Andrew Wiggins' Decision Will Have Long-Lasting Effect on College Basketball

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIMay 14, 2013

Apr 3, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; McDonald's All American East forward Andrew Wiggins (22) dribbles the ball against McDonald's All American West forward Jabari Parker (22) during the first half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1 basketball recruit Andrew Wiggins will make his college decision on Tuesday at approximately 12:15 p.m. ET. Wherever the 5-star standout from Huntington Prep (W.Va.) chooses, the ramifications will be felt for an extended period of time in the sport—despite the fact that he will in all likelihood only play one year at the collegiate level.

The four finalists to land Wiggins' sought-after services are Florida State, Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas, per It's a diverse set of programs, and each gives him an opportunity to write a unique—albeit relatively brief—legacy.

Wiggins' parents attended Florida State, and if he committed to the Seminoles, the team's fortunes would be instantly altered. FSU isn't as prominent on the marquee as Wiggins' other three finalists, but that might be just what he's looking for.

Having the opportunity to carry his squad right away would most easily be done in Tallahassee. Plus, FSU has coveted him for so long, and already landed his close friend, Xavier Rathan-Mayes.

While the other three schools should still have little trouble recruiting top-tier talent, the impact that Wiggins would have at Florida State could feasibly allow head coach Leonard Hamilton to get a massive boost to his already stellar reputation and truly put the Seminoles on the map for years to come.

Now, onto Kentucky and North Carolina—winners of two of the past five national titles, yet neither had strong campaigns this past season.

Given the caliber of players each of those prominent coaches rope in on an annual basis, it's not far short of a shock that both didn't live up to expectations.

Once again, the Wildcats are absolutely loaded with top prospects and even several returning players. Wiggins would be icing on the cake, and championship hopes would be high.

However, the rotation would be extremely convoluted. If Wiggins doesn't live up to the hype immediately, his NBA outlook could change for the worse. On the other hand, if he becomes the go-to player in Lexington, Wiggins will take minutes away from the other top-flight players head coach John Calipari brought in.

That would allow Kentucky to retain even more talent even if Wiggins decides to go pro, because some of the other top Wildcats won't have as much of a chance to consistently prove their worth.

Calipari took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to discuss what makes the Wildcats so unique—and it pertains to on-court success as well as the work the players are putting in academically:

Wiggins would presumably fall into the "going pro" category.

For the Tar Heels, the up-tempo style that coach Roy Williams deploys would suit Wiggins well, especially if he played at the 4 position.

UNC is losing traction in recent years with inconsistency. Adding a player like Wiggins would not only form a magnificent core with P.J. Hairston, James Michael McAdoo and point guard Marcus Page, but also revitalize the on-court quality of hoops in Chapel Hill.

The Kansas Jayhawks lost their entire starting five—dynamic freshman scorer Ben McLemore was a clear one-and-done, while the other four were seniors.

Such circumstances dictate that Wiggins will be the primary option from Day 1. With the Jayhawks winning at least a share of the Big 12 crown nine years running, it never seems to matter who Bill Self has at his disposal—it usually results in piling up victories.

The fact that his brother plays close by at Wichita State also doesn't hurt Kansas' cause in landing him, as ESPN's Paul Biancardi points out (subscription required).

Wiggins can't really go wrong with his decision, because he is such an incredible talent. With the athleticism he possesses at 6'8" and the versatility to play outside or inside, he has the skill set to be an immediate impact player.

Whatever the decision winds up being, though, the impact will be felt on the school he chooses—and the three he thwarts—for longer than the lone year he's expected to play in college.