Andrew Wiggins to Florida State Would Set New Precedent in College Basketball
In the midst of the 2013 NBA Playoffs, all eyes remain on the recruitment of high school superstar Andrew Wiggins. Per 247 Sports, the final four schools on his list are the Kentucky Wildcats, North Carolina Tar Heels, Kansas Jayhawks and Florida State Seminoles.
Should Wiggins commit to Florida State, he'd instantly set a new precedent in college basketball.
According to 247 Sports, Wiggins is the No. 1 overall prospect of the 2013 college basketball recruiting class. While it appears as if the race is wide open, a new development suggests that Wiggins could have his heart set on a school already.
Per Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports, Wiggins has canceled his in-home visits with Florida State, North Carolina and Kansas.
Been told Andrew Wiggins has canceled his home visits with Kansas, UNC and Florida State early this week.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) April 22, 2013
Wiggins will speak with those coaches over the phone.
As Wiggins counts down the days until the deadline for his commitment comes and passes, it's likely that he'll be weighing every option from here on out. He has little to prove to the programs recruiting him and offers much more for them than they will for him.
By attending Florida State, however, he could change the way that future recruits approach this tedious process.
Legacy & Preparation
More times than not, prospects shy away from schools that may be more appealing because there is an opportunity to win elsewhere. With that being said, joining every other top recruit isn't the only way to achieve victory.
Instead, you can set yourself apart and prove that you can lead an NBA franchise—you know, what they're drafting you to do.
This is not to say that prospects are wrong to attend the power schools, as there is clear cut reasoning for those decisions. Making the leap to the next level is what matters most to a strong percentage of recruits, and those schools often offer the best chance of doing so.
With that being said, playing for a school that masks your weaknesses is only effective until scouts begin to break down film.
When a player rises through the ranks of their conference and guides their team to NCAA Tournament success, their stock instantly skyrockets. A prime example of this is Trey Burke of the Michigan Wolverines and James Harden of the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Harden is now a franchise player at the next level after being selected third overall in 2009, while Burke was the national player of the year in 2012.
For Andrew Wiggins, this creates the opportunity to build a legacy beyond being the lock for the first overall draft choice in 2014. Instead, Wiggins can become the leader of a college team and prepare himself for what's ahead.
A multi-year rebuilding process on a team that is likely to be built with inexperienced players and mid-level veterans—not Kentucky superstars or Miami Heat icons.
No School Offers a True Guarantee
This isn't a game mode in an upcoming college basketball video game, but instead an option that recruits seem to have passed over in recent years. While the benefits of attending a school such as the University of Kentucky are limitless, the road to the NBA is not paved through one school.
As much praise as the Kentucky draft class of 2012 may have received, only two of their rookies started more than two games this past season.
The 2010 class produced John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, who are both premier starters on their respective NBA teams. Patrick Patterson is also a quality role player that receives starter's minutes and Eric Bledsoe is every NBA pundit's superstar in the making.
With that being said, Wall and Cousins both received enough hype to warrant more than their fair share of NBA consideration before attending Kentucky.
This is not an attack against the Wildcats, as they've done nothing but recruit in a masterful manner. Instead, it's an acknowledgement of something that no one can truly deny.
If you deserve to be a lottery pick, you'll either play your way into that position or you won't.
If you're a powerful enough recruit to be scouted by Kentucky, then you likely have alternatives of a high profile nature. While Kentucky gives every recruit the opportunity to win a national championship and leave, they're far from the only option.
Keep in mind, head coach John Calipari has won just one national championship in his career. There are four active coaches with more than one.
This beckons one simple question—why have prospects fooled themselves into believing that the only way to win a national championship is with a school that has won one title since 1999?
The New Precedent
There is nothing wrong with attending the University of Kentucky or any other recruiting powerhouse that may emerge. In fact, for players with weaknesses that they are afraid to expose, playing for the Wildcats is the perfect route to take.
If you're a star recruit that wants to prove to a general manager that you can be their franchise player, however, you can prove that at any school you'd like—Andrew Wiggins can prove that.
Wiggins is expected to go first overall, regardless of what school he attends or what happens while he's there. With that being said, Wiggins can send a message to the rest of the recruiting world by attending Florida State.
Rather than giving into the glamour of the powerhouses, attending a less notable school can give you just as powerful to prove yourself—as long as you're truly capable.
The risk is greater elsewhere, but the reward is even more powerful. Regardless of what position you play, scouts want to see whether or not an individual has what it takes to make the players around them better.
How better to do that than to attend the school that your heart truly desires and become a true leader in the college basketball world?
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