Wiggins with the Maryland Terrapins. Wiggins is a Preseason Julius Erving Award Watchlist member, and will be a key returnee for the Terps this season.
‘BTPowerhouse 25’ - No. 10 Aaron Wiggins:
- Eligibility: Junior
- Career Totals: 65 games, 1,684 minutes, 604 points, 264 rebounds, 71 assists
- 2019-’20 Averages: 28.6 min, 10.4 pts, 4.9 rebs, 1.4 asts, 0.4 blks, 0.8 stls
- Positional Role: Small Forward
Maryland finally clinched its first Big Ten title, or at least a share of one, since joining the league in 2014. While Anthony Cowan Jr and Jalen Smith grabbed most of the headlines for the Terps, Wiggins was a reliable player the Terps needed for their conference title run. With the loss of Smith and Cowan, he will be even more important for the Terps this season.
Wiggins is a lethal scoring threat when he is hot. As a freshman, Wiggins averaged 41.3-percent from deep. He made a total 62 three-point shots as a freshman, which was the second-most for a freshman in school history. As a sophomore seeing much heavier minutes, Wiggins volume was up substantially shooting, and he was tied for 13th in the conference at three-point field goals made on the season at 1.7 per game.
Wiggins excels at creating his own shot as a step back shooter to create space. Though he can also score with a defender in his face as well, and run the fast break on the rare moment the Terps push the ball down the floor. All put together, Wiggins is a lethal threat on offense for opposing defenses.
-Areas for Improvement
Wiggins confidence is one of his biggest detractions. He was down almost 10-percent on his three-point average from freshman year to his sophomore season. While Wiggins was still a reliable scorer, his volume usage increase from 4.4 to 5.4 attempts from deep per game along with heavier minutes and relying on him clearly took a toll.
The Terps would also benefit from Wiggins being willing to draw the foul more at times. His 1.9 free throw attempts per game is on the low side. While he could benefit from more reliable free throw shooting than his 71.7-percent shooting last season, that is hardly bad either. Wiggins putting foul pressure on the opponent will certainly help Maryland.
Wiggins will be a key player for Maryland. Losing Cowan and Smith leaves a huge hole to fill for the Terrapins, but if the remaining players like Wiggins can step up and replace some of the production it will factor big in the Big Ten standings. Coach Turgeon is going to need Wiggins to return to freshman form from deep to avoid a steep drop-off from last season’s conference title run.
‘BTPowerhouse 25’ Rankings:
- #27-28 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #25 - Adam Miller (Illinois)
- #25 - Miller Kopp (Northwestern)
- #22 - Ron Harper (Rutgers)
- #22 - Eric Hunter (Purdue)
- #22 - CJ Fredrick (Iowa)
- #21 - Rob Phinisee (Indiana)
- #20 - Khristian Lander (Indiana)
- #19 - Seth Towns (Ohio State)
- #17 - Nate Reuvers (Wisconsin)
- #17 - Mark “Rocket” Watts (Michigan State)
- #16 - Micah Potter (Wisconsin)
- #15 - Marcus Carr (Minnesota)
- #14 - Joey Hauser (Michigan State)
- #13 - Jordan Bohannon (Iowa)
- #12 - Geo Baker (Rutgers)
- #11 - D’Mitrik Trice (Wisconsin)
- #10 - Aaron Wiggins (Maryland)
- #9 - To be continued . . .