The pride of Huntington Prep High School in West Virginia, Canadian native and 5-star basketball prospect Andrew Wiggins truly has the chance to be one of the sport's premier players for years to come.
247Sports.com and other outlets have Wiggins billed as the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2014 class, which gives him the latitude to choose from the best college programs in the nation. Wiggins really can't make a wrong decision, and if his high school record and physical tools are any indication, he is definitely worthy of the immense hype surrounding him.
At 6'8" and 195 pounds, there leaves much to be desired with respect to the thickness of Wiggins' frame. Other than that, there are few holes to poke in Wiggins' game.
The outstanding athleticism he possesses allows him to get to the rim at will, but that will prove to be slightly more difficult in college. Although he is strong with the ball in traffic at the high school level, top-tier opponents are sure to test his ball-handling skills when he crashes the lane.
Wiggins' length also gives opponents difficulties on the low block, though. He has the ability to spin quickly off of his man and get to the hoop in a hurry, finishing through the harm. A third of Wiggins' scoring happens from the free throw line, as noted by ESPN's Paul Biancardi (subscription required).
As documented by Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated, the praise heaped on Wiggins has been incredible:
Recruiting analyst Tom Konchalski says that Wiggins can be the "Michael Jordan of Canada." Former Canadian national team coach Leo Rautins says that Wiggins has the potential to be an NBA All-Star and, perhaps, someday battle for MVP. Steve Konchalski, Tom's brother and a long-time fixture with the Canadian national team, says that Wiggins can be the best player the country has ever produced.
Thamel also notes that Wiggins has a ridiculous 44-inch vertical leap, which allows him to soar above defenders for thunderous dunks and be an excellent rebounder on both ends of the court. Wiggins' jump truly has to be seen to be believed, and the video should do it at least some justice.
Cabbie Richards @Cabbie
Canada represent! Andrew Wiggins @22wiggins (right) on the May Issue of Slam Magazine, alongside @JabariParker22 http://t.co/d48NJeeZdw2013-3-5 19:43:08
There is a reason that a big-name magazine like that is already labeling the 18-year-old Wiggins as one of basketball's impending superstars. After all, reporter Dylan Murphy went out on that limb last September after Wiggins dominated Julius Randle, who 247Sports.com has ranked as the No. 2 prospect in its composite rankings.
The most exciting aspect about Wiggins is that he is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential. He has showed that he can raise his game against the highest competition, and is already a handful as a defender due to his long arms and incredible lateral quickness.
Versatility on both ends of the floor is what truly makes Wiggins a unique player.
What's also necessary for Wiggins to improve is his jump shot, and that continues to happen both from mid-range and from beyond the arc. As long as his work ethic is strong, there is no telling what heights Wiggins can ascend to.