UNC Basketball Recruiting: How Andrew Wiggins' Decision Will Affect Tar Heels
There is no doubt 2013 prospect Andrew Wiggins deserves the No. 1 spot in the rankings. But would that mean instant success for North Carolina if Roy Williams is able to snag the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year?
Not necessarily. It could actually be quite the mess. But I don't imagine Wiggins getting himself into such a predicament.
James Michael McAdoo, Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston will be taking their time with their NBA decisions. The McAdoo family has yet to be heard from, but the mothers of Hairston and Bullock said they aren't close to a decision yet.
They will have to decide soon enough, though, as the NCAA deadline for draft entry is April 16.
Appropriately, the regular signing period for incoming freshmen will be from April 17 to May 15. That means Wiggins won't have to decide until Hairston, McAdoo and Bullock do.
And I'm pretty sure his decision will be based on that.
If he came to North Carolina will all three players in place, he would have a lot of trouble getting playing time, despite being the best player on the floor. Roy Williams wouldn't even put Hairston in for the senior guard, Dexter Strickland—even though the most novice viewer could plainly see Hairston was outplaying him.
No matter how much he doesn't want to admit it, Roy does seem to favor the guys he has started before. And that would be a serious problem for a "guaranteed" one-and-done.
Though Wiggins can play the 2, 3 and 4, he would be much better at the 3 in Roy's system. Unless he decides to go small again, the McAdoo decision won't matter much to Wiggins.
It's really the Bullock and Hairston decisions that could make or break this deal with Carolina. Most likely, one of those guys will have to go before Wiggins would consider coming to Chapel Hill.
Truth be told, UNC would be OK if all of them left—as long as you don't expect a deep run in the NCAA tourney. Wiggins and the returners are good, but there would be a serious experience issue.
However, if Bullock or—especially—Hairston stays, this team would instantly become a title contender in 2014.
Wiggins can do just about anything on the floor. He's a shooting, driving, rebounding, assisting, stealing and blocking extraordinaire. And his dribbles are already far superior to anyone else that suited up in Carolina Blue this season.
His crossover and spin moves are absolutely insane for a prep player—not to mention his ability to effortlessly zig-zag his way through traffic.
Let's not forget those ups, either. The 6'8" small forward gets his forehead above the rim on just about every dunk. And his pregame warm-ups rival anything LeBron James has been doing to pump up the Miami faithful.
Match those skills with an improved P.J. Hairston and Marcus Paige, the 4 and 5 positions could be cardboard stand-ups. OK, maybe that's a little far-fetched, but you get my point.
That would be an extremely dynamic trio, and Roy would have Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks and the sophomore versions of Brice Johnson and Joel James to choose from at the posts. All of which are at least more impressive than cardboard stand-ups.
If Hairston or Bullock stays, and Wiggins doesn't choose North Carolina, the team will still be set to have a stellar 2013-14 campaign. But if none of those three players are in Chapel Hill next season, you can probably expect another season like 2012-13.
And that will include fans calling for Roy's head (once again) and more early NIT predictions. That's the ugly truth I'm hoping we don't encounter.
The Tar Heels need two superstars. Hairston and Wiggins fit that bill. But will they end up playing together?
Wiggins has his choices down to Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and Florida State.
Considering Kentucky's depth, I really don't see him going there. His parents went to FSU, but would he make them a title contender? I don't think so—and he probably doesn't either.
If I were making the decision, it would be between Kansas and North Carolina—pending the NBA decisions of UNC's Triangle Trio. Not only would he get the playing time he wants, he would also be set up for a title—which is something most players care about.
Then again, I'm not Andrew Wiggins. The wait continues...
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