Should be known in the next couple of hours where he will be playing next year, but in the mean time here are some ESPN insider articles about where he is going.
RecruitingNation: Biancardi on Andrew Wiggins
Paul Biancardi breaks down what makes No. 1 recruit Andrew Wiggins a special basketball player and addresses the comparisons between Wiggins and LeBron James.
Tags: Andrew Wiggins, Huntington Prep, Florida State Seminoles, North Carolina Tar Heels, Kansas Jayhawks, Kentucky Wildcats, ESPN 100, high school basketball recruiting, RecruitingNation
RecruitingNation: Andrew Wiggins' Impact
Editor's note: With Andrew Wiggins' decision on tap for Tuesday, we update our staff predictions on the eve of his decision.
No. 1 recruit Andrew Wiggins (Thornhill, Ontario/Huntington Prep) will finally reveal his college decision Tuesday afternoon, ending a long and much-dissected recruitment for the most coveted player in the country.
Wiggins, who is down to Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina, has been as hard to read as anyone else in the 2013 class. Florida State offers a family connection, with both of his parents having attended FSU. Kentucky offers a track record of one-and-done success and a chance to win immediately with a loaded recruiting class. Kansas and North Carolina, meanwhile, offer similar situations: national-caliber programs with long traditions of success and strong incoming recruiting classes that lack only the kind of superstar Wiggins projects to be.
By all accounts, the race is still wide-open. So on the eve of his decision, we've enlisted our RecruitingNation basketball experts for one final round of predictions on which lucky basketball program will land Wiggins on Tuesday.
Paul Abell/US PRESSWIRE
Landing Andrew Wiggins would be a huge coup for Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton.
Dave Telep: I'll stay with Florida State. The "Criminal Minds" aficionado in me tells me to follow the profile. Florida State has him surrounded from all sides. Both parents didn't just go there; they were star athletes in Tallahassee. FSU-bound Xavier Rathan-Mayes grew up with him in Canada and played alongside him at Huntington Prep. Wiggins also doesn't like media attention, and as long as they're still playing football in Tallahassee, hoops won't get the same daily coverage (although Wiggins has the potential to change that dynamic). Florida State's 2013-14 season would tilt on a different axis with him. Kentucky wants him, but he's a luxury item for the Wildcats. For the Seminoles, though, he'd be a new brand within their basketball program. Let's also not dismiss the intensity with which FSU coach Leonard Hamilton has chased this kid longer and harder than any other program on his list. And did I mention his parents went there?
Paul Biancardi: Once Wiggins reclassified to the Class of 2013, his recruitment went from intense to crazy. Yet because of how silent he's been on the topic, it's been a high-profile but quiet recruiting race for the nation's No. 1 prospect. It's been well-documented that Wiggins' parents are Florida State alumni, and Hamilton has created a great relationship with the Wiggins family. But the longer Wiggins' recruitment has gone on, the more it has allowed the bluebloods of college basketball to gain ground on early favorite Florida State. He is a superstar in the world of high school basketball but has a reserved personality and wants to fit in with a group of players to win a championship. With the departure of Ben McLemore to the NBA and his older brother Nick Wiggins playing in the state of Kansas at Wichita State, the Jayhawks have solid footing in the race. Also consider how much Wiggins enjoyed his official visit to Lawrence, and it looks good for the Jayhawks. My prediction: Andrew Wiggins will call Kansas home for the 2013-14 season.
Adam Finkelstein: Truth be told, I'm as curious as everyone else to see exactly where Wiggins will choose. While most people seem to assume it will be Florida State or Kentucky, you would think those decisions could have been made much quicker than this. Does the length of his recruitment mean North Carolina and Kansas are in play? We'll have our answer soon enough. While Florida State would be the most anticlimactic of his four choices, I think that option is most consistent with what he's looking for. He'll have a chance to carve out his own legacy but do it in a relatively smaller college basketball media market. He'll represent the same school that both of his parents did and will also have the familiarity of playing with one of his good friends, Rathan-Mayes. But honestly, at this point I'm not sure anything is out of the question.
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
The departure of Ben McLemore to the NBA could help Bill Self and Kansas land Andrew Wiggins.
Reggie Rankin: I am going to stay with my previous prediction of Kansas. Bill Self will have a young but very talented team next season, and Wiggins could be the marquee player from day one. Plus, the recent success of McLemore, who is projected as a top-five pick in the upcoming NBA draft, has to be attractive and a great selling point. At Kansas, Wiggins could have one of the biggest stages in college basketball to himself for probably his only season on campus. Wiggins would provide the Jayhawks with elite athleticism that could put him in position to be not only Big 12 Rookie of the Year but Player of the Year as well. Wiggins is a special talent who will transition easily into major college basketball.
