Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker will be linked together throughout their respective careers. These two freshmen studs were the top two high school prospects in the country last year, and now are expected to play major roles on National Championship contending teams.

Both Wiggins and Parker are projected to be top picks in the 2014 NBA Draft next year. Wiggins is being talked about as the best NBA prospect since LeBron James, and Parker has an NBA body and skill set to become a future All-Star.

No one is debating which one of these two players is the better NBA prospect, because the answer is easy: Wiggins. But what can be debated is which one of these two diaper dandies will be a better college player (assuming they both leave for the NBA after this season).

Wiggins is the better pro prospect, but Parker will be a better college player this year. Here’s why.

The offensive skill sets of these two players are completely different.

Both Wiggins and Parker can really score the basketball. Wiggins led Kansas with 16 points in the Jayhawks opening night win while Parker dropped 22 points for Duke in its win over Davidson. The difference in these two is how they score their points.

Wiggins is the best collegiate athlete the country has seen in a long time. He has the unique ability to get his chin above rims on dunks, and his second jump is quicker than most NBA players. Parker, on the other hand, is a good, but not great athlete.

At 6-foot-8 and 235 pounds, Parker is able to get to just about every spot on the court, but he won’t wow you with his athleticism. What Parker lacks in athleticism, he makes up for in his offensive arsenal. Parker has a complete offensive game.

He can get buckets from the block, he can attack the rim off the dribble from the wings, and he can even step back and drain a 3-pointer. Against Davidson, Parker played a nearly flawless offensive game. The freshman from Chicago went 8-10 and was a perfect 3-3 from deep.

Wiggins, on the other hand, uses his elite athleticism to get most of his points. At this point of his career, Wiggins has an average jump shot and an average post game. Can he knock down an open 3-pointer? Yes, but teams will live with giving Wiggins long-range jumpers instead of rim-rattling dunks.

Parker can consistently beat opposing defenses from different spots on the court, while Wiggins is more of a one-dimensional offensive player at this point of his career.

The other key factor that puts Jabari Parker above Andrew Wiggins as a college basketball player is his basketball IQ.

Parker has a higher basketball IQ than 99 percent of college freshmen in the history of college basketball. This guy just understands how the game works, and always seems to be in the right place at the right time on both sides of the ball. He’s a true basketball junkie, and he appreciates the little aspects of the game that make the difference in a player being good and a player being great.

Meanwhile, Wiggins is still learning the little ins and outs of basketball. Some of the intangibles just aren’t there yet, and he doesn’t always bring his A game. In one of Kansas' exhibition games this season, coach Bill Self benched Wiggins for a bit because “he didn’t bring it tonight.”

These little things are easily taught and understood, but Parker has a distinct advantage over Wiggins right now in that category.

Wiggins is still the better pro prospect, and for good reason. Right now, Wiggins is a freak athlete that is playing basketball while Parker is a basketball player that is also a decent athlete.

When Wiggins’ skill can get on the same level as his athletic ability, he’ll be a scary good NBA player. That’s why he’s being talked about as the best prospect in the past decade.

But as far as this year’s college basketball season is concerned, Jabari Parker is the better player. Parker can beat opposing defenses in so many different ways, and his basketball IQ allows him to make the little plays that make everyone around him that much better.

These two freshmen phenoms will both be great for their respective teams.

But if either of these two are going to make the All-American First Team, it’s going to be Jabari Parker.

[Standing O Sports]


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