Florida State Seminoles: Basketball Recruiting

Handicapping the race for Wiggins 

May, 13, 2013
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The long wait is finally almost over. Andrew Wiggins (Thornhill, Ontario/Huntington Prep), the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2013, will announce his college decision at approximately 12:15 p.m. ET Tuesday.

Wiggins is down to Florida State, Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky. During the long course of his recruitment, each team has at various times seemed like the front-runner and the dark horse. Not only has his decision come down to the wire, it also appears to be a photo finish.

To try to make some sense of it all on the eve of his decision, we’re here to handicap the race, complete with why Wiggins would and wouldn’t pick each school and our unofficial final odds on each program’s chances of landing him.

[+] EnlargeAndrew Wiggins
Courtesy of McDonald'sOn the eve of his decision, the race for No. 1 recruit Andrew Wiggins still appears wide open.
Florida State Seminoles
Odds of landing Wiggins: 35 percent



On Tuesday at approximately 12:15 p.m. ET, No. 1 recruit Andrew Wiggins (Thornhill, Ontario/Huntington Prep) will finally make his college decision known in a small ceremony at his school in front of classmates, family and friends. Wiggins is down to Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina. Whichever school he chooses, he’ll be an instant-impact, program-changing player thanks to his amazing athletic ability and skills.

So before he ends the suspense and makes one college program very happy, let’s break down what landing Wiggins would mean for each of his four finalists.

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Editor's note: This story originally ran on Feb. 28. With Andrew Wiggins' college decision on tap for Tuesday afternoon at 12:15 p.m. ET, here is a complete breakdown of his game from RecruitingNation's Paul Biancardi.

By now, you probably know that Andrew Wiggins (Thornhill, Ontario/Huntington Prep) is an extra-special prospect. The best high school basketball recruit in the country, Wiggins is the kind of player who doesn’t come around very often. He’ll make an immediate impact in college and then likely go on to a long, successful NBA career.

It’s no wonder some of college basketball’s best programs -- he’s down to Kentucky, Florida State, North Carolina and Kansas -- are salivating at the chance to get him on campus.

But what exactly makes him such an amazing prospect? Here’s a full scouting report of his game, complete with strengths, areas for improvement and what his ultimate potential could be.

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No. 1 recruit Wiggins set to announce

May, 13, 2013
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The top-ranked senior and only uncommitted ESPN 100 prospect is finally ready to make his decision.

Small forward Andrew Wiggins (Thornhill, Ontario/Huntington Prep) will announce his college choice at 12:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday at a small event at his high school. Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford tweeted Sunday night that Wiggins will not hold a press conference ceremony but will instead sign in front of classmates, family and friends.

Wiggins, who will decide between Florida State, North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas, was named the 2013 Gatorade National Player of the Year after averaging 23.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.5 assists per game this season for Huntington Prep.

Eyes on Wiggins as signing period starts 

April, 17, 2013
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This week, as the spring signing period begins Wednesday, national letters of intent for uncommitted No. 1 prospect Andrew Wiggins (Thornhill, Ontario/Huntington Prep) arrive at his school. One of them will one day get his signature.

There’s no point in asking which one. Nobody knows. If they tell you they know, call them out. They don’t know.

[+] EnlargeAndrew Wiggins
Courtesy of McDonald'sHeading into the signing period, No. 1 recruit Andrew Wiggins is the lone uncommitted player in the ESPN 100.
The letters from Kentucky and Florida State are already there. The same paperwork from Kansas and North Carolina is en route. No other LOIs are expected to arrive. We know the final field.

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ESPN 60 SG primed for big spring 

March, 7, 2013
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In the coming months, you’re likely to hear the name Grayson Allen (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School) quite a bit. By now, you know 2014 prospects Theo Pinson, Justise Winslow and Rashad Vaughn. Those guys sit at the head of the table in terms of available junior wings, and that’s cool -- they deserve it.

Grayson Allen
Courtesy of mylineagofchampions2014 SG Grayson Allen is the No. 36 player in the ESPN 60.
Then there’s Allen, a 6-foot-4 junior shooting guard who enters the spring armed with ammunition. He has himself a state championship and his team went 31-1. The only loss was to Arlington Country Day (Fla.) and Allen didn’t play in that game due to an ankle sprain. This kid can pass, drive and shoot it enough to be in contention to squeeze himself into a seat at the head of the table.

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Basketball program-changing recruits

March, 7, 2013
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Julius Randle, Andrew Wiggins, Aaron GordonCal Sport Media via AP Images, Icon SMITop prospects Julius Randle, Andrew Wiggins and Aaron Gordon are still contemplating where they'll play in college.