Joel Francisco: Usually you have a good sense regarding a prospect's decision, but that hasn't been the case with the enigma that has been Wiggins' recruitment. Kentucky seems as about as far-fetched as any of the other choices at this point, but as we have seen, you can never count out John Calipari. That said, I'm going with continuing the family legacy at Florida State. Hamilton is a savvy recruiter, and the family ties at Florida State appear to be the likely choice. To be honest, however, any of his final schools would not surprise me.
John Stovall: Just a gut feeling, but I think Kansas. The Jayhawks have made some nice inroads throughout the entire process. This one is almost too close to call, though. Florida State and North Carolina are right there, and Kentucky may not be totally out yet.
Mike LaPlante: It's safe to say Wiggins has been very patient and thorough in his handling of the recruiting process. I believe that when all the dust settles, he will end up playing for Hamilton and Florida State. Although Wiggins would be an impact player (and likely one-and-done performer) at any school he chooses, Florida State just seems like the perfect fit for him. His father played there, Florida State is poised to make a strong run within the basketball-crazed ACC, Wiggins will have an opportunity to put his own stamp on the program and the family trusts Hamilton, who has been a head coach in the NBA and understands how to develop players for that level. My final prediction: Florida State.
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.
Sam Forencich/USA Basketball
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.
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.
Courtesy of McDonald's
On 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
Why they can get him: That's the sound of crickets coming out of Florida State. However, that’s business as usual when it comes to Seminoles recruiting. They’re typically a less-buzz-the-better kind of program. Other programs see their recruiting play out on Twitter, but FSU keeps a lower profile. The only reason coach Leonard Hamilton’s bunch is in this position is because of the family's ties. Wiggins’ father, Mitchell, played in Tallahassee and went on to the NBA; his mom, Marita, ran track at Florida State and was a 1984 Olympic silver medalist for Canada in the 4x400 relay. From the start of this recruitment, those family ties stoked Hamilton’s fire and gave the Seminoles their entry into the sweepstakes. Once FSU added a commitment from fellow Canadian and high school and AAU teammate Xavier Rathan-Mayes, the Seminoles were set for the race by adding a strong friendship to the familial angle. More importantly, the family ties provided the Seminoles a unique hook and made them the biggest outlier of the four schools.
FSU loses its best player from this past season in Michael Snaer. It needs firepower, and this football powerhouse needs a face for the basketball program, even if he’s the equivalent of a rent-a-player of one season. Hamilton has invested the requisite time with the kid and was one of only two head coaches to go to Toronto last summer to watch him (Kentucky’s John Calipari was the other). One last positive for FSU: Wiggins doesn’t like the media attention. In theory -- though I don’t believe this will happen, given his profile -- Florida State offers Wiggins a respite from the national media coverage.
What concerns me: There’s a part of me that thinks Florida State’s uninspiring 18-16 season and first-round NIT loss (heck, its NIT appearance in the first place) are damning factors. During the early to middle part of this past season, my feeling was that FSU was a strong leader and the team to beat. If the Seminoles win this race, it’s because they’ve hung on and watched their competitors dismantle each other. This is the No. 1 player in the country and every program except FSU has a national title in the past six years. Could the best talent in the senior class pick a non-blueblood program simply because his parents went there and it signed his buddy from Toronto? It doesn’t look as if Florida State would win the ACC title next year even with Wiggins. Picking FSU would be a feel-good moment for the program, the region and the ACC, but it also would mean that playing for a national title was not the biggest factor in his decision. And my biggest concern of all boils down to one statement. Say it out loud and listen to the power of the words: Florida State would have to beat Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas for Andrew Wiggins.
Odds of landing Wiggins: 25 percent
Why they can get him: Free agency strikes college basketball every year now. Between the NBA draft and the transfer wire, there’s a revolving door of new faces. At Kansas, Thomas Robinson handed off to Ben McLemore, and now coach Bill Self wants to transition to Wiggins. This is a program with a rich recent history of playing up to its star power. There are stories of how Self stood in front of his team and empowered McLemore to take more shots this year; that’s the kind of stuff that ends up being told to a No. 1 recruit during an in-home visit. Kansas is traditionally one of the most talent-laced programs in the country. It already has No. 6 recruit Joel Embiid this year, but it could use a heavyweight recruiting victory. Josh Selby was a win and Xavier Henry was even bigger, but it’s time to usher in a transfer of power to a big name. Kansas has a plan, a path and a destination for Wiggins. One insider once told me that Wiggins favors his relationship with Self over the other coaches involved. If I’m Self, the sell is simple: “Look what I did for Robinson and McLemore, two players who weren’t McDonald’s All Americans.” Bonus: Wiggins’ brother Nick will be a senior at Wichita State next season. For one year, traveling to see the boys would be very convenient for family.
