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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

KU basketball notebook: Wiggins may be nearing decision

McDonald's East All-American's Andrew Wiggins looks up during the first half of the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, April 3, 2013.

McDonald's East All-American's Andrew Wiggins looks up during the first half of the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game in Chicago, Wednesday, April 3, 2013.

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And then there was one. ...

No. 81-ranked Allerik Freeman’s commitment to Baylor University on Tuesday means all but one of Rivals.com’s top 150 players in the Class of 2013 have committed to a college with seven days remaining in the spring signing period.

The lone uncommitted player, of course, is No. 1 Andrew Wiggins, a 6-7 senior forward from Huntington (W. Va.) Prep, who has a final four of Kansas University, Kentucky, Florida State and North Carolina. Wiggins will either sign with a school by the May 15 deadline or show up on a campus at some point before the first day of the 2013-14 school year to ink scholarship papers.

“I know for him, he’s just ready to get the decision over with,” Leslie Thomas, Wiggins’ host family mom in West Virginia, told the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Wiggins has told Thomas that his mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins, is planning to travel to West Virginia from Canada to be on hand for an announcement. Thomas told the paper her arrival would be “sometime in the next week or so.”

“He said, ‘When I declare where I’m going, my mom is going to be there with me,’” Thomas told the Courier-Journal.

Freeman, a 6-4 senior shooting guard from Findlay Prep High in Henderson, Nev., who chose Scott Drew’s Bears on Tuesday, asked out of his UCLA letter of intent when Ben Howland was fired.

FSU the leader?

Jon Rothstein of CBSsports.com lists Florida State as the leader for Wiggins (4-1 odds), followed by Kentucky (6-1), KU (8-1) and Carolina (10-1).

“We’ve felt all along that Wiggins would wind up in Tallahassee, and we’re not budging from that proclamation. The Seminoles have a distinct connection with the talented small forward that none of the other schools on his list possess — both of his parents are alums,” Rothstein wrote.

Cobb talks

Ben McLemore’s former AAU coach, Darius Cobb, spoke on ESPN’s Coach and Company radio show on Tuesday, a day after Cobb had a Florissant, Mo., firm put out a press release stating KU knew nothing of his dealings with middleman Rodney Blackstock. Blackstock allegedly paid Cobb $10,000 to get close to KU star McLemore.

Cobb told co-host Linda Cohn he didn’t know he was jeopardizing McLemore’s amateurism by accepting two $5,000 payments from Blackstock.

“I was under the understanding because I was not his mother or father, boyfriend or immediate family it was OK,” Cobb said. “All I was doing I was almost being paid for being a consultant, just to hear everybody out to start to gather information in the event he did decide to go pro at the end of the year.”

Cobb explained the purpose of two all-expense paid trips to Los Angeles with Blackstock and McLemore’s cousin, Richard Boyd.

“The only thing I did was I went on fact-finding missions,” Cobb said. “I talked to individuals. No money was transacted. I just saw a couple plans as to what this company was willing to do for Ben or how they would set it up depending on where he went in the draft financially — CPA’s covering taxes, how to incorporate to help his sisters or whoever Ben deemed necessary without it coming out of Ben’s pocket. I talked to people about possible roles in starting an AAU program with Ben so he could help in his community. Those were the types of things discussed.”

Cobb was asked Boyd’s role on the two trips: “Basically to accompany me as I gathered information to make sure I wasn’t doing anything unethical, doing anything to jeopardize Ben,” Cobb said.

Cobb was asked if KU or McLemore knew McLemore’s cousin went on those trips: “No, they did not,” Cobb said.

Cobb has not been able to reach McLemore.

“My hope for Ben McLemore would be to run from Rodney Blackstock as far as possible, to go back to the original plan which was to sit down with three to four agents, three to four reputable finance people, let them do a presentation on an even playing field not based off who can do what underneath the table and pick the best person (agent) for his career,” Cobb said.

Comments

Scott Smetana 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Notebook ALERT: Wiggins MAY NOT be nearing a decision. You heard it here first.

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jhawkrulz 11 months, 2 weeks ago

We would have AW and AWIII, we would just need a 2.

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jaybate 11 months, 2 weeks ago

"Two Things That Might Change AWigs Mind that Has Probably Been Made Up for Over a Year"

  1. An ICBM with a MIRV (multiple independent re-entry vehicle for youngsters that don't recall the cold war) targeted at UK, KU, UNC, and FSU.

  2. A better deal.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

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Robert Brock 11 months, 2 weeks ago

This kid is a terrific player. I wish he would make a choice and get it over with. He is OAD and will not make an impact on college hoops no matter what he does. MAKE A BLOODY DECISION!

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eric poncharello 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Cobb sounds like a really good guy just doing what any white blooded American would do in the corporate world. Not like he went to any stripper bars and acted a fool, he's a real man. RIGHT!!

