Hey BBN members, ICYMI yesterday, the #141 rated prospect in 2014 and #6 rated QB, Drew Barker has thrown his chips in with Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats. He made his announcement yesterday and our own Darren Durham was on scene to capture all the awesomeness. Barker was deciding between Kentucky, Tennessee and South Carolina so some have called this “get” a program changer. Stoops seems to be doing a lot of that lately.
Andrew Wiggins could make a decision this week “a report says which is hilarious considering the signing period is over May 15th and absolutely no one has any idea what the young man is going to do. Though to give some credence to this sentiment, the Courier-Journal is reporting this based on a conversation with Wiggins’ Mother. Adam Himmelsbach has this to report
Lesley Thomas, whose family has hosted Wiggins in West Virginia for the past two years, said in a phone interview on Monday that the decision has weighed on Wiggins. As the May 15 deadline to sign a national letter of intent approaches, his choice remains unclear. Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and Florida State are his top four choices, but anything deeper than that is a guess.
Thomas said that when Wiggins returned from a whirlwind tour of high school all-star games and interviews last month, he was exhausted.
“I know for him,” she said, “he’s just ready to get the decision over with.”
Thomas said she still does not know the exact date of Wiggins’ reveal, but there are signs that it could be quite soon. Wiggins told her that his mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins, is planning to come to West Virginia from Canada to support his announcement. Thomas said that would be “sometime in the next week or so.”
“He said, ‘When I declare where I’m going, my mom is going to be there with me,” Thomas said.
If Wiggins decides after May 15, he would just sign scholarship papers rather than a letter of intent.
If his host Mom has anything to say about it, which she doesn’t, she would have him making the worst decision of his life.
Andrew Wiggins’s host mother would like to see him play for the defending champs.
“If it was my choice, I’d say he should go to Louisville,” Lesley Thomas, who has been Wiggins’ host mom in West Virginia since he enrolled at Huntington Prep, told the Courier-Journal. “Yes, I would have, because I love Coach Pitino’s program.”
Louisville already figures to be in the mix for a third straight Final Four appearance with the return of Russ Smith to a group that includes Luke Hancock, Wayne Blackshear, Chane Behanan, Montrezl Harrell and an incoming recruiting class headlined by junior college point guard Chris Jones, the National Junior College Player of the Year. Can you imagine if Wiggins joined the party, too?
Thomas hosted Louisville center Gorgui Dieng when he lived in Huntington. Dieng is now headed to the NBA Draft.
“I know Gorgui had a lot of mixed emotions leaving Louisville,” Thomas said. “Everyone there has been so good to him. It’s like a second home.”
It likely won’t happen with Wiggins as he is expected to pick between Kentucky, Florida State, Kansas and North Carolina.
He could announce by Wednesday, the end of the NCAA late signing period, although Huntington coach Rob Fulford said Friday no plans have been made for an announcement.
To be clear, I am more than ready for Wiggins to decide simply because I am tired of hearing all the media sources declaring him to be leaning here or there because the fact remains that no one, outside of Andrew himself, has any idea what he’s thinking. Nevertheless, if Mike Courcy is right, and he usually is, this kid is worth the wait.
OK, it’s true that each of those players was a big-deal recruit at the time. And, in fact, each became a capable college player. Patterson was one of the top scorers on John Calipari’s first Kentucky team, which won 35 games and dual Southeastern Conference championships. Villanueva won a championship ring with Connecticut as a freshman reserve in 2004 and helped the Huskies to a Big East co-championship the following season. Henry’s only college team became the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 overall seed. All three of them became top-20 NBA draft picks.
With Wiggins, however, we are talking about someone truly extraordinary.
On the day Wiggins steps on an NBA court, and that’ll happen sooner rather than later, he’ll become one of the greatest athletes ever to play in the league. We’re talking about the very stratosphere of athletic gifts, where Dominique Wilkins, Russell Westbrook, Julius Erving and, yes, that Jordan guy reside.
his is why the Wiggins recruitment is such an affair. He has yet to make a decision, and the truth is he has the juice to wait as long as he wants to make up his mind, perhaps past the close of the spring signing period in late May, perhaps until the start of summer classes at the university he ultimately chooses—perhaps even until the fall, if he’d prefer to train at home for a while.
None of the coaches involved can talk about this—not Calipari, not North Carolina’s Roy Williams, not Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton or Kansas’ Bill Self—but each of them knows: Wiggins can do things on the basketball court that ordinary great players cannot.
It’s the speed of the first step, which launches as though he is trying to beat Tyson Gay out of the blocks. It’s the suddenness of the elevation, released as though he is trying to beat Tyson Chandler to the top of the block.
Andrew Wiggins has Jordan-like talent. (AP Photo)
It is extraordinarily difficult to measure any of this. There is no statistical gauge. His vertical leap can be measured and has been recorded at 44 inches, which does not approach the 52 inches once recorded by former Harlem Globetrotter Michael Wilson. No matter. Wilson could get higher, but did not generate the spectacular force of a flying Wiggins, who is 6-foot-8 and 205 pounds.
Wiggins has developed a full, well-rounded game while so many have focused on his dunks and blocks. He plays well in the low post and should dominate the unfortunate 6-4ish wings who’ll often be assigned to defend him in college. He is a developing 3-point shooter whose economical motion and obvious touch suggest he is capable of flirting with the 40-percent mark from deep. He’ll rebound at the defensive end and jet off on fast breaks. He’ll attack the offensive glass because he understands what a source of baskets that can be.
It’s possible Duke-bound Jabari Parker is a more complete, skilled player. It’s beyond question that Kentucky-bound Julius Randle is a more powerful figure who’ll be a load for any college program to stop.
Wiggins ultimately will be the greatest player from this great class, however. It’s been six years since we saw college basketball invaded by such a talented group, when Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, Mike Beasley, Blake Griffin and O.J. Mayo entered college. It’s been even longer since we saw a prospect with the package of size, skill athleticism that Wiggins will take to some fortunate campus. Eventually.
With all this reporting on Andrew Wiggins, I couldn’t help but harken back to last night’s Bulls-Heat NBA playoff game where Nazr Mohammed showed us what playoff basketball is about. Nazr is around 40 years old and he punked LeBron James. Now admittedly I am no LeBron fan but this was hilarious. The only part I hate about this is…nothing. Absolutely nothing. It would have been nice had it ended with LeBron’s technical foul but I’ll take the “old lion” making a statement.
Nazr Muhammad is an aggressive blood thirsty old lion, assaulting David Stern’s prized headband mascot with reckless abandon!
— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) May 11, 2013