According to Eric Prisbell of USA Today, high school senior and top college basketball prospect Andrew Wiggins will forgo the remainder of his high school career and attend college. Where he will play is unclear, but Wiggins will be a member of the college basketball world in 2013-14.
In turn, the 2014 NBA draft has found its superstar.
His father, Mitchell Wiggins, told Prisbell in a telephone interview:
It's time (for him) to show that he is the best in college right now. I think he is ready for the next step. Academically-wise he is doing great. Maturity-wise he is doing great. He has a lot of talent. He is ready for the next step, and everybody knows it is time. It's Andrew's time. Next year is coming soon, and he is ready.
The favorites to land Wiggins are Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State, Kansas and Florida State. Some have projected FSU to be his eventual destination, as both of his parents are former Seminoles (via USA Today).
Regardless of where Wiggins opts to attend, it's safe to say that he will take over the college landscape. Less than a calendar year later, he will emerge as the star of the 2013 NBA draft.
Lonely at the Top
At this point in time, the top prospects for the 2014 NBA draft is Jabari Parker. Although Parker is a future superstar in his own right, that leaves very little competition for Wiggins to compete with.
Consider the playing field level for Wiggins to come in and instantly dominate the game.
In a previous decade, Wiggins may have had trouble making this move. The established and fundamentally sound college stars likely would have overwhelmed him early in the season.
In turn, his statistics would not have reflected how well he'd play in the second half of the season.
Fortunately, the game has changed, and underclassmen are the stars of the NCAA. As a result, fundamentals are absent and athleticism will rule all.
Expect Wiggins to not only fit in, but to prove how far ahead he is of the rest of the pack.
The art of basketball has been lost, as players no longer value and expand upon the fundamentals. Not until they begin to struggle at the NBA level do they go in search of solidifying their skills, as merely being able to run and jump no longer suffices.
A fundamentally sound athlete, however, is leaps and bounds ahead of his peers. Just ask players such as Kevin Durant and Chris Paul how that has worked out for them at both the college and NBA level.
Following in those superstars' footsteps, Wiggins happens to be one of the most fundamentally sound players in the nation.
The Toronto native is an explosive athlete with limitless perimeter skills. His elite ball-handling enables him to penetrate the lane with virtual ease, while the deep range on his jump shot keeps opponents on their toes.
While in the paint, Wiggins can rise up for an awe-inspiring dunk or finish with touch. Not only can he lay it in, but Wiggins has established a solid hook shot and floater that have kept opposing defenses off balance.
The fact that he is sound in spot-up and catch-and-shoot sniping sure doesn't hurt, either.
In this day and age, college players are more inclined to move to the NBA and develop their fundamentals on the fly. If not, they're fundamentally sound players who lack the explosive athleticism necessary to dominate this physically progressing game.
Wiggins just so happens to be the complete package.
One of the few prospects in the current draft class who can claim to be on this level of well-rounded play is Kyle Anderson of the UCLA Bruins. The difference is, Anderson is a pacemaker, while Wiggins possesses world-class athleticism.
Anderson will be a superstar in his own right, though, so keep an eye on him.
As for Wiggins, the best comparison for him is Shabazz Muhammad. The two will be the stars of the next two college basketball seasons, despite emerging as relative opposites in terms of the type of prospect they are.
Although both can dominate the game on both ends of the floor, Muhammad is quite reminiscent of a Brandon Jennings. Positions aside, Muhammad must improve his shot selection and play more of an NBA-ready game.
Wiggins, however, already has the feel of an NBA star. He'll enter the league with more to offer than any rookie since Kevin Durant, thus emerging as the star of whichever franchise is fortunate enough to sign him.
The 2014 NBA Draft will have two future MVPs in Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. Consider this to be selecting either LeBron James or Kevin Durant.
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