Don't go printing the "Welcome Andrew" banners just yet, Kentucky fans.
College basketball fans were surprised to hear Andrew Wiggins had canceled his visits with North Carolina, Kansas and Florida State (h/t Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports):
While the Wildcats look to be at a major advantage, Wiggins' high school coach is under the belief that the star forward is simply fatigued (h/t Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com):
“It means nothing,” Rob Fulford told CBSSports.com Monday morning. “He's just tired. He doesn't want to deal with it.”
Wiggins played for the World Team at the Nike Hoop Summit this past weekend, and is still stuck in Portland after his flight home was canceled.
“He's just drained,” Fulford said. “He is shutting it down.”
Let's not forget that Wiggins is still a teenager having to juggle all of this recruiting madness with his regular life. It's a lot to take in such a short amount of time, so it's reasonable Wiggins would want a break.
Why shouldn't Fulford be taken at face value?
This isn't a pro sport where free agents play games with potential suitors.
This is college basketball. Make whatever jokes you want about illegal payments, it's not as if Wiggins can play one school off another in order to get a sweeter financial package, at least hypothetically.
Many fans and experts are jumping the gun by treating the news to mean without a shadow of a doubt Wiggins has chosen Kentucky, and it's only a matter of time before it becomes official. Granted, the cancellations do inevitably send a message to everyone but Kentucky, it's not as if Wiggins has never met Roy Williams, Bill Self or Leonard Hamilton before.
Plus, he's already had on-campus visits with all of the schools. Wiggins has been told everything he'll need to hear from Williams, Self and Hamilton. There's no need for them to continue reiterating the same talking points over and over again.
What is there new to be learned by having the three schools all visit you in person? It's a personal touch, but one Wiggins feels is now unnecessary. Really, you'd have to agree with him.
Kansas and North Carolina's reputations speak for themselves, and Florida State is the alma mater of both Wiggins' mother and father. Wiggins won't need each head coach to visit him personally and tell him how good he is and how he'll be the star of their team. Everybody is already plainly aware of the situation.
As great a recruiter as John Calipari has been, this one's not in the bag for him by any stretch, as the Wildcats aren't without their negatives. There's still only ball to go around. It's possible to have too many stars on one team. Joining an already loaded recruiting class might not be the best move for Wiggins. He'll be aware of the potential logjam that could be created by choosing Kentucky.
Wiggins has a difficult choice ahead of him. It's one that he's labored over for months, and it's also one that wouldn't have been swayed during an in-house visit.