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Wiggins weighs his options

Mar. 21, 2013 @ 12:27 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Most observers agree that one day Andrew Wiggins will grace the basketball court as a professional player.

But prior to that, Wiggins has been busy emulating his professional poker player skills.

No, there is no gamble -- especially when it comes to the skill set Wiggins brings to the table.

While Wiggins' skill set turns up aces in nearly every category, the Huntington Prep star refuses to tip his hand on where he will sign to play in college.

"I really don't know when I'm going to sign," said Wiggins, the nation's top-rated college prospect. "When I know where I want to go, I'll sign. But I just don't know."

Ever since the Canadian stepped foot on American soil to play for Huntington Prep two years ago, the question has been asked: "Where will Wiggins play college basketball?"

One thing is certain -- the answer will come within the next two months. The spring signing period begins April 17 and ends May 15.

Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford joked that he could have fun in social media if he wanted to.

"The funny thing is, I could put on Twitter right now that Andrew Wiggins is set to sign by May 15 and people would go crazy -- 'Oh he set a date,'" Fulford said. "They wouldn't care it's the last day of the period. They wouldn't even know. They'd just go nuts."

While Fulford was joking with the comment, he is taking Wiggins' recruitment process extremely seriously.

The Huntington Prep coaching staff made up an Excel chart for Wiggins, so he could rank his final four schools -- Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina (in alphabetical order, not order of preference).

On the chart were two pages of items of interest such as atmosphere, fans, weather, coaching style, play style, campus, general feel and more.

It almost sounds like a sheet for eHarmony, and that's kind of fitting because Fulford and his staff want Wiggins to figure out a place that he would love to be for the 2013-14 season.

"With the sheet, we want to help him to figure out exactly what is most important to him, what might not be most important and rank them among those schools," Fulford said. "At the end, you add it up and see who is leading. That doesn't necessarily determine the final decision, but that gives you a solid basis to build off of."

Wiggins has been assessing the sheet and factoring everything in after taking his final visits.

In a 10-day period at the end of February and beginning of March, he visited Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina. He visited Florida State in December.

There were things he liked with each visit -- the atmosphere at Rupp Arena where Kentucky plays, the weight training facilities at Kansas and getting to soak in arguably the greatest rivalry in college basketball when North Carolina took on Duke.

Now that the visits are done and Wiggins has gotten a feel for every place that he's interested in, he, his family and his coaching staff have been taking in every factor and dissecting them.

One thing Wiggins remains steadfast in is that it will be his decision in the end, but the variables are certainly going to be factored in to make the most informed decision possible.

And, in Wiggins' case, there are many factors.

For example, when Julius Randle, the nation's No. 3 prospect, committed to Kentucky on Tuesday, it unavoidably had an effect on Wiggins.

The Wildcats are thought to have many players returning for next season while featuring what experts say is the greatest recruiting class in history with six top 25 players in the Class of 2013.

In terms of the Wildcats, Wiggins has to choose whether he wants to be part of a crowded crop of talent or if he wants to go elsewhere where he can be the building block.

"With Randle's commitment, we'll sit down and make a new sheet next week and chart everything," Fulford said.