Top Basketball Prospect Wiggins Might Choose UK, But He’s Already a Superstar…Way Too Early
The college basketball wonks of the world continue to froth at the mouth over where the Number One High School Basketball Prospect Andrew Wiggins will play college ball.
Oh, was I not supposed to capitalize "number one high school basketball prospect?" Gee, I thought with all the insane hoop-la surrounding this kid, it was the expected thing to do. After all, isn't he the 18-year-old who's repeatedly been the subject of impatient college hoops prognosticators' many blogs and analyses? Hasn't the media already turned this teenager into a full-fledged superstar...even before he gets his final REPORT CARD?!?
Andrew Wiggins has been driving the college sports world crazy because he is the #1 prospect in high school. He will graduate in May and, by all accounts, will play college basketball at Kentucky, Kansas, Florida State, or North Carolina. His wish list doesn't necessarily rank those schools in that order, but they are the four finalists.
Which one will he choose?
Ridiculously early pre-season top 25 polls are hinging on the decision. College basketball writers are rearranging their schedules. Hardcore fans are waiting with bated breath. Tongues are wagging, or should I say Wigg-ing? I know that people are WIGGING out...to an obviously needless degree.
If the kid picks Kansas or North Carolina, they become top five squads. If he picks Kentucky, it won't change the likelihood that the Wildcats will begin every imaginable college poll at number one. With the class they have coming in, they're already there--which means they don't need this kid, if you ask me. (But don't think, for one second, they won't take him.) If Wiggins chooses Florida State, where his folks went to school, they'll suddenly become a top 25 team.
Yes, the facts are that Andrew Wiggins WILL have a major impact wherever he lands. But setting it up as a grand media event and creating a circus already imposes a level of celebrity on this kid that is potentially detrimental to him and whatever team he joins.
He's just 18 years old and has already seemingly been christened the next LeBron James or Michael Jordan. How can that possibly work in a team setting where he'll be surrounded by others still growing emotionally if the media has already "informed" everyone that "he's a superstar."
We're already at a point where every move he makes is put under a microscope; his decision to call off visits to Kansas, North Carolina, and Florida State was met with wild speculation that Kentucky is his choice. (John Calipari IS the only coach of the four who's met with Wiggins, and that was in his home.) But the kid may just be tired. That's what his high school coach says. And why not?
ESPN writer Myron Medcalf asked the question, "Is Andrew Wiggins worth the wait?" I supposed he'd better be, but right now, that hardly seems like the point.