UNC Basketball Recruiting: 5 Reasons Heels Are Desperate to Get Andrew Wiggins
The college basketball recruiting landscape is abuzz about the impending decision for Andrew Wiggins, a sensational Canadian prospect who is considered the best high school player in the world. The 6'7" forward suits up for Huntington Prep (W. Va.) and was just named winner of the 2013 Naismith Trophy, which is given annually to the top high school hoopster in America.
Wiggins averages about 24 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks per contest. He excels in every facet of the game, while flourishing in the spotlight that has surrounded him for years.
It comes as no surprise the nation's premier programs are in hot pursuit of Wiggins. North Carolina is among those jockeying for position in the final race for his services.
The opportunity to play for a storied program and a Hall of Fame coach would look appealing to any high school basketball player. So what do the Tar Heels stand to gain if the team can lure Wiggins to Chapel Hill?
Let's take a look at the impact he could make in Carolina blue.
He Provides Instant Starpower
Wiggins would walk onto campus at UNC and claim the title of Big Man on Campus before he even scored a point. Decades of stars precede any newcomer at North Carolina, but Wiggins has handled himself well in the face of overwhelming scrutiny and a ridiculously publicized recruiting process.
He's a player fueled by the spotlight.
"When the big games come, I show up," Wiggins told SI.com.
He Presents a Matchup Nightmare for Opposing Coaches
Wiggins is viewed as such a special prospect because he is capable of doing damage from anywhere on the court. As he continues to add size with age and a collegiate training regimen, his fundamentals should flourish at the next level.
He is a prototypical wing player who can create off the dribble or make teams pay from outside.
Want to place a power forward on him?
Watch Wiggins bolt by with an explosive jab step and burst toward the rim.
How about matching him with a speedy swingman?
Wiggins is comfortable hitting shots from mid-range and beyond, displaying lethal three-point shooting capabilities. He also has an advanced turnaround jumper that gives him a distinct advantage against undersized defenders.
When you factor in his superb court vision and rebounding tenacity, it's clear this is a complete player who keeps opposing coaches awake deep into the night.
Some maintain Wiggins would be a No. 1 pick in the NBA draft right now.
He Is a Highlight Reel Waiting to Happen
Take a look at the video up top. It's footage of Wiggins throwing down a monster jam during a recent game. Along with many of his high school highlights, the video has gone viral and adds to an expanding mythology of this captivating Canadian talent.
Wiggins is a flashy yet fundamentally sound ball-handler and delivers dime passes. He is supremely gifted in leading a transition charge.
Of course, his finishing skills near the rim are something to behold.
Wiggins closes out his bursts to the basket with violent authority. North Carolina has seen an incredible group of show-stoppers (Michael Jordan and Vince Carter come to mind as all-time aerialists) and Wiggins would add to the legacy.
He's the kind of playmaker that forces you to focus on one person even when you're watching 10 players compete.
Wiggins Would Complement Tar Heels Lineup
Dexter Strickland is the sole senior currently suiting up for UNC. While that might explain some of the Tar Heels' inconsistencies this season, it also means Roy Williams has a young squad to move forward with, which should be appealing to a likely one-and-done player like Wiggins.
Sophomore James Michael McAdoo remains a candidate for early departure to the NBA draft, but if he returns and pairs up with Wiggins, there will be plenty of talk about the potential of a No. 1 preseason ranking when the 2013-14 campaign rolls around.
Wiggins is a heralded defender and would make teammates better on the defensive end. Reggie Bullock, a 6'7" senior-to-be, could combine with the freshman phenom to clamp down on the perimeter and provide help inside.
Class of 2013 recruits Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks should be sending a barrage of texts and tweets to Wiggins. The incoming post players could clean up inside when paired with Wiggins.
It Would Be a One-and-Done Season to Remember
In today's edition of college basketball, heralded high school seniors don't stick around campus very long. If he remains healthy, expect Wiggins to join the growing list of one-and-done freshmen stars (i.e. Anthony Davis, Derrick Rose).
Wherever Wiggins ends up will see an immediate uptick in media attention, even at an NBA player factory like North Carolina. The red light would come on right away and cameras wouldn't turn away until his freshman season ends.
Pairing a prodigious talent with a Hall of Fame coach would also be special.
We never had the chance to see Kobe Bryant share a sideline with Coach K in Durham. Same goes for LeBron James.
Wiggins would compete against fellow celebrity high school baller and Duke commit Jabari Parker twice next winter. Those games could break television ratings records and provide each player with a global stage to state their case as the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
Tar Heels fans can daydream about the potential of a Wiggins-led UNC squad until they're blue in the face. Ultimately, the prodigy's decision will define a memorable recruiting year and the fortunes of one program, even if only for one season.