UNC Basketball Recruiting: Andrew Wiggins Is the X-Factor for 2014 Class

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IApril 3, 2013

h/t OregonLive.com
h/t OregonLive.com

North Carolina's 2014 recruiting class won't be a big hit unless the Tar Heels land Andrew Wiggins.

Wiggins is the No. 1 recruit in the nation, according to ESPN.com, which gives him a rating of 97 out of 100. 

In his senior season at Huntington Prep, the star small forward averaged 23.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 2.5 assists. 

At this time, he has yet to decide where he'll play in 2014, and according to ESPN.com he has received offers from four schools: North Carolina, Florida State, Kansas and Kentucky. 

Kentucky has assembled what Dave Telep of ESPN.com's RecruitingNation says is, "already the best recruiting class ever on paper, so anything else would be just gravy."

Adding Wiggins would give the Wildcats a recruiting class for the ages, and it would also be a big blow to UNC's program for next season. Unfortunately, Wiggins seems to be intrigued by playing for John Calipari's club, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog.com. Wiggins told Zagoria:

It would be the best college team ever. We got five, top six players going to one school, so the impact on college basketball would be crazy. If I went to that team we’d win it all, for sure, because there’s nothing anyone can do with me, Julius [Randle], the Harrison twins, Marcus Lee, Dakari [Johnson] and James Young. That’s something special.

Roy Williams would love to steal Wiggins away from Calipari, and he needs to do so to avoid another frustrating loss in his recruiting efforts this year. 5-star power forward Noah Vonleh and 4-star small forward Troy Williams both chose Tom Crean and the Indiana Hoosiers over UNC this year.

To this point in the proceedings, Williams has landed just one 5-star recruit (power forward Isaiah Hicks) and two 4-star recruits (center Kennedy Meeks and point guard Nate Britt). 

North Carolina currently owns ESPN.com's No. 12-ranked recruiting class, with the distinction that it is trending down. Evaluating this class thus far, Telep writes:

As it typically does, North Carolina took its cuts for the cream of the crop. Uncharacteristically, it has missed a few this time around. However, the Heels had a long list of candidates. They're involved with the No. 1 player in the country, Andrew Wiggins. He'd be the biggest star to sign on since Harrison Barnes.


Should Williams somehow find a way to lure Wiggins to North Carolina next season, the Tar Heels would feature one of the top frontcourts in the nation.

Should Wiggins decide to take his voluminous talents elsewhere, this year's recruiting class would not measure up to what many of the other major programs around the country will haul in. 

Wiggins is the key, and Williams must find a way to convince him that North Carolina gives him the best chance to showcase his talents in 2014.


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