May 14, 2013

No. 1 player picks Kansas

MORE: Wiggins stays atop final rankings

One of the most highly anticipated decisions that the recruiting world has speculated on in quite some time is finally in. After months of rumors and innuendo about where he may be going, the top high school player in the land regardless of class, senior Andrew Wiggins, has made up his mind.

A 6-foot-7 small forward at Huntington (W.Va.) Prep who hails from Canada, Wiggins announced Tuesday that he will be attending Kansas to play for Bill Self and the Jayhawks.

"It's just a weight lifted off my shoulders," Wiggins said. "I can relax now. The anticipation is over for everybody else."

Wiggins said he arrived at his decision on Monday. The chance to be near his brother played a part in it. Nick Wiggins will be a senior at Wichita State. He helped the Shockers reach the Final Four of the NCAA tournament last season.

"I was thinking a lot today about what I was going to say and how I was going to approach it," Andrew Wiggins said. "I just followed my heart. Kansas had my heart, so that's where I wanted to go. I just felt like that was the right place for me."

The son of former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins and Canadian Olympic sprinter Marita Payne, Wiggins has good genes on his side. However, the 18-year-old is self-made as a player.

Hailed as one of the top recruits of the last decade since his freshman year, Wiggins is a big-time prospect who will arrive in Lawrence with big-time expectations. Soft-spoken off the court, Wiggins owns a game that speaks loudly for him once he is on the floor.

A true phenom of an athlete, Wiggins is as electric and jaw dropping a finisher in transition or traffic as the high school game has seen in some time. His spin move is beyond quick, and he is unstoppable with it whether he is going to his right or left.

While his ability to finish way above the rim in traffic has caused fans to drool, Wiggins quietly has made tremendous strides as a jump shooter and a ball handler while developing into perhaps the top defender in high school basketball. Perhaps most scary, though, is that he is just scratching the surface of his ultimate potential and he has plenty of physical maturing to do.

Although Self loses his entire starting five from 2013's Sweet 16 team that won a ninth straight Big 12 title, expectations will be as high as ever for the Jayhawks with Wiggins in the fold. He'll be expected to replace the scoring of departed star Ben McLemore while helping on the glass, and he won't be arriving in Lawrence alone.

The Jayhawks have the second-best recruiting class in the country -- behind Kentucky -- and wing Wayne Selden (No. 12 overall) and center Joel Embiid (No. 25) are five-star prospects like Wiggins. Sharpshooters Brannen Greene (No. 29) and Conner Frankamp (No. 34) just missed the cut for five-star status, while fellow four-star Frank Mason (No. 76) is the type of tough-minded and physical floor general that Self covets.



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