Wiggins, Huntington Prep suffer first loss of season

 Posted by at 11:47 PM on January 4, 2013
Jan 042013

Andrew Wiggins and Huntington Prep lost to Prime Prep on Friday in Wheeling, W.Va.
Photo: Matt Goins

There will be no perfect season for Huntington Prep.

Andrew Wiggins and the Express suffered their first loss Friday night, a 59-46 defeat to Prime Prep (Texas) at the Cancer Research Classic in Wheeling, W.Va.

UK target Emmanuel Mudiay led Prime Prep (15-0) with 18 points, six rebounds and three steals. The junior point guard already has a scholarship offer from John Calipari, who watched the game from a courtside seat.

Calipari and UK assistant Orlando Antigua were also there to see Wiggins, who started off slow before finishing with 18 points and nine rebounds. He played the full 32 minutes in Huntington Prep’s first game since Dec. 22.

It was the first time Calipari had seen Wiggins play in person since a game at Scott County High School on Nov. 18. Antigua saw Wiggins last month in Boyd County.

Wiggins declined to speak to reporters after the game. Huntington Prep Coach Rob Fulford said his star player struggled early against Prime Prep’s defense, which took Wiggins completely out of the game.

“He was frustrated because they were in the triangle-and-two and we couldn’t really get him the ball in scoring position,” Fulford said. “But those are things that he’s got to mature at and grow as a basketball player. Those things are going to happen. He can dominate the games in other ways, and he’s got to do that.”

Wiggins didn’t score in the first quarter, but Fulford was more upset with his lack of effort in other aspects — especially rebounding. Wiggins started to come around in the second quarter before taking over the game at times in the second half.

But it wasn’t enough to get Huntington Prep back in it.

“Those are all things that are good for him — to understand that the game’s not always going to be easy,” Fulford said. “You’re going to have some adversity, and you have to overcome it.”

The mood in the Huntington Prep locker room after the game was described as “quiet.” Fulford said the loss could be good for his squad, which will be back on the road Saturday for a game in Virginia.

“You want them to take losses tough,” he said. “No kid ever wants to lose, but it’s going to happen. … Even if Kentucky gets all of them, they’re going to lose a game. That’s just the nature of the beast.”

Speaking of Kentucky, there’s apparently nothing new going on with Wiggins’ recruitment.

The nation’s No. 1 prospect talked to North Carolina Coach Roy Williams earlier this week, and the two tried to work out a date for an official visit. But a visit to Chapel Hill has been in the plans for weeks.

“Nothing’s changed,” Fulford said. “He told me he was going to visit (UNC) a month ago. He’s still planning to visit the ones he said he was going to visit. The only problem is when. We don’t have any open dates until March.”

So far, Wiggins has only been on one official visit — a trip to Florida State in December. He’s made two unofficial visits to Kentucky, and Fulford said he still planned to make an official to Lexington. North Carolina and Kansas are the other two schools in line to get official visits.

Some reports have Wiggins leaning toward Florida State — the school where both of his parents were star athletes — but Fulford said there’s still no leader.

And Wiggins isn’t saying anything.

“That’s not coming from Andrew,” Fulford said. “He still doesn’t talk about it. Anyone that puts anything out right now — that’s pure speculation. Andrew, he doesn’t communicate with anybody. It’s not like he’s told Kentucky or anyone else, ‘I’m leaning toward Florida State.’ He doesn’t communicate like that.”


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