Opinion: Guessing game — Nobody knows where prep phenom Andrew Wiggins will spend his one year in college

McDonald's East All-American's Andrew Wiggins looks up during the first half of the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, April 3, 2013.

McDonald's East All-American's Andrew Wiggins looks up during the first half of the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, April 3, 2013.

April 21, 2013, 11:46 p.m. Updated April 22, 2013, 4:49 p.m.


McDonald's East All-American's Andrew Wiggins looks up during the first half of the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, April 3, 2013.

McDonald's East All-American's Andrew Wiggins looks up during the first half of the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, April 3, 2013.

A voice of reason rises above the discordant sounds of self-annointed expertise regarding the recruitment of an 18-year-old basketball player. And that wise voice belongs to the teenager himself.

“Anyone who says they know where I’m going is a liar,” Andrew Wiggins famously said. “I don’t know where I’m going, so they can’t know where I’m going.”


But that won’t stop many who state pure guesses with absolute certainty. He’s down to four choices, so four self-anointed experts each could make a different guess, and after Wiggins picks a school, the guy who’s right will be the only one who returns the call of the radio producer looking for a guest to discuss the decision. Nobody will remember the other three guys’ guesses, and the one who’s right will brag about it until he guesses wrong on a future coveted recruit.

If the insider guessing Florida State happens to guess right, he will explain that he knew all along Wiggins was heading to Tallahassee because the family connections to the school made it impossible for him to choose anyplace else. His father, Mitchell Wiggins, was drafted in the first round out of Florida State and played six NBA seasons. His mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins, ran for a pair of Canadian relay teams that won silver medals in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Should the expert guessing Kentucky while pretending to know guesses correctly, he’ll cite Wiggins’ desire to be part of the greatest recruiting class of all time as the factor that swayed him.

North Carolina? What better place to be the next Michael Jordan, playing for a coach who was an assistant at Carolina when Jordan played three seasons there.

Why would Wiggins select Kansas? Why not?

If he’s the sort of competitor who feeds off a big challenge, maybe he’ll like the idea of being one of two McDonald’s All-Americans from the Class of 2013 winning a national title sought by a Kentucky team with six hamburger All-Stars.

Wiggins hung out with KU signee Wayne Selden during the McDonald’s All-Star Game week and just might like the idea of running the opposite wing from him on the fast lane to the Final Four in Cowboys Stadium.

With Naadir Tharpe, combo guard Conner Frankamp and pure point Frank Mason sharing point-guard duties, Selden and Wiggins manning the wings, polished Perry Ellis and shot-blocker Joel Embiid down low, and forwards Jamari Traylor, Brannen Greene and Andrew White III adding depth, this team could wage some serious battles in practice, where daily improvement would be required of the players just to keep up.

Wiggins had scheduled visits with Roy Williams today, Bill Self on Tuesday and Leonard Hamilton on Wednesday before deciding to cancel all of those visits, according to's Jeff Goodman. Wiggins already has met with John Calipari.

Regardless of what school Wiggins chooses, he’s expected to be the No. 1 selection in the 2014 NBA Draft. He can’t make a wrong choice.


Robert Rauktis 5 years, 1 month ago

The third coming (maybe) of the next best thing, after Carmelo and Anthony Davis, to lead the chosen to the promised land. That's two out of ten years if the converted are even correct. Most times, it's the team that wins. Gerry Mac was pretty good and has faded into obscurity.

Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 1 month ago

Carmelo and Davis?

Your memory doesn't extend very far back, there, SFBayhawk. I remember watching much better players in their heydays. Manning is the young'un of the group I think of.

Historical perspective is so underrated.

Scott Patterson 5 years, 1 month ago

Why doesn't he just go play for Real Madrid, Panathinaikos Athens or FC Barcelona Regal and get a couple extra million $$ next year? $1M dollars now, at a growth rate of 5%, would grow to $3,386,354.94 when he's 44 years old.

It worked out pretty well for Brandon Jennings

James Kim 5 years, 1 month ago

Jennings' European experience wasn't exactly all it was cracked up to be.

Matt Schwartz 5 years, 1 month ago

All these guys that want to stay for one year...? Go somewhere else please.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, I agree,Tanaumaga. The real shame here is the pre-destinantion that he will spend "one year" in college. I guess I am old fashoned, but I thought that we spend millions, billions of dollars to establish and maintain institutions of higher education not academies for the NBA .

This foolishness that our institutions of education should cow-tow to these one-hit wonders has gotten completely out of hand. All basketball (and other sports candidates) should be required to pledge that they will at least attempt to complete their education that the school offers and pays for ( scholarships, remember??) or no-sale.

But then that might impinge on our macho basketball (read "entertainment") tradition, eh??

msezdsit 5 years, 1 month ago

Well, you got the real world and then there is that pretend world. Keep on dreaming of the latter.

Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 1 month ago

Fair enough, Yeoman. I concur that it is better for these athletes to complete their full educations, and that they are in college for the wrong reasons.Yet, you exaggerate.

The number of "one-and-done" students compared to the whole of the student body gives the lie to your thesis that the ultimate purpose of a university is now to prepare NBA employees.

jonas_opines 5 years, 1 month ago

We can register our disgust, opinions, etc, as much as we want, but until the money game changes the one-and-done is part of the current nature of basketball college athletics.

But the dollars brought in by the two premier sports also goes to supporting the costs of scholarships for all the other athlete scholars, many of whom are in sports that do not lead to high-level pro-sport contracts and, as such, will likely be used for a full degree program.

windjammer 5 years, 1 month ago

Mr. Wiggins knows where he will be playing next year. He also loves the attention.

CHEEZIT 5 years, 1 month ago

Who cares? He's just playing the system!!! He's tired from playing all these all star games?? Then don't play! What's the point? They aren't even glorified practices. Nobody plays defense. He's already the No. 1 pick. Going to Kentucky won't mean he'll get a Championship(see this last season). Teams play defense. He better protect his boys when he sets a pick just ask EJ!!!

William Weissbeck 5 years, 1 month ago

All the more reason that Louisville should be in the Big 12. We have to protect all the other sports.

Kent Noble 5 years, 1 month ago

I will definitely be suprised if he doesn't go to Kentucky. I get tired of these sports analyst giving coach Calipri all this praise on how he develops these one and done kids into great NBA players. BS if the never had changed the rule they would go striaght to the NBA.

msezdsit 5 years, 1 month ago

Cal is gaming the system as much as any of the players that go to Kentucky . One thing for sure is Cal will always have more players in the NBA than he has walking down the aisle to get their diploma. I think they should have to put his graduation rate in the same sentence as NBA draft record. It overwhelmingly displays how very little Kentucky has to do as a place of higher learning for these kids.

msezdsit 5 years, 1 month ago

Taking all wagers. He will go to Kentucky and all this fake indecision is nothing but bantering. He is a tremendous talent and he is capitalizing on it by stretching his decision as far as possible and getting as much attention as possible.

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