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.