This was linked yesterday, I think by Wild Weasel (corrections welcome), and it deserves a comment. Jeff Borzello, Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander all believe Andrew Wiggins wind up at Florida St., while Jeff Goodman predicts Kansas.
All I can say is, all these guys predicting Florida St. are going to look kind of stupid if it’s one of the bluebloods. Look, I get the parental connection, but we’ve seen that not work before with the Harrison twins. Wiggins’ parents surely see that FSU is not an ideal destination for their when compared with the other three in any meaningful respect.
I’m not cheering against FSU except insofar as I am inherently cheering against anybody but UK, but of all the schools on his list, FSU offers the least positives and most negatives. Would his parents really rather see him there just for alma mater reasons than at one of the genuine contenders for deep NCAA runs?
Keep in mind that I am offering logic here, and logic is likely to take a back seat to emotion, in the end. Young men are almost universally creatures of heart and not head, so Wiggins is likely going to make a heart choice. That would tend to argue for FSU from the perception of the son wanting to follow in their parent’s footsteps, and it would be a compelling argument.
I’m not just arguing for Kentucky here (although I sincerely and passionately want Wiggins as a Wildcat), because in my view, there is very little to separate North Carolina, Kentucky, and Kansas from each other. All three are great programs, all three offer Wiggins a level of exposure and development that Florida St., even in today’s ubiquitous media age, will not. That cannot possibly be lost on his parents.
Some would point to Kevin Durant’s time at Texas, but keep in mind that Texas is a media giant of a school that can draw all the attention it wants with the snap of its metaphorical fingers. Any excuse to cover Texas would be snapped up by the sports media, not to mention that Texas had players besides Durant: Dexter Pittman, D.J. Augustin and Damion James, all three of whom are playing in the NBA right now.
Florida St. is manifestly not Texas, nor is it in any way a blueblood basketball program. Even with Wiggins, it is unlikely FSU will seriously contend for the ACC championship, let alone the NCAA title. Florida St., even with the excellent Michael Snaer and a bunch of upperclassmen could do no better than 18-16 last year.
Teams would just try to take Wiggins away From the Seminoles and force the rest of the team to beat them, and that looks unlikely with leading scorer Snaer graduating and third leading scorer Terrance Shannon transferring. From where I’m sitting, the Seminoles would have to be no better than even money to win 20 games next year with Wiggins.
Is a good season with a possible NIT ending really what Wiggins’ parents want for him? I doubt it, and I’m sure that they have a clue. Just as in the case of the Harrison twins, I expect Wiggins to make up his own mind, and I expect that comfort with the coach will be the deciding influence.
So I’m going out on a limb and handicapping the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes, thus:
Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter to Kentucky’s chances UNLESS Wiggins choses North Carolina. Kansas will be good, but they aren’t likely to be top 5 good even with Wiggins. North Carolina becomes an instant top 3 team with Wiggins on board.
Jeff Goodman could be right about Kansas, but when it comes down to comfort with the coach, as it so often does, my money is on Coach Cal.