If Andrew Wiggins chooses to attend Kentucky, he would round out one of the most impressive recruiting classes in recent memory. But if the opinion of Wiggins’ brother, Nick, is any indication perhaps the younger Wiggins does not want to be part of such a massive, high-powered class.
“They’ve got a couple kids coming (back), they got seven or eight dudes that are already signed to come in off the (McDonald’s) All-America team, and I don’t feel like it would be the best fit for him to make his own legacy,” Wichita State guard Nick Wiggins said, as reported by Yahoo. “But in the end, he’s going to make the best decision for him.”
If Wiggins commits to Kentucky, it would mean coach John Calipari secured commitments from four of the top five players in the country, according to Rivals.com, and seven of the Top 20. But where would all of the minutes and shots go?
Alex Poythress has already committed to returning to Lexington, as has center Willie Cauley-Stein. Poythress and freshman Julius Randle will battle for minutes, and the freshman duo of Andrew and Aaron Harrison will dominate minutes in the backcourt.
Wiggins would still be the focal point, as he’s the most highly touted prospect to come out of high school in some time, but there will be other stars looking for shots. Calipari & Co. proved with their 2012 national championship that getting the majority of the shots isn’t necessary to be a top pick. Wiggins is likely a lock for that top pick anyway.
But is Kentucky where he wants to call home? Would the college experience be different at North Carolina, Kansas, or Florida State?
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.