So, who is Andrew Wiggins?
A primer on the premier player By Eye on College Basketball staff| CBSSports.com
May 14, 2013 12:29 pm ET
Andrew Wiggins just chose his college and is already seen as the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. (USATSI)
You've heard the kid's name a lot in the past 48 hours, and if you're a college hoops die-hard, you've known about Wiggins for at least a year. Let's get to the rundown on Wiggins so you can be more informed on a player who's likely to become a superstar in college and is currently seen as the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
The surprise regarding Tuesday's decision: Why didn't he pick Florida State? His dad, former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins, went there. As did Mom (Marita Payne), who competed in the Olympics. And, a prospect named Xavier Rathan-Mayes, who happens to be Wiggins' good friend, is also going to ball for Leonard Hamilton. The KU pick speaks to Wiggins; he's a bit mysterious and keeps a lot close to the vest. Kansas was considered the third favorite, behind FSU and Kentucky. Yet he's headed to Lawrence.
The basics on Wiggins:
DOB: Feb. 23, 1995 (in Toronto).
Height: 6 feet, 8 inches
Weight: 195 pounds
Position: Combo forward
Awards: 2013 Naismith Prep Player of the Year and Gatorade National Player of the Year
High School: Huntington Prep School (Huntington, W.V.)
AAU team: CIA Bounce (Anthony Bennett, Tyler Ennis, Rathan-Mayes have also played for Bounce)
A year early. Last October, Wiggins reclassified to the Class of 2013. He was originally on pace to graduate in 2014, which would've made Duke's Jabari Parker the No. 1 recruit in this class. Why, it wasn't even a year ago that Sports Illustrated proclaimed Parker to be the best prep recruit since LeBron James. Now he's not even the best in his class. The Wiggins-Parker storyline is one that I'd like to keep an eye on, though. Both will be on teams playing with good Final Four hopes.
He doesn't like attention. No, it's true! And that adds to the irony of this. Wiggins has taken a really long time to decide, but he made his pick in relatively private quarters on Tuesday, signing a letter of intent while surrounded by family and classmates -- and just one media member. We should note that Kansas is a heavy college hoops media market, though. Wiggins will be stepping into a whole new kind of life a few months from now.
Skill set. Well, being the No. 1 overall recruit in this class and perceived as the best in a decade, naturally, Wiggins does so many things well. Watch the video below as proof. One thing that stands out to me: The kid cracks off the floor and adjusts his body to dunk with such ease. And he's a premier defender. The dunks get the lion's share of the video, but Wiggins will be one of the best without the ball next season, too. At this moment, defense is his forte.
He's not LeBron James. Just because he's considered the best prospect since James doesn't mean he has the same game. Wiggins most certainly doesn't, and no one (thankfully) has gone so far as to say Wiggins will be as good/better than James. He's a tantalizing athletic prospect with a natural feel for the game. Though his body has matured, his game has a ways to go before he's truly elite. James was better at this point than Wiggins is.
The real deal. Wiggins has been at the top of his class list since he was ranked, though. He was No. 1 for 2014 for a few years until he switched to 2013. Part of his decision to go to Kansas could be loosely attached to the fact his brother, Nick, will be a senior at Wichita State. The schools are a little more than two hours apart.
One last thing to know. Beyond the talent is a continuing trend of something pretty positive. Wiggins -- like Parker, like Kevin Durant, like Greg Oden, like a lot of top prospects in recent years -- is pretty humble. Talented but not brash. He's not concerned with his image and keeps to himself. You'll inevitably read more about this. The nature of recruiting coverage in 2013 means a lot of players receive a lot of attention and are propped up from their early teens. Many don't handle it well or the right way. Wiggins seemingly does, and it's really important to future players to see the way that some of the best have gone about being the best. It's a new model, one that a lot of people didn't think was possible in AAU culture.