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Andrew Wiggins And The Tar Heels

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By now, most college basketball fans know who Andrew Wiggins is and what kind of impact he will have on the school of his choice.  The best high school basketball player since LeBron James will make his choice from The University of North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas and Florida State soon.  As the the fan bases from those schools collectively hold their breath in anticipation of his decision rumors swirl about him and his likely landing spot.

The 6’7 200 lb. senior game changer at Huntington Prep, in Huntington W.V., has until recently, at the McDonald’s All-American game in Chicago, stayed quiet about his recruitment.  He made a comment that had all of Big Blue Nation ready to declare him a Wildcat.  “If I went there, we would win it all” and with those words Kentucky seemingly jumped to the front of the line.  Who could blame a kid for wanting to go to Kentucky right now?  John Calapari has the sales pitch that all the young stars want to hear.  Come to Kentucky, Play a year with a legitimate chance to win a National Championship and then move on to the NBA.  Simple right?  Not so fast.

Both of Wiggins’ parents attended Florida State and they have been in the sweepstakes from the beginning.  His father Mitchell was a basketball star who went on to play in the NBA and his mother Marita ran track for the Seminoles and later in the Olympics for Canada.  Some believe FSU is a true player in the recruitment but I’m not buying it.  I see his “interest” in FSU merely as a favor to his parents.  I for one would be shocked if he ended up there.

Which brings us to Kansas, another school whose fan base thinks they are going to be the big winner.  Bill Self has always been known as very good recruiter and there is enough talent on the Kansas roster to warrant some strong consideration from Andrew.  He has stated publicly many times that his aim is to win a National Championship.  He also has a footprint of sorts to follow in former Jayhawk Josh Selby, who attended Kansas.  Shortly after Selby’s freshman year ended, he stopped attending classes to prepare for the NBA draft.  It’s pretty safe to say that Andrew Wiggins will only be on a college campus for one season.

UNC is the last school warranting consideration from the #1 ranked player in the country.  With it being known that Wiggins wants to compete for a National Champiionship, this is where it gets tricky for the Tar Heels.  Wiggins does not have to decide where he will go to school until after all the current players make their NBA draft intentions known.  Reggie Bullock, James Michael McAdoo and PJ Hairston are all NBA prospects for the Tar Heels.  Whether they stay or go will play a huge role in UNC’s chances with Wiggins.  If they stay, you add Wiggins and immediately the Tar Heels become a contender.  Take away some of those pieces and you don’t.

I have gone on record as saying I thought Andrew Wiggins would be a Tar Heel, no doubt.  Since then some things have changed and to say I still feel that strongly would be a lie.  Kentucky obviously has made up considerable ground and Kansas is still a very strong option for him.  He and his parents have said they will wait until the High School All-Star games (McDonalds and Jordan Brand) were over to make a decision.  You can guarantee he will wait to see who is staying and who is going to the NBA as well.  This recruitment has been a very strange one to say the least as every school has been reported at some point to be the leader.  The only thing known for sure right now is that Andrew Wiggins’ decision will not only affect the school he chooses but those he spurns as well.  Wiggins is the kind of talent that can make a pretender in to a contender very quickly.  If John Calapari pulls in Andrew Wiggins as the final piece of his class, we are looking at a class that puts the Fab Five to shame.

Mark Seidel

Twitter: @MarkSeidelWFNZ

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