Breaking Down the Ideal College Destination for Future NBA Phenom Andrew Wiggins
There are high-profile recruits, and then there's Andrew Wiggins.
He isn't your typical consensus No. 1 overall recruit. He is a guy that you can already Sharpie into the 2016 NBA All-Star Game. He is also a guy who can come in and change the culture of a franchise from the very moment that he slips on his first NBA jersey.
So what's the ideal college destination for a kid like this?
Typically, the ideal situation is in the eye of the beholder. But taking all things into account—legacy, rosters, developmental purposes, entertainment value, building individual brand—there has to be one option that stands out above the rest.
As a Class of 2013 recruit, it appears that Wiggins has narrowed down his potential options after cutting Syracuse and Ohio State from his list.
Not set in stone but tentative official dates for Andrew Wiggins are UKFeb. 27, Kansas March 4 and UNC March 9. He's already been to FSU.— Steve Jones (@SteveJones_CJ) February 12, 2013
Let's go over Wiggins options, and decide which of them suits the 5-star phenom the best.
Kentucky is an enticing option for any top recruit. It's an invitation directly in the spotlight. The thing is, that spotlight will be following Wiggins whether he ends up at Kentucky for basketball or Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch.
Wiggins doesn't need Kentucky, and Kentucky doesn't need Wiggins, especially not in 2014, when they already boast arguably the most potent recruiting class in the history of the process. With Andrew and Aaron Harrison, James Young, Daraki Johnson and Marcus Lee, Kentucky is loaded with big names and big games.
The wealth needs to be spread out across the college basketball landscape, and there will just be too many teammates who need the ball at Kentucky next year, which would not allow for Wiggins to showcase his rare talents.
Of course, with Wiggins, Kentucky would likely be a national title favorite. But to see Wiggins go up against the favorites and illustrate his takeover abilities would be the ultimate storyline and brand-building formula.
Kansas should be an attractive option, as it usually is for any top recruit. However, there aren't enough power programs on a Big 12 schedule. If Wiggins is going to play at a basketball school, he might as well do it in a basketball conference.
Wiggins versus Kansas State or Baylor or Texas would be interesting, but it wouldn't generate the electricity of the potential showdowns that would take place in a loaded ACC.
There's just something here that doesn't feel right.
North Carolina Tar Heels
It would be hard to get on Wiggins if he chose to play at North Carolina. Whether he likes it not, he's been given a rival by the basketball Gods in Jabari Parker, who will be suiting up for Duke next season. A Duke-North Carolina/Wiggins-Parker rivalry would be epic, and it would be one that would surely carry into the NBA for years to come.
Wiggins would also likely be surrounded by shooters who can spread the floor. Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston are both dynamite long-range threats who can provide floor balance for an isolation scorer like Wiggins. Having a pass-first point guard in Marcus Paige is also an attractive perk.
It's hard to come up with a reason why Wiggins shouldn't go to North Carolina, unless there's just a better and even cooler option out there.
Florida State Seminoles
While it seems unusual that Florida State would be lumped in with powerhouses like Kentucky, UNC and Kansas, there's history here.
Both of Wiggins' parents attended FSU, with his father being a former member of the program's basketball team.
Wiggins' high school teammate, consensus top-50 recruit Xavier Rathan-Mayes, will also be attending FSU in the fall.
Where should Andrew Wiggins play college basketball?
So far we've got a little tradition and some possible chemistry working in Florida State's favor.
This move would be bold, and extremely admirable. Passing on the likes of Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas to go play for your parents alma mater against the power schools in the country would be the ultimate superhero story.
Why join em' when you can beat em', right?
At Florida State, Wiggins would have the offensive freedom that he wouldn't get anywhere else. Remember when Kevin Durant averaged nearly 26 points per game in his one year at Texas? That's exactly what I'm talking about.
This kid is going to be an absolute superstar whether he attends Kentucky, Florida State or community college. But between the legacy, the underdog theme and the opportunity to be a part of the brand new ACC, Florida State is the ideal destination for Andrew Wiggins, the fans and the sport itself.
Something tells me that he'll be going head-to-head with Jabari Parker in the ACC next season, just not while wearing Tar Heel blue.
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