Source: USA TODAY
May has been a big month for decisions for Andrew Wiggins. Last week, it was what type of tux (white, with a peach vest and matching bow tie) to wear for prom.
Tuesday, Wiggins, the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Player of the Year, announced he’ll be wearing the crimson and blue of Kansas on the basketball court next season.
“In a couple of months, I’ll be attending school at the University of Kansas,” Wiggins said before embracing his mother and father. He then signed his letter-of-intent.
Wiggins, a 6-8 forward from Huntington (W.Va.) Prep who averaged 23.4 points and 11.2 rebounds as a senior, avoided as best he could the attention his recruitment drew, giving few clues to his choice. However, by waiting until the next-to-last day of the regular signing period to sign his letter of intent, the media spotlight only grew on the 18-year-old from Toronto and son of former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins and former Canadian track Olympian Marita Payne-Wiggins.
“We looked at all the offenses and the players coming in,” Mitchell Wiggins told the Courier-Journal. “You can’t go wrong with any of those four schools,. He’s been under the microscope for three years. LeBron took him under his wing the last two years. Kevin Durant has given him a lot of advice, Ray Allen has given him a lot of advice, Michael Jordan, a couple of weeks ago, spoke with him. He’s a very humble kid, he works hard and he has a lot of talent. It’s a relief for him because it was overwhelming for him.”
“Its’ almost like the lack of concrete information from him just turned up the rumor mill,” said Rivals.com recruiting analyst Eric Bossi. “There are just too many story lines. He’s the No. 1 player from the country, he’s from Canada, three of his finalists are NCAA blue bloods. It’s like a perfect storm because everybody was waiting for his decision.”
VIDEO: WIGGINS’ HIGHLIGHT REELS
By going to Kansas, Wiggins joins one of the best recruiting classes in the country. He could step in to take over the role left by leading scorer Ben McLemore, who is a likely NBA lottery pick.
“We think he’s as good a prospect as we’ve ever had,” Kansas coach Bill Self said in a statement. “We’re excited about it. He brings some athleticism, length, scoring ability and he’s also an assassin, an alpha dog and you definitely need that when you have a whole bunch of young kids. I think he’s going to be, not a good player, but has a chance to be a great one.”
Wiggins will be playing with two fellow elite recruits in wing Wayne Selden of Tilton (N.H.) School and 7-footer Joel Embiid of The Rock (Gainesville, Fla.).
“The void of McLemore leaving can create a nice presence for Wiggins and he will be surrounded by talent,” said ESPN analyst Paul Biancardi. “It strengthens their chance for another Big 12 title.”
Wiggins isn’t expected to stay in college very long. NBAdraft.net lists him as the top player in its 2014 mock draft.