What concerns me: Some may point to the fact that Kansas is an adidas-sponsored program and Wiggins hails from a Nike-affiliated background. That’s not a game-changer from what’s been bantered about behind the scenes. However, KU is the only non-Nike program involved, and if Wiggins is thinking endorsements -- and we can reasonably assume someone within his inner circle is -- it might be easier to just stick within the comfort zone. Also, let’s say he makes a decision predicated on winning a national title. Of the three possible title contenders on his final list of four, KU would -- on paper -- have the most difficult ascension to the top.
Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports
UNC and Roy Williams are missing that one superstar player Andrew Wiggins would provide.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Odds of landing Wiggins: 20 percent
Why they can get him: You mean aside from incoming center Kennedy Meeks telling me at the McDonald’s All American Game that they were getting Wiggins? In all seriousness, North Carolina has a compelling case. Wiggins’ dad grew up in Tar Heels-friendly Kinston, N.C., and there’s family still in the area. Kinston, by the way, is the same town that produced Reggie Bullock and Jerry Stackhouse. The colors are decidedly light blue in that town. Those factors aside, North Carolina is in a position it generally is not used to. Coach Roy Williams has a lot of pieces -- some very good -- but he doesn’t have a superstar who commands attention. James Michael McAdoo is a good player, but barring a commanding uptick in his game, North Carolina doesn’t have that one bona fide star who directs the national conversation its way. What it does have is a positional need and a lineup that is wide open for a mega talent to come in and play a huge role for a team growing into its identity. The Heels also have the best pure point guard situation of any school on this list with Marcus Paige. And if I’m Wiggins, that matters to me.
What concerns me: Will a pair of highly decorated Florida State graduates really send their son to a school that plays in the same conference? It would seem like such an un-alumni thing to do to dis your alma mater and hand over this scoring weapon to a team within the same league. A bigger concern is finding the person behind the scenes in Wiggins’ inner circle who is going to push North Carolina. Could it be family from the Kinston area? That seems like a stretch and puts too much stock into the non-parental corner. North Carolina has the need, the stage and the swagger to get this done. But do the Heels have someone behind the scenes helping sway the vote?
Odds of landing Wiggins: 20 percent
Why they can get him: There isn’t a more NBA-centric program in the country right now. It’s so easy for an elite player to say “yes” to Kentucky at this moment. Wiggins will be sitting in the NBA draft green room next year and so, too, will Calipari. The only question is whether they will be sitting at the same table. From a player’s standpoint, the idea of preparing for the NBA draft while competing against lottery picks on a daily basis is enticing. There’s no other program that will challenge him individually the way Kentucky could next season.
A nod to UK also would mean a seat on the bus for what could become a special team and a magical year. Kentucky has more freshman basketball talent coming in next season than any college hoops program in history. The chance to play with so many guys his own age in similar one-and-done scenarios for a team that also is returning two potential first-round picks is compelling. The attention at Kentucky is at an all-time high. Wiggins is not a fan of the media attention, but UK would assist him in handling the hype and preparing him for the next step.
What concerns me: Let’s dismiss the notion that Wiggins is worried about playing time. He’s not, nor should he be. Yes, UK is stocked, but this isn’t a normal All-American. However, because of the timing of his decision, Wiggins would be a luxury-item recruit for the Wildcats. I know that sounds ridiculous to say, but we’re talking about an all-time class in Lexington without him. Don’t get me wrong, Calipari and his staff have chased Wiggins hard, but the other teams need him more.
Chemistry is a concern for me as well. A few months ago, we hit on what happens with uncommitted recruits during the postseason all-star games. In my opinion, it didn’t appear the UK recruits went hard to persuade Wiggins -- and if there was a bond formed, it was top secret and behind the scenes. When you have this many good players already coming, it takes a special group to open its arms and welcome in another top player. I haven’t seen that in my travels. It’s not like other schools’ recruits were palling around with him ad nauseum either, but in order to join a brotherhood this large and this talented, you look for signs of inclusion from the other alpha males in certain settings. Those signs weren’t there for UK. Finally, Kentucky will be the epicenter for media attention next season. There will be more reporters per capita stationed in Lexington than any other city. Does a kid who shies away from attention say yes to that fishbowl?
Man I'm so excited for his decision. Every team on his list has a chance, but who will be destined to have him for a year?
is this televised
Kansas was probably the last place I thought he would go. I think he will led them to their 10th straight Big 12 regular season title without a doubt. Wiggins and Selden should easily average 35 points between the two of them next year. KU could be a final four favorite if they get some solid inside play to replace Withey. I am really just glad he didn't choose Kentucky...they will be exciting enough to watch next year without Wiggins.