Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
AndrewWiggins, the top overall player in high school basketball, could decide as soon as this week whether to reclassify to the Class of 2013 and that decision will have a profound impact not only on his recruitment but on future NBA Drafts.
“His parents are supposed to come down this week or next,” Huntington (West Va.) coach Rob Fulford told SNY.tv Wednesday.
“Andrew’s really at this point, he doesn’t want to make any decisions without his parents, which is obviously a smart move on his part,” Fulford said. “He just has to get in front of his parents and they need to have a conversation to get that process started on exactly what it’s going to be.”
A year ago, current Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel waited until February to reclassify before choosing the Wildcats in the spring signing period. As a result of his late decision, Noel missed the McDonald’s All-American Game.
If the 6-foot-8 Wiggins were to reclassify by January, he could play in the McDonald’s Game.
More significantly, if Wiggins moves from 2014 to 2013, he would be on a college campus next fall and eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft.
“Obviously, he doesn’t need another year of high school to be successful,” Fulford said. “He’s already at an elite level.”
Still, Fulford said Wiggins, a naturally quiet young man, is sick and tired of the subject.
“He just has so many people in his ear and all the questions about it, I think at this point he’s just kind of put off by the whole thing and he’s basically shut down on all that,” Fulford said.
On Monday, Kentucky head coach John Calipari and assistant Orlando Antigua watched Wiggins in an open gym at the school.
Kentucky and Florida State have long been at the forefront of Wiggins’s recruitment. Calipari was perhaps the first college coach to watch him play.
Wiggins’s parents, the former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins, and former Canadian Olympic runner Marita Payne, winner of two silver medals in the 1984 Olympics, both attended Florida State.
Calipari and Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton have both been in to see Wiggins in the past week.
“[Kentucky] is in [the mix],” Fulford said. “Kentucky is one of those schools that the majority of the elite kids at the top of the list, Kentucky’s going to be in it. Obviously, they’re on an unbelievable run of recruiting and the resources they have there, kids like Andrew are obviously going to be interested.”
Fulford reiterated earlier comments that Wiggins could start in an NBA game right now and produce and that he doesn’t necessarily even need a year of college ball.
“Obviously, he benefits from going to college, but does he need a year of college to play in the NBA? No,” Fulford said. “With some of the NBA teams being as bad as they are, he could probably start for an NBA team now.”
As for Wiggins’s future, Fulford believes that Wiggins would have been the No. 2 pick in this year’s NBA Draft behind former Kentucky star Anthony Davis.
“Bottom line is if I’m not mistaken, several NBA GMs were on record saying that had he come out this year he would’ve been the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft,” Fulford said. “So I’m not sure that’s a far-fetched comment.”
One veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv: “I do not think he could start for an NBA team based on simply the physical nature of the NBA. He would have been a lottery pick [in 2012] based on skill level, athleticism, and potential at such a young age.”
Now the basketball world must sit and wait for Wiggins’s next move, which will set the dominoes in motion.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.