Top recruit picks Kansas over UNC
Duke will face Andrew Wiggins next season, but the nation’s top recruit won’t be wearing a North Carolina uniform.
The Toronto native ended a long, secretive process Tuesday when he picked Kansas over UNC, Kentucky and Florida State. The Jayhawks will face Duke – and consensus No. 2 recruit Jabari Parker – on Nov. 12 at the United Center in Chicago.
"I just followed my heart," Wiggins told reporters.
The Huntington (W. Va.) Prep small forward signed his letter of intent in front of a small crowd at St. Joseph’s Central Catholic High, where he attends classes.
Long after all the other Top 100 recruits in the Class of 2013 had committed, Wiggins kept everyone guessing until the end of the spring signing period. Only three of the 27 recruiting experts on 247Sports predicted that Wiggins would select Kansas.
Most thought was headed to Florida State, where his parents were top athletes and his best friend and high school teammate, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, had committed. Others assumed that Kentucky coach John Calipari, who had already signed six McDonalds All-Americans, would add the finishing touches to what could be the greatest recruiting class in history.
Instead, Wiggins went with Kansas, which lost all five starters from last season. Wiggins’s brother Nick is a junior guard at Wichita State, which is about two hours away from Kansas, and the Louisville Courier-Journal reported that Nick was the first person Andrew called to tell about his selection.
“Obviously, everyone in Jayhawk-land is overwhelmed and excited today,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “This was a pleasant surprise because we never had an idea which way he was leaning…. The competition was very stiff and we were fortunate that we were able to ink him.”
Wiggins’s decision means that UNC doesn’t have an obvious replacement for junior small forward Reggie Bullock, who declared for the NBA.
Still, the Tar Heels will return three starters – leading scorer P.J. Hairston, point guard Marcus Paige and power forward James Michael McAdoo – and add two McDonalds All-Americans in Oxford Webb forward Isaiah Hicks and Charlotte center Kennedy Meeks.