The nation’s best prospect in the 2013 class, Andrew Wiggins of Huntington Prep (WV), has made his college decision, and he’s headed to play for the Kansas Jayhawks.
Wiggins reportedly signed in a low-key event with teammates, family and close associates at Huntington Prep. The commitment was first reported by the only media member at the event, Grant Traylor The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, West Virginia.
A native of Canada, Wiggins picked the Jayhawks over the Kentucky Wildcats, Florida State Seminoles, and North Carolina Tar Heels.
The Jayhawks now have the No. 2 class nationally, behind Kentucky. High-potential center Joel Embiid, strong wing Wayne Selden, skilled forward Brannen Greene, skilled shooting combo guard Conner Frankamp and nail tough point guard Frank Mason makes for an excellent class that will step in right away around Wiggins as the centerpiece.
Wiggins is a tremendous prospect, but the level of hype the media at large has placed on him is bordering on excessive at this point. It may be difficult to separate reality from the hype at this point, but what Wiggins is an extreme elite level athlete that has the potential to be a future No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.
We wrote as much after he brought the reining king of the NBA, LeBron James to his feet at James’ camp in Las Vegas last summer, the LeBron James Skills Academy. At that time, we wrote:
Wiggins brought LeBron James to his feet during his acrobatic show. Wiggins, a Canadian at Huntington Prep (WV), showed elite explosiveness on the floor that is seldom seen outside of the NBA. He had a capable outside stroke and overall game, but his bounce and get up are almost out of this world. There is no mincing words, as in watching Wiggins one gets the sense that they are seeing a future No. 1 draft pick in the NBA.
Make no mistake, Wiggins needs to iron out his shot, tighten his handle, and become more comfortable with his extreme talent level. Still, he’s the most explosive athlete, acrobatic finisher, and shifty wing forward to come down the pike in awhile. He can equally become a consistent scoring threat and tremendous defender, as he has the skill-set and gifts for both.
His decision to play for the Jayhawks will be college basketball’s gain, for a season, before he earns the compensation that his talent is worth in the NBA. It takes more than one player to win the Big 12 and make waves in college hoops, but adding Wiggins to an already terrific class should allow a young Kansas squad to be a significant threat
Wiggins did his recruitment his way, and is not yet comfortable in the major limelight that his talent has generated. In that sense, the minor basketball improvements he needs to make at Kansas will be secondary to maturation and acceptance of the attention he will generate.
Still, he’s on the path at present to being a longtime pro, just as the promise of the offspring of an NBA player father and Olympic track and field participant mother would imply.