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Tony Bandle 11 months, 2 weeks ago

After reading about this recruitment "saga" for the past month, my gut feeling it is between FSU and UK. I think KU and NC are out of the picture. Think of it this way....at least we won't be second again.

Hey, LJW, maybe some articles about the kids we DO HAVE would be a good idea, don't you think!!????????

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jaybate 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I suspect andrew has known for many months where he was going. He has just waited to be last... as per advice.

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Joe Baker 11 months, 2 weeks ago

What's interesting, her DOB, address, and property value are all public record. Go figure and an easy target for some scumbag looking for an advantage with Wiggins.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/recruiting/2012/10/24/andrew-wiggins-college-basketball-recruiting/1654439/

Oh I'm just being a conspiracy theorist. There's nothing to anything that happens to these athletes. Goofy me...

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Ian Emerson 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Truehawk I completely agree. Why can't people just keep their mouths SHUT.

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Joe Baker 11 months, 2 weeks ago

“I know for him, he’s just ready to get the decision over with,” Leslie Thomas, Wiggins’ host family mom in West Virginia, told the Louisville Courier-Journal.

I can only imagine who is falling over themselves to get at this family friend, "host family mom." I don't understand why these people expose themselves to this messy scene. Next thing you know this "host mom" will be cited this time next year for something or having some connection to someone in the bball recruiting world.

Why can't these people close to the recruits keep their mouths shut or at best request anonymity? They have a reason for doing this. If they had the recruit's best interest at heart, they would keep their mouths shut and stay away from the recruiting world or people popping up for something about the recruit.

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andrewJHWK 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Does anyone know if this Rodney Blackstock guy is associated with Rival Sports Management in Los Angeles? From their twitter account and Ben McLemore's twitter, Ben has signed with them. This is the same agency that got the Morris Twins and Thomas Robinson to sign on. Things might look worse for KU if Mr. Blackstock works for Rival.

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hawktalker5 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I find the people who say if Wiggins reads these boards and messages he wouldnt come here, so if your logic is correct he isnt going to UNC either, out of boredom i trolled a few boards over there and funny thing is they are saying the exact same things as most of us. If this is the case the only is Kentucky were they seem to think he is already committed to them. Something i find interesting myself being investigative and all is i looked at who Wiggins follows a couple of Ku players on twitter but doesnt follow any Uk players, i found that interesting but im not reading into it to much.

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Tony Bandle 11 months, 2 weeks ago

ANDREW'S DECISION TIME:

1] THE EASY CHOICE - Go to FSU, be "The Man", be comfortable with modified expactations due to the lack of quality support talent, make family happy, nice comfort zone.

2] THE MODERATE CHOICE - Go to North Carolina, got into the recruiting late, nice team, nice coach, nice conference but is it really enough?

3] THE HARD CHOICE - Go to UK - Don't think Mom likes Cal, don't think Dad likes all the competition, tremendous pressure to not only win but go 40-0, could be an "ego meltdown", not this kid's style to bask in the limelight.

4] THE GAMBLING CHOICE - Go to KU - Uncertainty over NCAA, uncertainty over five new starters, strength program a plus, JO JO and Wayne a plus, HCBS a plus, weather most matches that of Canada so it would be just like home.

After this thorough analysis, my conclusion........not a friggin' clue!!!!!!!!!

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monkeehawkSL8 11 months, 2 weeks ago

"In our top story today Andrew Wiggens is close to making a decision about making a decision as to where he is going to decide to play college basketball". " Andrews decision to announce the decision has not been decided at this time". Cub reporter monkee had an extremely difficult time deciding to run this story. RCJH KAAAAAUOOOOO!

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James Kiernan 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I wish Kansas fans on the boards would lose phrases like "Calisleazy" and "Drewche". Makes the rest of us look childish. Are other fanbases this immature? The only interaction I have with other fans is on ESPN.com as I don't go to other schools boards.

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Dickless Head 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Haha..."Wiggins really just wants to get the decision over with." Yeah, I can tell. That's why he's dragging this out til the last possible day and he's the LAST ranked recruit to make a decision. He is loving the attention, the speculation. I think he's known where he is going for months, but this is his own, personal way of being in the spotlight.

As for Cobb, we probably know 10% of the entire story. McLemore needs to have a clue and not give tickets to freakin AAU coaches. Ironic that the one year of McLemore (and subsequent sweet 16 choke job) may cost KU an entire season of victories and future sanctions. The kid wasn't and still isn't worth it. He better just stay out of Lawrence, cuz I know a lot of people who will beat his a$$ if he shows his face around here again.

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Steve Gantz 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I hope he doesn't read these message boards or he'd never come to KU.

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RCJHTOTHEGRAVE 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I heard Andrews parents are going to be happy wherever he goes. they just have a preference towards florida state.

