Wiggins brings his best game to Marshall County

 Posted by at 3:25 AM on December 1, 2012
Dec 012012

Andrew Wiggins was all alone and streaking toward the basket.

The capacity crowd of more than 5,000 fans at Marshall County High School gasped in anticipation. Those in attendance — most of them UK fans — had already seen Wiggins — UK’s No. 1 recruiting target — put on a show Friday night, dazzling with dunks from every angle.

So with just a couple of minutes left in the fourth quarter, they surely thought they were about to see the final highlight in a night full of them.

Instead, Wiggins slowed down, jogged toward the rim, and softly put the ball in the basket.

And the UK faithful groaned.

“I was just tired,” he said with a laugh. “Two points is two points.”

He had earned the right to take a little break.

Wiggins finished with 29 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and five blocks in Huntington Prep’s 76-59 victory over Memphis East at the Marshall County Hoop Fest on Friday night.

Fourteen of those points came on seven dunks, which prompted alternating chants of “Go Big Blue!”, “UK!”, and “We Want Wiggins!” from the partisan crowd.

“It’s always a pleasure to see fans chanting my name or chanting where I should go to school,” Wiggins said. “They’re showing me love and support.”

For all of his fireworks on the offensive end of the court, it was actually Wiggins’ defense that stood out the most Friday night.

Memphis East forward Nick King, a five-star recruit who will play next year for the Memphis Tigers, was on fire to start the game. He made three three-pointers in the first quarter and was wearing a smile the entire time.

Wiggins had seen enough.

“Once he hit a couple of shots, Andrew looked at me and said ‘My turn,'” Huntington Prep Coach Rob Fulford said. “Nick didn’t do anything else the rest of the game.”

Indeed, King struggled the rest of the way. And that smile had faded to a perpetual frown by the end of his night. Wiggins blocked three of King’s three-point attempts. On one of those, he collected the ensuing loose ball and went the other way for a head-above-the-rim slam dunk.

At that point all King, or anybody else, could do was watch.

“After Nick started going off — I think of myself as the best defender on the team, so I wanted to take the challenge and defend him,” Wiggins said.

The No. 1-ranked recruit in the country, Wiggins is also No. 1 on John Calipari’s wish list.

The Toronto native mentioned UK, Florida State, North Carolina and Kansas as the four schools he’s interested in, but most think his recruitment will come down to the Cats and the Seminoles.

Wiggins will take an official visit — his first — to Florida State next week. The ‘Noles host Florida on Wednesday.

Fulford said Wiggins’ father set up the visit. Both of the star recruit’s parents were athletes at Florida State, and Andrew said “it would be a joy” to follow in their footsteps.

But Fulford said the parents will let their son make his own choice.

“They’re not going to pressure him,” he said. “They’re going to allow Andrew to make his decision. I think they just have to check off on it.”

“They don’t care where I go,” Wiggins said. “They just told me to go where I’m happy.”

Among those in the crowd Friday were UK signees Andrew and Aaron Harrison. The twins, who played later in the night, were watching Wiggins in person for the first time.

They weren’t disappointed.

“He’s probably one of the most athletic people I’ve ever seen in my life,” Aaron said.

“Andrew would be great to come to Kentucky,” Andrew added. “I would be very happy about that.”


  2 Responses to “Wiggins brings his best game to Marshall County”

  1. Could you just imagine what a year it would be if UK ended up with two Aarons AND two Andrews (Aaron Harrison and Aaron Gordon) and (Andrew Harrison and Andrew Wiggins)? OMG! That’s about all I can say about that!

  2. We have to have Wiggins. He is the best high school player in years. UK could be scary next year with Wiggins. If either Gordon or Randle comes to UK it would be the best team ever. I figure Stein, Wiltjer, Noel and Harrow will return for UK. That means we could put two teams on the floor that is better than 80% of college teams. Wiltjer leaves me crazy. He can not jump or guard his man at all. It seems they see Wiltjer and just go to the rim without fear, and he nis not shooting with accuracy.

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