Andrew Wiggins could legitimately play at any school in the country next season. Surprisingly, the best option for the top basketball recruit would be Florida State.
The No. 1 recruit on 247 Sports' composite rankings has narrowed his choices down to Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina. This is obviously stiff competition for the Seminoles and coach Leonard Hamilton.
With the other finalists, Wiggins could be a part of a great tradition of college basketball. Those three schools have combined for 16 national championships, including three of the last five. However, he can start a new tradition at Florida State and be one of the best players ever to wear the uniform.
Where will Andrew Wiggins play?
Additionally, playing ball in Tallahassee would actually maximize his incredible potential as a player. Here is what makes the Seminoles the best option for the Canadian player.
Note: All photos courtesy of 247 Sports.
Big Man on Campus
As the top recruit in the country and recent recipient of the Naismith High School Player of the Year award, Wiggins will not exactly blend in with any team.
However, he would still have to share the spotlight and the ball with any of his finalists besides Florida State.
Kentucky has a national championship-type roster incoming with the freshman class alone (via 247 Sports). With Andrew and Aaron Harrison, James Young, Dakari Johnson and Marcus Lee, there will be a lot of players expecting a lot of playing time and focus on offense.
Kansas and North Carolina will bring in less competition in the 2013 class, but both Roy Williams and Bill Self often give more opportunities to veteran players over freshmen.
Each roster is already loaded with talent that will likely still be there next season.
Conversely, Florida State will be looking for someone to take over with Michael Snaer graduating. There will be talent around him with Okaro White, Devon Bookert and others, but none of them will get in his way offensively.
On the Seminoles, Wiggins will have the freedom to take over games like he is used to doing, and he will get plenty of opportunity to play through mistakes as he improves during the year.
This season has been an overall disappointment for Florida State, but few coaches in the nation teach better defense than Leonard Hamilton.
According to KenPom, the Seminoles have been in the top 15 in defensive efficiency in each of the past four seasons before this one. The team ranked No. 1 in this category in both 2010 and 2011.
In order to succeed in the NBA, Wiggins will need to become a better on-ball defender. The league is full of men who can put up points, but the best are able to be two-way players.
Hamilton has gotten players to the next level based on defensive prowess alone, like Chris Singleton and Toney Douglas. Wiggins has a lot more talent than either player, but he could learn a lot from their journey.
While the other schools have proven to have good defenses over the years, much of that was due to the overall athleticism of the roster. None have been able to do more with less than Hamilton.
A lot of highly ranked prospects struggle at the collegiate level due to a lack of comfort in the new situation.
Sometimes, this is due to friction with the coach, being homesick or simply not liking the living area. It then leads to a poor mood and eventually poor performance on the court.
With Florida State, Wiggins will have a lot more familiarity than any other school.
Not only did his father play for the team, but his current teammate and friend Xavier Rathan-Mayes already signed his letter of intent to play for the Seminoles.
This will make the transition easier as he begins a new chapter of his life. It will also give him some familiarity on the court as Rathan-Mayes is also an elite recruit. The two are certain to get plenty of playing time early as they look to continue to play well together.
None of the other options provide this type of comfort, which puts Florida State ahead of the pack over the Blue Bloods.