Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1-ranked high schooler in the country, is currently on his official visit to Florida State. It’s Wiggins’ first official visit, and he’s expected to make trips to Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas before deciding on a school.
Kentucky and Florida State are considered the co-favorites.
The Huntington Prep star played two games over the weekend at the Marshall County Hoop Fest, which was attended by thousands of UK fans. John Calipari caught some flak for not making the trip to Benton, Ky., to see Wiggins play Friday or Saturday. UK was defeated by Baylor at Rupp Arena on Saturday afternoon. Former Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall was in Benton on Friday, and former UK player Derek Anderson was there Saturday.
Calipari and assistants Orlando Antigua and Kenny Payne had seen Wiggins play at Scott County High School a couple of weeks earlier.
Here’s everything Wiggins and his coach, Rob Fulford, had to say about the Florida State visit, the UK fans and anything else related to his recruitment:
What about the recruiting process? How’s that going?
It’s still the same as it was a couple of weeks ago.
Are you making a visit to Florida State?
Is that next weekend?
I’m not sure. I know it’s early December.
Is that an official visit?
I don’t know. You’ll have to ask my dad.
What about the atmosphere out there tonight?
It was crazy. It was probably the most people I played in front of since the Hoop Summit. It was a big crowd. They loved us. Enjoyed our team. And we entertained them — the way the game should be played.
Did you pay attention to them at the very end of the game, when they were chanting “UK” and “Go Cats”?
It’s always a pleasure to see fans chanting my name or chanting where I should go to school. They’re showing me love and support.
When’s the last time you heard from Calipari or any of his staff?
A couple days ago.
What did they say to you?
Are they planning on coming down here and see you?
I’m not too sure. We didn’t discuss that.
How ready are you for this process to be over with?
I’m ready. Everyone always asks where I’m going and everything. So it will be a joy when it’s over.
What’s your take on Florida State? What do you like about those guys in general?
Florida State, again, the legacy. Everything that happened there with my parents. It would be a joy to go there. Great weather, great people, great education, great coaching staff, good facilities. They make players better. They don’t always get the best player in the nation, or Top 5, or Top 10. But they develop players, four-year players, to be ready for the NBA.
What’s their pitch been to you?
Just telling me that I already have a legacy there with my parents.
What about some of these other schools (like North Carolina)?
UNC, it was similar to Kentucky. They say they want me, they can do big things with me and, again, that’s a big-time school. Legends were made there, like Jordan.
Have you thought about maybe taking a visit there?
Yeah. But not yet. In spring, when it gets a little bit warmer.
Will Florida State be your only visit while the season’s going on?
I have no clue.
So, your parents are going with you on that trip to Tallahassee?
What about with Kansas?
Kansas — they stay talking to me and everything. Again, that school is just historic. A lot of history in basketball.
Seems like a lot of people think it’s Kentucky, Florida State and then the rest. What’s your take on that?
That’s people’s opinion. People just want to get their two cents in. But I don’t really pay a lot of attention to it.
Are your parents drawn to the idea of you playing at (Florida State)?
They don’t care where I go. They just tell me to go where I’m happy. Go where it ‘d be a good school for me. No one else.
What did you think about the atmosphere here tonight?
Oh, the atmosphere was great. … Obviously, playing in Kentucky, there was a ton of Kentucky fans. And that’s good to see.
He’s got a visit set up to (Florida State), is that right?
He’s going to Florida State on Tuesday morning. His parents are going to go down for the Florida game. … He’s going to go and get that one over with and then we’ll try to plug some in as he can. But he’s already said that he wants to visit Florida State, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina. Those are the ones he wants to visit. Timeframe — we don’t know. Obviously we just don’t have a ton of weekends available for visits. I know he’s going to take this one because his parents could come, but he’s said he wants to take at least those four.
Was that a change of plans, that he went on and is doing one here in December?
I think his dad basically set it up. And Andrew just kind of went along with it.
Do you get a sense that his parents would like him to go to Florida State?
They both were students there, athletes there. They’re not going to pressure him. They’re going to allow Andrew to make his decision. I think they just need to check off on it, which is how we got him (at Huntington Prep). We developed a relationship with his parents, and when the decision time was around the corner, Andrew knew he wanted to come here. But he had to have mom and dad’s approval. And that’s how the college choice is going to happen. Andrew will make the decision. They’ll just have to sign off on it.
Is the recruiting process wearing on Andrew?
I don’t know that it’s wearing on him, because he doesn’t communicate, really. He’ll text occasionally back with those guys. And I don’t even know that he even takes phone calls. He’s good about kind of taking what he wants and eliminating the rest. I don’t know that it’s weighing on him. The whole reclassification thing weighed on him more than recruiting. And recruiting is definitely going to pick up, as far as weight, when it comes decision time. And with him taking an official visit now, I think it becomes a little bit more … other schools getting antsy because he’s taking one. But that’s the one his parents have set up, and he’ll go from there.
So that will be an official to Florida State?
Yeah, it’s an official.
How do you see him making that decision? He’s not going to be one of those TV guys, is he?
I know he doesn’t want to do that, right now. He may change that. The one thing for Andrew is he doesn’t like the limelight. He doesn’t like the attention. And we’re not going to push him to do that. He’s going to get enough TV time in his career that he doesn’t need to do a press conference on where he’s going to school if he doesn’t want to.
Have you already had ESPN and place like that ask you about trying to set something like that up?
Yeah. We just don’t know when it’s going to be. I don’t think Andrew will be the guy who holds off. I think, when he knows, everybody will know. … Andrew will make the decision. The parents just have to sign off.