Andrew Wiggins is easily the most heralded high school basketball prospect in a number of years, and experts such as Dick Vitale have even put him in the “Next Lebron” category. As a result, there was no shortage of intrigue in his recruitment, which saw Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, and Florida State battling for the services of the certain one-and-done superstar.
On Tuesday, Wiggins announced he would be taking his talents to the Jayhawks, surprising many who felt that Florida State had the inside track with family connections as well as the presence of his best friend, Xavier Rathan-Mayes.
In Kansas, Wiggins may have found the perfect mixture of a program with strong complimentary parts, the ability to make a deep NCAA Tournament run, and the chance to come in and be the immediate focal point.
While Kentucky is certainly stung by the miss on Wiggins, the Wildcats have already assembled what is widely regarded as one of the best recruiting classes of all time. North Carolina also returns plenty of talent and is bringing in a solid batch of talent, and, while Wiggins would have had the chance to shine, he likely would not have been the sole featured star as he will at Kansas.
Florida State, which is wounded most by the decision, saw dreams of being an impact team next season fade away as the program likely will not have the pieces to make the tournament without Wiggins.
Expectations will be sky high for Wiggins who has been compared to LeBron on the high end and Anthony Davis on the “low end.” In the college basketball environment that propels prospects out of high school into immediate stardom, Kansas will be expected to be a contender with Wiggins in the fold.
The right fit for Wiggins, eager to be a star on a contender, as well as a positive visit to Lawrence, and the proximity of his brother, Nick, who plays for Wichita State, were likely the deciding factors in the decision.
Now that we know what uniform Wiggins will wear next season, the only mystery that remains is whether he will fulfill the lofty expectations that are following him into the next level. After being in the national spotlight for several years as a high schooler, many will expect record-breaking production from Wiggins as potentially the best prospect since the NBA banned players from declaring for the draft immediately after high school graduation. Whether he can live up to the billing will be perhaps the preeminent question heading into next season.