Mar 012013
 
Andrew Wiggins has narrowed his choices to Kentucky, Florida State, North Carolina and Kansas. Thomas Slusser/Virginian-Pilot

Andrew Wiggins has narrowed his choices to UK, Florida State, North Carolina and Kansas.
Thomas Slusser/Virginian-Pilot

TEAYS VALLEY, W.Va. — Andrew Wiggins arrived at the Teays Valley Christian gym just in time for Thursday night’s game.

Coming straight from his official visit to Kentucky, Wiggins strolled onto the court for the last few minutes of Huntington Prep’s warmups. He spent as much time on the floor then as he did during the game that followed.

Wiggins was hit in the face less than a minute into the first quarter and ended up scoring six points in about six minutes of action in Huntington Prep’s 121-50 victory over Teays Valley.

The bleachers included fans wearing gear from UK, Florida State, North Carolina and Kansas — those are Wiggins’ four finalists — but the No. 1 player in high school basketball didn’t want to talk about his recruitment after the game.

Wiggins said he would not discuss his college plans until he has completed all of his official visits.

Even then, information will be hard to come by.

“He’s not going to give up much,” Huntington Prep Coach Rob Fulford told the Herald-Leader. “You guys know him well enough.”

Always tight-lipped regarding his recruitment, Wiggins has now gone into full lock-down mode.

The 6-foot-8 forward arrived on UK’s campus Wednesday morning, attended that night’s game against Mississippi State in Rupp Arena, had breakfast with John Calipari the next morning and then watched the Cats practice before heading back to West Virginia.

Wiggins’ parents, both former standout athletes at Florida State, accompanied him on his trip to Lexington. Mitchell and Marita-Payne Wiggins — who were on their son’s official visit to FSU earlier this season — also plan to travel with him to Kansas and North Carolina next week.

There’s a popular narrative in recruiting circles that Wiggins is already sold on Kentucky and that this week’s trip was about selling his parents on the Cats.

Fulford didn’t dismiss the theory.

“That could be. It could be. I don’t know,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it that it could be. The fact that his parents are on his visits is crucial. Had they not gone to any of the other ones, I would have said that Florida State was a lock. Because they wouldn’t have had anything to compare it to. The fact that they are going says a lot about the process and that they had a chance to see different places.”

Also accompanying Wiggins to Lexington was his Huntington Prep host family, who also hosted Louisville star Gorgui Dieng when he played for the Express.

Fulford was in touch with them during Wiggins’ visit and said the early reports were positive.

“His host family had a really good time,” he said. “And they’re used to it. They go to Louisville games all the time. So they weren’t enamored by the star power, because they’re used to it. But they said it was a great family atmosphere, as far as the team goes and the coaching staff.”

Wiggins and Huntington Prep will play a team from Canada at 2 p.m. Saturday at Boyd County Middle School in Ashland. The next day, he’s off to Lawrence for his official visit to Kansas, which plays Texas Tech on Monday night.

Next weekend, Wiggins will take his fourth and final official visit, to North Carolina. The Tar Heels host archrival Duke in their season finale Saturday night.

Then comes decision time.

There’s no timetable for Wiggins to announce his college choice, but ESPN and organizers from the big post-season all-star events are clamoring for the privilege.

“Who knows how he’s even going to announce where he’s going?” Fulford said. “It’ll be interesting. Obviously, McDonald’s wants him to do it there. Jordan wants him to do it there. And I doubt he’s going to do that.”

They, like everybody else, will just have to wait for an answer.

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  11 Responses to “Wiggins mum after his official visit to Kentucky”

  1. He can excel at Kentucky and Kentucky needs and wants him. Perfect match

  2. Every player in the nation out of high school knows UK in Lexington ky is the tryout squad for NBA lottery picks wiggins would be a fool not to come to Kentucky based on coach cals record for preparing and moving these talented Kids to the NBA after thier one and done year.

  3. Watching part of a Florida State home game on ESPN, there were more empty seats than occupied so Wiggins had to compare UK fan support to FS. Kansucks and NC also have good fan support.

  4. KENTUCKY… the place to be if he wants to win a championship before turning pro. If the championship doesn’t matter, then FSU will be his choice. Frankly, I would like to see him choose the UK because I think that team next year could be one for the history books.

  5. Why is it taking him so long to make a simple decision? Could it be that he has a very high opinion of himself and is enjoying this period of time when he can tease the watching world and the BBN. I can understand him being cautious and wanting to make the right decision but I think he needs to communicate what he is thinking about and not be so private. He can at least give us a few hints!

  6. Sure would love to have him at UK but let’s face it, probably too many other high level recruits coming in and returning. He probably wants more responsibilty as a player and at UK, he will be one of many quality players competing for PT and impact. Just hope he goes where he really wants to be so he doesn’t turn into a head case because of the competition. But imagine the possibilities of him headlining next years recruiting class. Woooooowwww. National Champ, locked in! Ya never know… GO CATS!

  7. Dave, this is no “simple” decision. I can’t believe you would be that naive to think that a young man making the decision that will have tremendous impact on his future would be simple to begin with.

    Sheesh…

    I hope he comes to UK, if he wants to.. otherwise I wish him nothing but the best in his future, as long as he doesn’t play against UK, then I just hope he has a below normal game!! *grin*

  8. It really looks like he’ll be going to Florida State to me, his parents went there, a current teammate of his is going there, and he isn’t big on attention. I think it’s just between Kentucky and Florida State at this point, but I get the feeling that he won’t be playing in the bluegrass next season.

  9. I believe the young man is has always been and will always be a winner. He’s that good, so let him have all the time he needs. Bringing his folks along is saying more than people are taking in, its simply showing that the family is involved like it should be. I LOVE Kentucky, and I believe next year will truly be special, with or without him. But I would slobber something awful if I was the last piece of UK’s class next year. I believe he already knows, now it’s time to convince the family!

  10. CC – I think the attention he gets at Florida State will be greater than at KY! At KY he will just be another great player on the way to a national championship, while at Florida State, he will be the star. An off night at KY will be no big deal. The same cannot be said at Florida State.

  11. At UNC he would be able to excel and be a part of a great team that will have some seasoned veterans and also some great recruits coming in. I think great teams have to have some great veteran players. Also, Roy Williams is a great coach, he was loved at Kansas and now he’s loved at UNC. He’s got 2 national championships since he’s been at UNC! He got one in 2005 and then 2009! He can get the next one for 2014 easily with Wiggins in the fam. Plus, we need his star power and he would definitely be the star. He wouldn’t compete for time and would start immediately. He would be yet another legend like Jordan, for UNC! Hope he chooses Carolina! Go heels!

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