Shivaughn Wiggins, the reigning NEC rookie of the year has been granted his release from Mount St. Mary’s. The 5’10” combo guard averaged 9.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.2 steals per game during his rookie campaign. Wiggins’ emergence in the second half of the season was a big reason why Jamion Christian’s Mountaineers won 11 of their final 13 games and made it all the way to the NEC finals.
The move was first reported by Justin Byerly on Twitter:
Former North Mecklenburg HS (NC) PG Shivaughn Wiggins has received his release from Mt. Saint Mary’s & will transfer immediately.
— Justin Byerly (@Justinbyerly) August 6, 2013
Wiggins’ release comes as a major surprise, especially since Big Apple Buckets spoke with Christian last week regarding the Mount’s incoming recruiting class. Details on why Wiggins was released weren’t immediately available.
After finding little playing time early in the 2012-13 season, Wiggins began to play more when starting point guard Josh Castellanos was injured. Wiggins made the most of the opportunity, and eventually scored in double figures for 14 of the Mount’s final 17 games. While his contribution scoring the basketball (a KenPom offensive efficiency rating of 114.5) surely helped, it may have been his defense which was his most valuable attribute. Wiggins served as the feisty defender who could match up against the opponents best perimeter scorer. He finished the season nationally ranked in steal rate, an impressive feat for a freshman.
Obviously, this news hurts the near-term prospects of Mount St. Mary’s, who many considered as a legitimate favorite to win the wide open NEC next season. While it’s a blow to their title chances, the Mount may miss Wiggins even more beyond this season. With Julien Norfleet, Sam Prescott, and Rashad Whack set to graduate next May, Wiggins was expected to carry the torch as an upperclassman.
Now, Christian must rely on his incoming freshmen guards – Khalid Nwandu, Byron Ashe, and Charles Glover – to step up in Wiggins’ absence. As such, Mount St. Mary’s will likely get bumped down a spot in the preseason NEC poll.
Update: Here are some links related to this story. Mount St. Mary’s officially announced Wiggins’ departure, along with forward Melvin Gregory. And here’s The Mount Fan Blog creator Ryan Raffensperger’s positive take on the move.
You can follow Ryan on Twitter @pioneer_pride.