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Recently, a major decision in college basketball came down when the number one rated high school basketball player in the country made his college decision. Andrew Wiggins from Huntington Prep picked the Kansas Jayhawks as his college team. For weeks, many thought he would choose Kentucky and join the number one recruiting class in the nation. If Wiggins had picked Kentucky, Coach John Calipari would have secured the number one player from each position in the ratings.
Nearly all of the other highly rated players in this year’s class had already declared where they would play their college ball. Wiggins waited until the next to last day of the signing period before making his choice. He had narrowed his list of possibilities, and Kentucky was among that list. With the track record that Calipari has shown recently in recruiting top players, most of the Big Blue Nation felt that Wiggins would surely head to Lexington and play for the Wildcats.
Finally, after making all the fans and coaches wait, Wiggins declared to the Jayhawks. But, think about his decision for a minute. Wiggins is the top player in the nation, and I would think he wanted to go to a school that had a rich basketball history. Kansas fits that bill just fine.
Wiggins probably wanted to go a school where he would get substantial playing time. As the number one recruit in the nation, most any school would have fit that bill. But hold on a second.
Remember that Calipari filled his roster with seven All-Americans that will all be battling for playing time.
Now, I’m not saying that Wiggins would not have played at Kentucky this year, because he would have, but he probably thought that his time would be somewhat limited with the rotation of all the talent in Lexington.
I would have loved to have seen Wiggins in a Kentucky Wildcats uniform next season, but also I can’t blame him for the decision he made.
Kansas is a great school with a rich basketball tradition, and I’m sure that the Jayhawks are thrilled to land a player like Wiggins. After his freshman season at Kansas, where will he be? Most likely the NBA. The one and done era that we live in has seemingly put more and more pressure on these high school kids to make a choice for a college that will boost their professional status for the following year.
Calipari has proven that he can take a highly rated player and put them into the NBA. I would think that Wiggins thought about this a lot when making his decision. I guess the question that cannot be answered is; can you have too many highly rated players on one team?
Last year’s Wildcats squad may have been an example of that. Just because you put a group of really talented players together you don’t always get the results you want. I’m sure that no Kentucky fan wanted a first round loss in the NIT to Robert Morris.
The bottom line is that Kentucky will be highly ranked in the preseason polls for the upcoming college basketball season. And that Kansas is very fortunate to land a player like Wiggins.
Either way you look at it, the college basketball season is sure to be an exciting one, and I can’t wait for it to start.