Andrew Wiggins

It’s not Andrew Wiggins fault you want to know everything about Andrew Wiggins


At 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, one head coach will receive an early christmas present, as Andrew Wiggins will be announcing where he will spend his one year on campus.

The choice is down to Kentucky, Florida State, Kansas and North Carolina, and it’s a decision that absolutely no one — not any of the people that cover recruiting, not any of the coaches involved in pursuing Wiggins, not anyone outside of Andrew and the Wiggins’ family — seems to have any clue about. The country’s best high school hoops prospect since Kevin Durant, and possibly LeBron James, has kept this limited to just those people closest to him.

And frankly, that’s refreshing.

In an era where high school athletes think they’ve made it because their names pop up in the headlines of websites trafficked by the most die-hard recruiting junkies, Wiggins has done everything he can to keep his name out of the spotlight. He doesn’t do interviews. He’s tweeted less than 1,000 times. He’d rather spend his days doing things high school seniors do than try and soak up the attention and adoration that we love to send the way of our nation’s best athletes.

As a result, his recruitment has drummed up a never-before-seen amount of attention and speculation, and there are a couple of reasons for that:

  • Wiggins is a good enough prospect that he will completely change the outlook of the season for whatever team he ends up joining. Florida State would go from a likely NIT team to a top 25 team, Kansas would instantly become the favorite to win the Big 12, etc. There’s always going to be more interest in a player the more talented he is.
  • No one has any inside information on this. Everyone is clueless. Everyone is speculating. Between twitter and the immediacy of our current news cycle — and with fan bases like Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina involved — there is no shortage of folks anxiously waiting for the slightest bit of information.
  • His recruitment has seemingly dragged on forever. It’s May 13th. The last day of the spring signing period is May 15th. Wiggins is the only top 100 recruit left undecided. At this point, the only other players looking to grab a roster spot in the Class of 2013 are the guys that weren’t good enough and are still trying to prove themselves. It’s not unheard of for a top recruit to wait this long — Terrence Jones, who picked Kentucky in late-May, immediately comes to mind — but it’s certainly not the norm.

But here’s the thing: Wiggins hasn’t asked for any of this attention. He doesn’t want it. You want proof? Wiggins isn’t announcing his college decision on ESPN even though he could probably convince Disney to broadcast a press conference on Good Morning America if he truly wanted to. He’s doing it quietly in front of friends, family and teammates … and a single reporter.

Grant Traylor, the beat writer for Marshall University that happens to work for a local paper.

There’s nothing wrong with not being able, or not wanting, to make a decision on something like deciding where to go to college, even if it is just a seven-month stopover.

Wiggins’ indecisiveness isn’t an attention-seeking diva moment.

It’s simply a kid being indecisive.

It’s a kid not wanting the fame, only wanting to play basketball.

It’s everything that we want to see out of star athletes.

So let’s try not to criticize him for it.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.


No. 1 Kentucky survives without Tyler Ulis in lineup

Tyler Ulis
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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Less than a week after giving No. 2 Maryland all they could handle, Illinois State went into Lexington and gave No. 1 Kentucky fits.

The Redbirds never really threatened UK in the second half, but they went into the break tied and were within single digits down the stretch, eventually losing 75-63.

Kentucky was flustered. They turned the ball over 15 times compared to just eight assists, they shot 2-for-12 from three and just 29-for-46 (63 percent) from the charity stripe. They simply did not handle Illinois State’s pressure all that well.

And there was a reason for that.

Tyler Ulis didn’t play.

Sometimes it’s difficult to appreciate just what a player brings to a team until that player is not in the lineup, and that was precisely the case with Ulis on Monday night. It was crystal clear what he provides Kentucky. Beyond leadership and the ability to break a press without throwing the ball to the other team, he’s a calming presence. He doesn’t get rattled when a defender is harassing him and he doesn’t get overwhelmed by a situation like a mid-major threatening the No. 1 team in the country in their own gym.

He’s everything you look for in a pure point guard, and for as good as Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe have looked at times this season, it should be crystal clear who the most important player on this Kentucky team is.

LSU loses to Charleston, eliminates at-large bid margin for error

Ben Simmons
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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Ben Simmons scored 15 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, the second time in his six-game career that the LSU freshman has collected that many caroms, but that wasn’t enough for the Tigers to avoid dropping a game on the road to the College of Charleston, 70-58. It was the third straight loss for Simmons’ crew, as they fell to Marquette and N.C. State at the Legends Classic last week.

But here’s the thing: LSU didn’t just lose.

The game really wasn’t close.

LSU was down by as many as 23 points. It was 39-17 at the half, and that was after Charleston had a shot at the buzzer called off upon review. They made a bit of a run in the second half but never got closer than seven. When LSU would cut into the lead, the Cougars would respond with a run of their own, killing LSU’s spirit while keeping them at arm’s length.

[RELATED: Ben Simmons’ one college year a waste?]

Now, there are quite a few things here to discuss. For starters, LSU’s effort was, at best, apathetic, and, at worst, regular old pathetic. The team has a serious lack of leadership that was plainly evident on Monday night; would Fred VanVleet let his team fold against a program picked to finish at the bottom of the SoCon? Would Tyler Ulis? For that matter, would Tom Izzo or Mike Krzyzewski or John Calipari?

Perhaps more importantly, does any of that change when Keith Hornsby and Craig Victor get back?

Simmons did show off his potential — 18 boards, four assists, he even made his first three of the year — but he also showed precisely why there are scouts that are trying to curtail the LeBron James comparisons. Simmons was 4-for-15 from the floor with seven turnovers against a mediocre mid-major team. There are so many things that Simmons does well, but scoring efficiently — particularly in half court setting — and shooting the ball consistently are not on that list.

But here’s the biggest issue: LSU may have put themselves in a situation where they aren’t a tournament team. As of today, they’re 3-3 on the season with losses to a pair of teams that, at best, seem destined to be in the bubble conversation on Selection Sunday in addition to this loss to Charleston. The rest of their non-conference schedule is ugly. The only game worth noting is at home against No. 6 Oklahoma at the end of January.

The NCAA factors in non-conference schedule strength when determining at-large teams. You need to at least try, and LSU didn’t try; they have one of the worst non-conference schedules in the country.

The great thing about being in the SEC — as opposed to, say, the Missouri Valley — is that the Tigers will have plenty of chances to earn marquee wins. Six, by my court: Kentucky twice, Texas A&M twice, Vanderbilt on the road and Oklahoma at home. They probably need to win at least two or three of those games to have a real chance, and that’s assuming they can avoid anymore horrid losses in the process.

The season isn’t over six games in, not by any stretch of the imagination.

But LSU has done a hell of a job eliminating their margin for error.