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archercc 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The headline must have been written by a clairvoyant. The concept of a prospect being "close" to a decision when they are running out of time, who would have guessed that?

I'm going to call it, you heard it here first boys and girls: Wiggins will decide before the deadline passes. Yep, nobody else knows that for sure but me.

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RCJHTOTHEGRAVE 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Both the Harrison Twins, Dakari Johnson, Julius Randle, and Young have big egos. I think the Harrison Twins and Dakari said they could beat Micheal Jordan in his prime in a one on one basketball game. I'm gonna laugh my head off when Kentucky becomes the lakers of college basketball. As far as Kansas goes, if they get another big 12 title for 10 straight, I'm satisfied enough with this young team.

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nuleafjhawk 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Can you imagine what kind of insanity would take place if Wilt Chamberlain was a high school senior now?

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pepper_bar 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I didn't click on this story to read about Wiggins. I knew there would be a McLemore update buried under it, and that was what I was really interested in. Just a heads up for the fine people at LJW.

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Joe Baker 11 months, 2 weeks ago

There was a rumor and sure it was nothing but, that his dad had him down to KU and FSU. Either he attends FSU for the family or pick KU apart from FSU. It's pretty selfish of his parents to push him at FSU when they have little to no chance at much even with AW.

FSU will have a better record at best and maybe make the tourney, but don't think AW is even that good to sustain an entire team. Hamilton just wants him to justify his job.

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dylans 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Forte went to KU following his parents too, right?

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William Blake 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Maybe some light can be shed on the direction of Wiggins by looking at what happened with his brother, Nick. How come he didn't go to FSU? Did FSU offer him a scholarship? Did he buck his parents' push for FSU?

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Ron Franklin 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I can understand Mr. & Mrs. Wiggins passion for their alma mater, but I get a bad taste when parents try to force the hands of their children. I am more encouraged to teach my children how to evaluate circumstances, determine the pros and cons of each decision and and make the best applicable choice. This is a better foundation for decision making than "hey just do what we did" technique.

I just hope Andrew chooses the best fit for him and gets the most out of his time in college.

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Mike Barnhart 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Sounds to me like KU officials have explained to Cobb, in detail, exactly what occurred. In other words, his original story has been scrubbed as clean as possible. With that said, it's time for him to SHUT UP!

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clevelandjayhawker 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Are we still in the running for Trevor Lacey?

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Preston Dwiggins 11 months, 2 weeks ago

If Wiggins chooses Kentucky, the NCAA should focus 100% attention and their efforts from people like Cobb and Blackstone and direct it to Calipari. If it's too good to be true, then it typically is...LANCE ARMSTRONG comes to mind. Calipari is ruining college basketball IMO. He needs to take his money back to the NBA. Good luck McLemore, we love and support you! Rock Chalk!!!

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Suzi Marshall 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I read somewhere that Wiggin's mother was the hard-core FSU person. If that is indeed the case, it looks pretty strong that FSU is his choice.

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Jason Keller 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The worst part is I feel like we might have had Wiggins. We still might but I just don't see it now. The timing of all this was just as bad as it gets. If a rival coach would have gotten to choose a time in the year to break this story, he would have chosen a time within 12 hours of when the story actually broke. Sometimes you're the bird and sometimes you're the statue.

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Jack Wilson 11 months, 2 weeks ago

"I was under the understanding because I was not his mother or father, boyfriend or immediate family it was OK,” Cobb said.

Did he really say "boyfriend"?

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Timmay97 11 months, 2 weeks ago

This might sound absurd......but if Wiggins chooses Kentucky, I think I might root harder for Kentucky to lose next year than for KU to win.

To me, it's insane that Kentucky could get that recruiting class, regardless of the school and coach. McClemore is a blip on the radar compared to what MUST be going on at Kentucky. Everyone knows it......it's only a matter of time.

Take a wild guess who my most HATED team is. :-) Sorry for the venting!

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Ron Franklin 11 months, 2 weeks ago

They say he gets his height from his neck :)

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nuleafjhawk 11 months, 2 weeks ago

“I know for him, he’s just ready to get the decision over with,” Leslie Thomas, Wiggins’ host family mom in West Virginia, told the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Mmmmmm. Yeah, doesn't really seem like he's THAT ready.

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Jason Keller 11 months, 2 weeks ago

These quotes from Cobb are HUGE. It doesn't change the fact that technically rules were broken but if all this is true about Mclemore and KU being completely unaware of anything, it will make it hard for the NCAA to make us vacate games. They will take heat if they don't but I think they would take just a little more heat if they do.

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Ashwin Rao 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I feel that he is clueless, and his explanation, sort-of, explains the string of events leading to the declaration. But now, he needs to get back into the background until the draft is completed, otherwise he is going to start hurting Mr. McLemore. I don't believe that with what I have heard so far, either Ben or KU is involved, and will have to worry about anything.

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