UNC Basketball Recruiting: Only Time Will Tell

For quite some time, I have been very optimistic about the best high school player since LeBron taking his talents to Chapel Hill and wearing the baby blue. For months, speculation has swirled about the future college destination of the nation’s number one. Kentucky, Kansas, Florida State, and North Carolina alike, all have fan bases that are hopeful Andrew Wiggins will join their family. As rumors cultivate the majority of recruiting “knowledge” we have about Andrew Wiggins, one thing is certain, we have no idea where he will land.

This aforementioned optimism however, is not something that comes without warrant. It is common knowledge that he wants three things in a school: a good skill development coach, a national championship, and chance at leaving a lasting legacy. Based on the amount of skill returning to Kentucky, coupled with eight current commits and six All-Americans, a lasting legacy is something that just doesn’t seem plausible. Should Wiggins go to Kentucky, he would be playing alongside nine other All-Americans and twelve other scholarship players. It would be impossible to stand out and dominate playing with that crowd of a team. This leaves only Kansas, Florida State, and North Carolina.

Kansas seems very unlikely to steal Wiggins. Not only were they the last school to begin heavily recruiting him, they were also they least present. Bill Self didn’t invest the time in recruiting like the other competing coaches. On January 9, 2013, an article was written in the West Virginia based Herald-Dispatch and most people, mainly Kansas fans, were unaware of this stance. The paper had a conversation with Andrew Wiggins and there was a long dialogue about all the possible future schools, except Kansas. Kansas got one line and it read as follows: “Wiggins said he is still visiting Kansas, but the odds of him going there are slim to none.” Jayhawk fans can’t feel too optimistic about Wiggins anymore. This leaves only Florida State and North Carolina.

As I said, I have felt very optimistic about Andrew Wiggins coming to UNC. I have also felt that it would come down to either Florida State or North Carolina. Last Saturday, April 13th, my heart sank as I read a tweet sent out by Keith Jenkins, an ESPN reporter. “Source tells me Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 recruit in the 2013 ESPN 100, will commit to Florida State. Nothing official as of yet.” For about 45 minutes I was destitute, just trying to understand why Florida State would have been more enticing. Then the rebuttal from Wiggins came, “Lol if you ain’t in my family you know nothing about my recruitment, lol stop with the rumors.” I began wondering, if FSU is leading over UNC, would he tweet this? A guy that has been so closed about his recruitment sure spoke up quickly to deny FSU. After Wiggins’ response, Jenkins changed his Twitter handle and ultimately deleted his tweet.

One thing Andrew wants for sure is a national championship. Between Florida State and North Carolina, who has the better chance to give him that? A UNC team that will return two of the “big three” along with a Hall of Fame coach? Or a FSU team that finished 18-16 and lost its best player. I think it’s clear that UNC is his best option, but like he said, “if you ain’t in my family you know nothing about my recruitment.” I guess we will just have to wait and see.

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Tags: North Carolina Tar Heels Recruiting

  • Ahhines

    Can you provide a link to that article that came from the West Virginia based Herald-Dispatch? I never heard of that article before. I think you raise some good points in this article.

    • Jacob Caldwell

      I have attempted to post the link numerous times. it won’t post for whatever reason. I had a hyperlink attached but it must’ve not transferred when I submitted the article. Just Google “Spotlight Shines on Wiggins” it should be the first link.

  • mojo22046

    Does a lasting legacy mean he wants to stand out and dominate? I’m not sure they’re one in the same. A lasting legacy might mean being a part of the greatest recruiting class in history. We still talk about the Fab Five, don’t we? It might also mean winning a national championship. Two birds, one stone.

    Here’s the Bleacher Report (Apr. 3, 2013): “Going to Florida State would give Wiggins the chance to carve out a lasting legacy as he takes the program to new heights.”

    Clearly, FSU is where he will stand out and dominate the most. Kentucky probably has the best shot at a national championship, though it’s a single-elimination tournament, and as we’ve all seen over the years, the best team often doesn’t win.

    UNC sits somewhere in the middle, in my view. The problem here is that by offering a little something from Column A and a little something from Column B, and not a distinct advantage in any one category, you end up with a sound but rather blah result. Like buying a car based on Consumer Reports. Solid, because it scores well over several categories, but not something that excites. Not something that moves you.