Deciphering Andrew Wiggins’ interviews and figuring out which college he chooses has become as challenging as defending him.
The nation’s top recruit in the class of 2013 — and a player often compared to LeBron James — can make his decision official on Wednesday, the first day of college basketball’s signing period. Or he could wait.
Wiggins appears to have narrowed his choices to Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and Florida State. He has made official visits to all four schools.
But Wiggins hasn’t given away any details about his preferences. There is even a chance that he could choose Wichita State, a Final Four team that also features his brother, Nick. And there could be another option that is a complete unknown.
Wiggins is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. He could make any program a viable national title contender just by signing on the dotted line Wednesday.
But college basketball analysts are stumped as to Wiggins’ intentions. And Wiggins has even taken to his Twitter feed to tell fans and media not to speculate.
“Lol if you ain’t my family you know nothing about my recruitment,” Wiggins tweeted on Saturday. “Lol stop with the rumors.”
Since there is no telling where Wiggins is going, it’s only fitting that there is also no indication as to when, where or how he might announce. With all apologies to Wiggins, he may want to get all this hoopla over with on Wednesday — but he also could wait until later in the signing period.
Whoever wins the Wiggins Sweepstakes will land a player that makes them instantly one of the top teams in the nation. LeBron James didn’t need to go to college when he graduated from high school a decade ago and went straight to the NBA. But now the rules are different and Wiggins must attend college for at least a year before entering the NBA draft.
Wiggins will bring a college program plenty of excitement. At 6-foot-8 and 205 pounds he is athletic, can score points in bunches and is an adept passer. There are plenty of YouTube videos that showcase his 44-inch vertical and jaw-dropping dunks, but he also has a nice mid-range jumper and can knock down 3-pointers.
All of the nation’s top basketball recruits have made a verbal commitment with the exception of Wiggins. He can choose a basketball powerhouse like Kentucky, Kansas or North Carolina. But his family’s connections to Florida State have a football-focused fan base hoping that he will choose Tallahassee.
Wiggins’ father, Mitchell, played at Florida State in the 1980s, played six seasons in the NBA and a dozen more overseas. His mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins, was a Florida State sprinter and won a pair of silver medals in the 1984 Olympics.
When the Wiggins family visited Tallahassee for an official visit in December for a game against Florida, the school rolled out the red-carpet treatment. Unable to mention Andrew by name on the scoreboard due to NCAA rules, Florida State instead pieced together a halftime video montage of his parents’ college achievements.
Co-eds lined up with T-shirts that spelled out “We Want Wiggins” and fans chanted the same during the 25-point loss to the Gators.
And Wiggins was also shown some of the Tallahassee nightlife by a few co-eds, who in turn tweeted out photos of their night on the town.
It made for good chatter on the Internet, but then the buzz died down again.
But the buzz could return Wednesday as Wiggins will have the college basketball landscape breathless with anticipation. And while March Madness is behind us, at least one college basketball coach will be doing a Big Dance if he signs Wiggins.