Kentucky Basketball: Evaluating the Hype Around 'Cats' Target Andrew Wiggins

Nick NafpliotisCorrespondent IApril 14, 2013

April 3, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA;  McDonald's All American forward Andrew Wiggins (22) poses for portraits before the 36th McDonalds All American Games to be played at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

With the national signing period for high school basketball players opening this Wednesday, there is still no clear indication about where superstar prospect Andrew Wiggins will end up.

Even without Wiggins, Kentucky already has what could be considered a transcendent 2013 recruiting class. The recent commitment of Dominique Hawkins made it even more of a reality that UK will have by far the best incoming class of freshman in the country this fall.

I've already detailed why not landing Wiggins won't hurt Kentucky's title chances next season, but the entire Big Blue Nation (myself included) seems to still be waiting with baited breath over the possibility of him becoming a Wildcat next season.

So why does a school (and its fanbase) that already has six McDonald's All-Americans in a recruiting class that may very well be the best in its history hang on every word or perceived indicator from one more high school prospect?

This may be old news to some of you, but for those who have been asking "Why does everyone care so much if we get Wiggins or not?" (and yes, there have been a decent amount of you asking that), here's why.

Andrew Wiggins is quite possibly one of the most complete basketball players at this age level that you will ever see.

His size, quickness, ball-handling ability and perimeter shooting allow him to play shooting guard and both forward positions. He also has an uncanny ability to create his own shot out of what seems like mundane or even impossible situations.

If you don't believe me, take a look at his hoops mix tape here (and be sure to have a moment of silence for the poor kid at 0:50, who had no business trying to guard him). While all the fancy dunks are fun to watch, what should really stand out to you is how fluid and easy he makes everything look.

ESPN recruiting also gives us another great video that shows just how outstanding Wiggins' floor vision is. When combined with his incredible quickness, it makes his defenders almost look like they are standing still as he slashes toward the basket.

I do realize, however, that almost everything I'm pointing out about Wiggins sounds like the usual round of cliche upside accolades spoken about almost any top-level high school prospect.

The difference here is that Wiggins is already an NBA-caliber athlete; he could easily play in the league today and make an impact.

Whatever program gets him for the 2013-14 season will have a difference-maker on its squad that could and should help propel them to the Final Four.


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