UNC Basketball Recruiting: The 5 Biggest Selling Points for Andrew Wiggins
The biggest question left about the 2013 recruiting season is which team will be lucky enough to land top-ranked prospect Andrew Wiggins. The son of former NBA guard Mitchell Wiggins is a 6’7” swingman with limitless potential, and he’s in the process of visiting the four schools left on his list.
Although Florida State (his dad’s alma mater), Kentucky and Kansas are all in the running, there’s an excellent chance Wiggins will end up a North Carolina Tar Heel. One of Chapel Hill’s biggest draws for the sweet-shooting recruit will be the perennially up-tempo offense that keeps UNC near the top of the scoring charts every season.
Read on for more on what Roy Williams’ program has to offer that should make Wiggins take a long look at playing his college career in Tar Heel blue.
5. Running Mates
While Andrew Wiggins is a multifaceted player, his primary role on any team is going to be as a No. 1 scoring option.
There’s no better complement to an outstanding scorer than a talented point guard, and North Carolina has that category sewn up for the foreseeable future.
Current freshman Marcus Paige has faced his share of growing pains, but he’s also dished out a solid 4.5 assists per game—and next season, he’ll have a year of ACC experience under his belt.
On top of Paige’s presence, UNC has highly regarded point guard commits lined up in each of the next two recruiting classes: 2013 freshman Nate Britt and 2014 prospect Joel Berry.
4. The Futures Market
With a high-powered program such as North Carolina, the current roster is only part of the story of the team Andrew Wiggins would be joining. The rest of the Tar Heel recruiting picture is a very promising one.
Wiggins’ putative classmates include two impressive big men, Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks, who would help hold down the paint while Wiggins put on his show from the perimeter.
Then there’s the newest future Tar Heel (committed on Monday), 2014 forward Justin Jackson, who might give Wiggins one reason to stick around for a second collegiate season.
3. The NBA Whisperer
Whether he stays on campus one year or longer, Andrew Wiggins will eventually follow his father’s path to the NBA. When it comes to preparing for that jump, the younger Wiggins could have few better mentors than Roy Williams.
Between his years at Kansas and North Carolina, Williams has coached NBA players by the bushel, a group that notably includes another high-scoring small forward with eye-popping athleticism: Paul Pierce.
Even if he only has a year under Williams’ tutelage, Wiggins will come away ready for what the pro game will throw at him—or, at a minimum, readier than he would be with most other coaches in the country.
2. Speed Kills
Year in and year out, North Carolina is a safe bet to rank among the top offenses in all of college hoops. A big reason for that edge is the emphasis placed on the fast break by coach Roy Williams.
The high-speed offense Williams favors provides a prime stage for a versatile scorer such as Andrew Wiggins to show what he can do.
Whether it’s finishing at the rim with a highlight-reel dunk or stroking a three-pointer off the secondary break, Wiggins will get his best chance to shine in the Tar Heel attack.
1. A Star Is Born
Clearly, a recruit at Andrew Wiggins’ level is going to be the center of attention on any team. However, Wiggins has a rare opportunity to be The Man at a program that usually relies on a many-headed monster.
One of the reasons for North Carolina’s history of success is that so many great Tar Heel teams have relied on a collection of NBA-bound stars in the same lineup—just look at the four first-round picks who started for last season’s squad.
Wiggins would be arriving after a down year in Chapel Hill, and the team will almost certainly be without a natural leader (assuming James Michael McAdoo is NBA-bound himself).
Given all that, the freshman would get a chance to be a hero and bring the ACC title back to Chapel Hill all but single-handedly.
That’s a tough storyline to pass up, especially in the event that Wiggins is planning a one-year stay in college before moving on to the pros.