It’s Andrew Wiggins Watch time here at A Sea of Blue, and the last 24 hours just happens to be loaded with Wiggins-related articles and analysis.
We begin with Aaron Torres over at the Mothership:
However, adding Wiggins to that [UK’s current class] group, as well as fellow veterans Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress and Kyle Wiltjer would make Kentucky an overwhelming title favorite in 2014. It would also make the Wildcats a club with the potential to go down as one of the best in college basketball history.
What makes this true is, of course, the players, but also the coach. John Calipari is well known for being able to forge a bunch of young stallions into a team that pulls in the same direction. That didn’t work out as well last year, but I suspect that was an anomaly that isn’t likely to be repeated. I do have to say, in fairness to mostly Louisville fans, that I am speculating a little bit here.
Rant Sports blogger Dave Daniels thinks, apparently, that either he or Eamonn Brennan (in a tweet) came up with the nickname of "Ender" for Andrew Wiggins:
I previously wrote that it was kind of a fantastic coincidence that Andrew Wiggins had the same name as the protagonist of "Ender’s Game", which happens to be a favorite book of mine. Kudos to Brennan there!
Pity he doesn’t seem to know that the surname of the protagonist in question is actually "Wiggin" and not "Wiggins."
I recall many people on this blog and probably others proposing the nickname "Ender" for the undecided Wiggins way back last year, and possibly even earlier. In fact, here is our own JLeverenz nicknaming him back in August of 2011. So this is hardly new, and if Brennan or Daniels thinks they thought of it first, well, let me disabuse them both of that notion.
Every now and then, the whole recruiting thing drives people to the edge of sanity, and a little beyond. I’ve seen it here, people complaining that Wiggins’ long recruitment is hurting him, or could hurt Kentucky, or whatever. I understand, I think, the motivation behind it. It’s pure fandom, people thinking that anyone who could inconvenience our great program is probably not worth the trouble. That and the fact that he is keeping his opinions to himself, frustrating people who think they are entitled to know.
The North Carolina blogger over on Fansided actually presented the argument that Wiggins was a bad apple, and UNC would be better off without him. The response was so extreme from UNC fans (apparently in disagreement) that he took down his commentary altogether and replaced it with this post. What I found funny was not his retraction, but this nice little I-love-you:
Believe me when I say, we all want the best for UNC, whatever shape that takes in the future. Go Heels and Go to Hell, Kentucky/Dook.
Heh. Who, prithee, is Kentucky/Dook?
By the way, this is a quote from his piece, found in a another article mocking him before he took it down:
The piece claims Wiggins is "an attention seeker. He’s a drama-king. Andrew Wiggins is a one-and-done type of athlete. Hey, actions speak louder than words and all signs point to a look-at-me type of personality."
See what happens when we think we can divine motivation and intent merely by watching a player play the game? This is a lesson most of us have learned well.
Here is yet another article with a very brief interview of Wiggins talking about possible future teammates when he was discussing playing with other top high-school players. I don’t read a lot into that, but others might.
Just to get off the Wiggins train for a second, now that Russ Smith has decided to stay at Louisville for another year, some are placing the Cardinals very high in next years’ rankings with a decent chance to repeat. Wayne at WBN scoffs at the idea:
Is it enough to put them in consideration for back-to-back National Championships?
Get a grip. They are going to be good but the "flash in the pan" Hancock isn’t going to stand out so Louisville fans need to take a step back and just enjoy their 2013 National Championship. It’ll be their last for another 20+ years.
Well, tell us what you really think, Wayne.
As a rebuttal to Wayne’s position, I give you our second-favorite Rick Pitino fan (next to Pat Forde, of course), Rick Bozich:
But here is where I fussed at [Dick] Vitale: He believes that the addition of freshmen Andrew and Aaron Harrison automatically gives Kentucky an elite backcourt.
Sorry, Dick. The Harrison twins are terrific. But they won’t be better than Russ Smith – and the guard that Rick Pitino decides to pair with Smith in the backcourt, no matter if it is Ware or one of three recruits – Chris Jones, Terry Rozier or Anton Gill.
Having seen Gill play, I think I can rule out an elite back-court in his case. He’s talented, but not elite, and Russ Smith won’t make him elite.
So what Bozich is saying, by the process of elimination, is that Smith, along with another sub-6’1" 4-star freshman point guard is going to be better than two identical twins who are #1 in their respective positions and the size of small forwards?
No wonder Dick Vitale wasn’t buying what Bozich was selling.
Well, that’s what I have for now. I’ll be putting up an open thread for the NFL draft, I know we have some people who really dig the NFL (myself, I’m at best an indifferent NFL fan).