How is the recruiting process affecting Kentucky Wildcat recruit Andrew Wiggins?

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The college basketball recruiting process is tough on any player, much less the top rated player in the class.  According to Rob Fulford, Wiggins’s high school coach, the pressure on his star player is immense, perhaps to the point it may be affecting his game and Wiggins may be looking for a school where he is less scrutinized:

 

“It’s overwhelming. He doesn’t like the attention. He doesn’t like it. His shots aren’t falling,” Fulford admitted. “His shot was much more consistent last year and his free-throw percentage is low… He’s a good kid. He really is. He’ll talk to you about anything, but once recruiting is brought up, he shuts down.”

So where does this leave the schools scrambling to get a pledge from such a highly touted star?

Kentucky would surely bolster its already-sterling incoming class, which includes Aaron and Andrew Harrison,, James Young , Marcus Lee, Derek Willis and Dakari Johnson (Montverde Academy, Fla.).

On the other hand, Florida State could be the best fit for Wiggins’ personality.

“Florida State might get two or three more ESPN games because he’d be there, but it’s a football school,” shrugged Fulford, hinting at some relief from scrutiny as a Seminole.

 

Current Kentucky commit Karl Towns Junior is in the same position as Wiggins as the number one player in 2014 who also reclassified into an earlier class.  He has stated that he committed early to avoid s the same drama.

 

Marcus Lee has already eliminated that recruiting drama and is signed, sealed, and delivered to UK’s 2013 class. And his game is flourishing. Marcus had 30 points in a game on Saturday night, including 11 dunks.  Check them out here:

While we are talking about Kentucky commits, the Harrison Twins, Andrew and Aaron, will be participating in the Nike Hoops Summit game on April 20.   Current recruits Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon have also been named to the roster and Andrew Wiggins is expected to be named to the international roster later.

 

Jan 19, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA: Kentucky Wildcats forward Nerlens Noel (3) takes a shot against the Auburn Tigers during the first half at Auburn Arena. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Nerlens Noel had 7 blocked shots Saturday at Auburn and has 20 blocks in his last three games. Part of the reason for this is that Noel is being more patient and not leaving his feet on defense as much:

 

“Every day we do drills to stay down,” Calipari said of UK’s efforts to get improved play from Noel. “So much stuff you have to teach when they’re so young.”

Calipari likened the problem-solving associated with a freshman-oriented team to sticking fingers in a leaky dike. One problem solved, then another issue arises.

Fans will recall how opponents early this season took advantage of Kentucky’s eagerness to block shots. When Noel and company leaped to block the same shot, opponents came from the weak side and feasted on offensive rebounds.

“Part of buying in,” Calipari said of Noel’s growing savvy as a shot blocker. “Don’t leave your feet. We do the drills. Now, go in the game and concentrate. Have some discipline. And he has. And he’s still blocking shots.”

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