Minnesota prep star Rashad Vaughn had to be watching as the Andrew Wiggins saga unfolded. He knows his time under the microscope is coming.
Wiggins, the top basketball recruit in the 2013 class, finally made his choice of college known on Tuesday, May 14. The ultra-talented swingman will play at least one season with the Kansas Jayhawks, per Jim Halley of USA Today.
ESPN's tweet below has to capture the sentiments of most in Lawrence, Kan.:
That loud roar you just heard is from Lawrence, Kansas. #1 recruit Andrew Wiggins has chosen to play for Bill Self and the Jayhawks.2013-5-14 16:15:30
By not choosing the Kentucky Wildcats, Wiggins took a huge step away from receiving LeBron James-like hate from the masses.
Had he chosen the Wildcats, he could have easily fallen into the category of the "perfect" superstar, on the nearly "perfect" team, that many fans hate for being so perfect.
The Wildcats already have six of the top-10 rated players in the country headed to Lexington. Critics would have taken shots at Wiggins for jumping on board for the ride. Even though it is unfair, it comes with the territory.
While the dynamics of Vaughn's decision may be different, he will still face criticism and unsolicited advice from the masses during his deliberation.
This is just the way things are during the recruitment of prep stars. Because of the revenue college programs generate from athletics, the coaches and assistants will chase. Thanks to social media, everyone who is interested will be privy to a detailed play-by-play.
Who is ready for the next episode of Where Will He Attend?
He's Got Next
Per 247Sports' composite rankings, Vaughn is the No. 8 prospect in the nation and currently uncommitted. The 6'5" shooting guard from Robbinsdale Cooper High School (Minneapolis, Minn.) is considering many of the usual suspects: North Carolina, Kansas, Louisville, Kentucky and one long shot, Iowa State.
After the Tar Heels missed out on Wiggins, Rond Burgundy has already shifted his attention to Vaughn:
[Richard]Pitino has made Vaughn a priority at Minnesota and attended every one of his games with assistant Kimani Young after Vaughn recently visited the campus and met the new staff.
Even though Pitino is pursuing Vaughn, it is acknowledged by both 247Sports and Borzello that the Tar Heels seem to have an edge in the pursuit of the coveted recruit.
What's All the Fuss About?
Vaughn is a pure scorer.
At 6'5", 190 pounds, he already has the requisite size to play the 2-guard in the NBA. He has great range on his jump shot, a quick first step, leaping ability and the handle to beat his man off the dribble.
Beyond that, what makes the No. 8 player in the nation's decision so polarizing? After all, he isn't currently considered the best—committed or non-committed—in his class.
Vaughn's case grabs attention because choosing a college for 2014 will be preceded by choosing a high school for 2013.
Per Borzello, Vaughn is currently deciding between Huntington Prep (W.Va.), Findlay Prep (Nev.), Oak Hill Academy (Va.) and Brewster Academy (N.H.), and returning to his 2013 school, Robbinsdale Cooper (Minn.) is not out of the question.
The level of competition is said to be the only factor in his decision.
Don't Hate, Appreciate
It is clear this young man has his eyes on the prize. He's preparing himself for his professional future, which would seemingly culminate in the NBA. There is no shame in this career path, though some may frown upon it and the spotlight it creates.
We want our children to know what they want in life and to go after it. The first line of Vaughn's Twitter profile description reads, "#DREAM CHASING" and he's doing just that.
With that chase comes tons of attention and with that attention comes scrutiny. Wiggins found that out first hand during his long process of choosing a school. Overall, he handled it well and he likely infuriated the smallest amount of people by choosing Kansas.
He stayed humble, respectful and did his talking with his play.
In the end, he wouldn't have been wrong to join the superstar recruiting class headed to Lexington. His only responsibility is to do what's best for him and his family at this point.
Vaughn is facing the same situation and he'd be wise to follow the same blueprint. Here's to hoping he handles his decision as well as Wiggins.