A trio of top-five recruits who could change the landscape of college hoops in 2013-14 remain on the board. Paul Biancardi breaks down what landing No. 1 Andrew Wiggins, No. 3 Julius Randle or No. 4 Aaron Gordon would mean to each of the schools on each player’s final list. Insider

With a commitment date set, No. 3 senior Julius Randle slides past top-ranked senior Andrew Wiggins in the latest installment of #BlueChipBattles. Also, a pair of 2014 wings make their #BCB debuts. Insider

Visits heat up for No. 1 Andrew Wiggins 

February, 12, 2013
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The Andrew Wiggins visit tour will crank back up beginning Feb. 27 when the No. 1 senior prospect in the ESPN 100 is slated to visit Kentucky for its game against Mississippi State.

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Class of 2014 combo forward Kevon Looney (Milwaukee/Hamilton) is having a tremendous junior campaign and is living up to his No. 6 overall ranking in the ESPN 60.

Not surprisingly, some of college basketball's elite programs have taken notice by extending offers.

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Best of the City of Palms Day 3 

December, 21, 2012
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As the days go by here at the City of Palms Classic, the intensity level picks up as teams vie for a spot in Saturday’s championship game while hoping to avoid being sent to the consolation bracket.

Without a doubt, the game of the day on Thursday started at 11 p.m. and featured a pair of ESPN 25 teams in No. 1 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) and ninth-ranked Whitney Young (Chicago). Montverde needed overtime but held on for a 68-65 victory.

Let's take a look at some of the best performances from Day 3 on Thursday.

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GT, FSU after 2014 SG Tadric Jackson 

December, 18, 2012
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The City of Palms Classic is filled with intriguing prospects looking to improve their recruiting stock against some of the top talent the nation has to offer. One such player is 2014 three-star combination guard Tadric Jackson (Tifton, Ga./Tift County), who leads his squad into action against No. 6 Long Beach Poly (Calif.).

Tadric Jackson
Reggie RankinFour-star guard Tadric Jackson is a great start for Georgia Tech in the 2014 class.
Jackson is averaging 19.0 points, 6.0 assist, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game for the 20th-ranked Blue Devils. His ability to fill up the stat sheet is why a number of high major programs are trying to land this talented prospect.

"I have offers from Alabama, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Georgia, Clemson, South Carolina and Memphis,” said Jackson. “I am receiving interest from Kansas, Michigan State, NC State, Ohio State and others. I really like [the team’s that are] recruiting me."

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No. 1 recruit Wiggins visiting FSU 

December, 4, 2012
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The Florida State Seminoles host the rival Florida Gators on Wednesday. FSU coach Leonard Hamilton made the decision that this was a showpiece game, the best chance for the Seminoles to make their pitch to the nation’s No. 1 prospect in the ESPN 100.

As a result, senior small forward Andrew Wiggins (Thornhill, Ontario/Huntington Prep) is making his official campus visit to Florida State on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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New No. 1 senior Wiggins a game-changer 

October, 25, 2012
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A lethargic Thursday recruiting news cycle was tossed on its head when the nation’s No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2014, small forward Andrew Wiggins (Thornhill, Ontario/Huntington Prep), reclassified to the 2013 class.

By making the move to his original class, Wiggins ascended past Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon) and became the No. 1 senior in the ESPN 100. Parker, who missed much of this past summer with an injury, lost the top spot through no fault of his own. You better believe that a player of Parker’s stature and pedigree is thinking about two things: getting his fourth state title and cranking up his own game to give Wiggins a run for his money.

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New schools in mix for 2014 No. 1 Wiggins 

October, 25, 2012
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John Calipari sits on top of the mountain in the world of college basketball. However, being king doesn’t make him immune to a problem. This is elite recruiting, and every action comes with a reaction.

And there’s reason to believe a recent addition in Lexington is cause for a little case of nervousness typically uncommon at Kentucky.

Andrew Wiggins
Ned Dishman/Getty ImagesNBA-level athleticism is one of the attributes that makes Andrew Wiggins so special.
The good news for UK fans is that wing James Young (Rochester, Mich./Rochester) is a Wildcat. The bad news for UK fans is that James Young is a Wildcat.

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Smith hopes to reach potential at FSU 

October, 15, 2012
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Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton isn’t afraid of recruiting project players (see Okaro White and Ian Miller). While most are more apt to opt for the sure thing, Hamilton’s patient enough and secure enough in his ability to cultivate players he spends the time molding one or two a year.

Hamilton’s next project is Jarquez Smith (Haddock, Ga./Jones County) after the ESPN 100 senior post committed to the Seminoles Sunday night. Smith stands at 6-foot-9 and 215 pounds, ideal measurables for a post player. But is he a post player? Who is Smith and why is he possibly the biggest riddle in the senior class?

This is one of those commitments that register more on the upside and potential scale than it does on the production side of the ledger. Don’t get me wrong; Smith’s had his big games but not nearly enough to match his immense talent level. His biggest marketable long-term asset is his capacity to play facing the basket. That aspect of his game also lends to his biggest weakness: avoiding responsibilities in the lane.

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