Monday, May 13, 2013
What Wiggins would mean for ...
By Paul Biancardi
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.
Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 recruit in the 2013 class, will have a huge impact no matter which of his four finalists he chooses.
What Wiggins would mean for Florida State
No one has a better relationship with Wiggins' parents than Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton, because both of Wiggins’ parents are Florida State alums. This past season the Seminoles struggled with a very young team that included seven new players on the roster and some outstanding post players. Florida State has a terrific two-man class already signed for next year that includes Wiggins' close friend and high school and AAU teammate Xavier Rathan-Mayes. Rathan-Mayes may be the X factor in Wiggins' recruitment, as the Canada natives have on-court chemistry and are close friends off the floor. With the returning talent in Tallahassee and Wiggins on board, it would mean the greatest buzz for basketball ever at FSU and a possible trip to the Final Four. Wiggins also would be the greatest basketball recruit to ever come to Tallahassee.
What Wiggins would mean for Kansas
The Jayhawks already own ESPN's No. 2 recruiting class, and the thought of Wiggins in that picture could mean another Big 12 title and a run at a national championship. With four seniors leaving and Ben McLemore entering the NBA draft early, the timing for Wiggins couldn't be better at Kansas, which lost its entire starting lineup from this season. The Jayhawks have a very good group of recruits coming in but no superstars. (No. 1 center Joel Embiid is still more potential and may need some time to adjust to the college game.) Wiggins would give them a superstar in the class and significantly impact the Jayhawks as they continue their dominance in the Big 12 and nationally.
What Wiggins would mean for Kentucky
It doesn't matter how many recruits you have coming in, you always make room for a player like Wiggins. The Wildcats likely will be revamping their entire roster, and even with a loaded eight-man class already signed -- including six ESPN 100 prospects and four top-10 recruits -- there is still room for Wiggins in Kentucky's 2013 class. Wiggins' commitment to the Wildcats would be twofold. One, it would give them a dynamic scorer with uncommon athletic ability; there is no one like him in the high school ranks. Second, it would further solidify this as the best recruiting class of all time and make Kentucky basketball the hot topic of conversation in the offseason. More important, it would give them one more extra push for another national title. We know about the famed Fab Five at Michigan back in the 1990s. Would this be the Sensational Seven with seven prospects all in the top 25 of the 2013 class? No recruiting class has ever seen that much firepower.
What Wiggins would mean for UNC
Because of a strong foundation returning and an influx of top talent arriving in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels can already go from good this year to great next year even without Wiggins. But if UNC were to land Wiggins, it would immediately put the Heels in the hunt for an ACC championship and a Final Four run because they have a blossoming point guard in Marcus Paige, shooters on the perimeter and a deep group of post players to complement Wiggins. His NBA athletic ability would be on display in UNC's staple fast-break offense, as Wiggins would be Vince Carter-like in the conversion game.