Rivals.com's Eric Bossi discusses Andrew Wiggins and his potential impact if he commits to KU
Rivals.com's No. 1-ranked recruit Andrew Wiggins will announce his college decision at approximately 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, with Kansas as one of the final four schools on his list.
Rivals national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi (@ebosshoops on Twitter) took some time to talk about Wiggins and what impact he might have at KU if he does commit to the Jayhawks.
Q: You’ve seen Wiggins play quite a bit. For someone who hasn’t seen him play, how would you describe his game?
A: He’s an athletic, transition player who can really slash to the rim and get on the offensive glass and find creases in the defense to get things done. He’s an improving ball-handler; someone who’s still working on his shot, but he’s such a ridiculous athlete, that it helps to cover some of the areas of his game that need some work. The jumpshot and the dribble are coming, but also, he’s a big-time defender. He’s already one of the best defenders in the country. So he’s a big, athletic, quick guy that makes plays above the rim, which is something there’s room for on any team — not just Kansas.
Q: I’ve heard a lot about Wiggins' spin move. Can you describe what he’s able to do with it offensively?
A: First of all, there are not a lot of high school kids that have mastery of a spin move. Not only does he have mastery, he’s mastered spinning right or left. How quickly he’s able to spin and how he’s able to do it in tight quarters and immediately explode to the rim … it’s just pure natural ability. You can’t teach that. It’s impossible to teach that. You can go in the gym and learn a spin move, but not like he has with the balance and quickness and the ability to still finish with power out of it. It’s really rather remarkable.
Q: If he did come to Kansas, where would you see him fitting in on the Jayhawks’ roster?
A: He’d play the small forward position. Kansas has shown they like to run lobs over the years. He would surely get plenty of lobs run for him. But he would be a big-time defender. He would help out on the glass. He would be a transition scorer. I think that his ability to get out in transition … he’d be able to help them play fast because of having an additional finisher on the floor and as someone the defense is always going to account for off the ball, because if you sleep on him, someone’s getting dunked on.
Q: He’s the No. 1 player in the class of 2013 in your guys' Rivals rankings. Let’s take the last decade. How would he stack up historically against some of those other No. 1 players?
A: That’s an interesting question. I think, because his decision has lasted for a while — and with how much coverage there is of recruiting stuff — I think maybe some of the expectations of him are being blown a little bit out of the realm of possibility. He’s definitely a big-time prospect, but is he the No. 1 prospect in the last decade? Probably not. Is he somewhere in the top 10, maybe top 5 prospects in the last decade? Yeah, for sure.
Q: Hypothetically speaking, why do you think KU would be a good fit for Wiggins?
A: Because he’s a good fit anywhere (laughs). He’s a freak athletically. The thing with Andrew is this: He’s done plenty, but I think he’s only scratched the surface of what he can do once he adds physical strength and gets a little better with the dribble and more consistent with the jump shot. He can go from this 6-7 small forward who’s an electric finisher to a 6-7 shooting guard who’s an electric finisher, because he can defend all over the court. Guys like that tend to be a good fit anywhere.
I just think another wing athlete is something that Kansas could really use. I guess if you look at next year’s lineup, Wayne Selden is the only guy you could really classify as an ‘athlete’ out on the wing in their lineup. I think the addition of another guy who puts pressure on defenses in that aspect would be really big for Kansas, because it’s just something that they don’t have a lot of. Next year’s team, if you look at who’s coming back and who’s coming in, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be quite as athletic as it’s been in the past.
Q: You’ve talked to Andrew quite a bit. What kind of a kid is he?
A: He’s a pretty reserved, pretty quiet kid. Pretty much keeps to himself, really. He doesn’t really like talking to media and that kind of stuff. He’s been impossible to get ahold of (laughs), other than when he had no choice but to talk to media. I think he’s pretty quiet, down-to-earth, just kind of humble guy who wants to go along and do his thing without a lot of fanfare.
Q: How would this affect KU’s recruiting class if the Jayhawks were able to pull in Wiggins?
A: They’re already the No. 2 recruiting class in the country. It would just solidify that. … Kentucky’s still sitting on six five-stars. That would be (KU’s) third five-star guy with a couple high four-stars and a solid four-star in Frank Mason. It certainly would make an already very-good recruiting class extremely good.
Q: Would it be unquestionably Bill Self’s best recruiting class at KU if he added Wiggins?
A: On paper, probably yeah. I don’t have what (Brandon) Rush, (Julian) Wright, (Mario) Chalmers and (Micah) Downs were all ranked coming in. But on paper, it would probably be their best class. Of course, you can’t find out if it was his best class or not until a few years down the road.
Q: One more on this topic: If KU did get Wiggins, what type of impact might that have for KU and coach Bill Self in general as far as recruiting goes?
A: If you’re into recruiting badge of honors, it’s a pretty big badge of honor to have won that battle. In terms of perception, Bill Self’s already pretty highly thought of as a recruiter. Kansas is already pretty highly regarded by kids, for the most part, on the recruiting trail. I don’t know how much more those guys can be elevated, because they’re already in that elite tier of programs that are always going to be able to get their foot in the door with kids. It would be another feather in his cap, but how much can you change the perception of somebody who already has a great perception?
Q: You talked about Wiggins being in the top five or 10 high school players of the last 10 years. What kind of athletes would you compare him to that you’ve seen since you’ve been a national recruiting analyst?
A: Athletically, he’s definitely way up there. If anyone remembers what a freak Tracy McGrady was when he was young, when he still had legs. There’s a little bit of Dominique Wilkins in his athleticism, in that he also has powerful athleticism.
For a guy who’s as lean as he is, he’s pretty powerful at the rim, which is why it’s kind of scary to think about what happens when he actually hits the weight room. Athletically, there may have been guys that have come and gone who were close to as athletic as him, but he’s pretty much about what you have to figure the limit of the human body is when it comes to athleticism.
He doesn’t just jump high and run fast — he’s got great agility, great balance. He can jump two or three times while other people are still gathering themselves for the second jump. Not a lot of guys can just catch in close quarters like he can and immediately be up with elbows on the rim.
You just don’t see it very often. It’s remarkable. Athletically, he’s truly a phenom. No question.