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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.

Kansas recruit Andrew Wiggins watches from behind the bench during the second half, Monday, March 4, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas recruit Andrew Wiggins watches from behind the bench during the second half, Monday, March 4, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

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?

McDonald's East All-American's Andrew Wiggins (22) and Julius Randle (30) battle for a rebound during the second half of the McDonald's All-American Boys basketball game in Chicago on April 3, 2013.

McDonald's East All-American's Andrew Wiggins (22) and Julius Randle (30) battle for a rebound during the second half of the McDonald's All-American Boys basketball game in Chicago on April 3, 2013.

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?

Kansas head coach Bill Self laugh during the senior speeches, Monday, March 4, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self laugh during the senior speeches, Monday, March 4, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

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.

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.

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.

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Comments

Greg Lux 11 months, 1 week ago

New Recruiting moto: Come to KU it's good for the heart!!

Rock Chalk

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Steve Zimmerman 11 months, 1 week ago

Great, we got Wiggins, FINALLY! sounds like Selby part deux. a bit reminder, his Overall Recruiting Rankings: Rivals: #1 Scout: #5 ESPN: #5 (wik'ed).

let's start with a new great hope & high expectation of Wiggins. and to a great run in 2013-14!! rock chalk!

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Ted Adams 11 months, 1 week ago

A couple of things that came to light for me when reading this article. KU has a few things that others can't offer. The best weight program in the country, a spot in the lineup at the 3 position right away, and midwestern values that will keep his head smaller (relatively speaking). McClemore was a quiet, non-auspicious kid too, so there is a precedent for how the climate would be here at KU for him.

If those things matter to him much, then he might lean to attending KU, but I can see the pull to go to FSU too. If my parents had both gone to one college and I grew up with Seminoles all the time in the house, it would be a pretty hard pull for me.

Bottom line is that it probably doesn't matter where he goes. It won't affect his NBA status much. He's a Top 5 pick regardless. (ala McClemore)

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BABBOY 11 months, 1 week ago

Recruiting wars suck.

I only comment because the whole rivals.com "expert thing" is lame and needs to be put into perspective.

I made the mistake of belonging to rivals.com for a while (not Ku site but they are the same).

I found that people who write for or post on those sites are nothing more than bar stool wannabes rambling catch phrases they heard on ESPN. All yammering about their high school ball days where they got to play once….

They are not experts. Just geeks with a computer.

Stupid story.

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Jonathan Allison 11 months, 1 week ago

I enjoy reading everyone's guesses as to which school this guy will choose. There's is good comedy value in it because all anybody really knows is that his parents went to FSU, he has talked some about playing with Kentucky's recruits, and he also says KU and UNC are in the mix.

So guess away. My guess would would either just be a regurgitation of the guesses of the maintstream media or a product of my bias toward KU. So I'm withholding.

I'll take the wait and see approach, and try not to get my hopes up (like I did for Julius Randle a few weeks ago).

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Steve Corder 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I am so done with the one & done thing. When has it ever brought KU a championship? Wilt was the closest we ever got to a title.

Come or don't come to KU, just end this ridiculous recruiting dance!

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kcmojayhawker 11 months, 2 weeks ago

KU or Kentucky, no doubt FSU is only mentioned because of the family ties. Which program has an opening for a coaching job for Mitchell for a year? Seen it before.

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DRsmith 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Seemed like FSU but KU seems to be the latest hourly flavor. Of course this kid has been harder to figure out than Randle.

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irvan moore 11 months, 2 weeks ago

whoever gets wiggins will get a prize, I don't think it will be nc but think it's a tossup between Kansas and kentucky

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Adam Evans 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Espn insider just did an article "handicapping the chances" for each school. Basic breakdown (since its a subscription only article)

FSU: 35% mostly because of fam. They will have a hard time selling it because of the lack of talent around him and lack of consistent big stage

KU: 25% best fit overall. Wiggins was said to "like bill self the most of all the coaches involved". Thing that might be an issue: he's grown up around Nike. Camps, aau, high school, all Nike sponsored. Nike it the top sponsor. KU is Adidas sponsored. If he's thinking long term endorsements, that could hurt

UK: 20% would add to the already top recruiting class ever. Major exposure. Long time evidence of OAD success. Problems: too much talent. He'll still be the main go to guy, but would get overshadowed some because of all the talent.

UNC: 20% pros: dad is from NC (Kinston, same town Reggie bullock and Jerry stackhouse are from). Lots of family still in the area. UNC has talent, but no true superstar as a go to guy. This could be appealing. Problems: would his parents push him to go to a rival of their alma mater? Doubtful. UNC is the odd man out in this chase.

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Boouk 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I think with Wiggins we're a top 3 team next year. Hopefully he plans on going up against both Jabari Parker and Marcus Smart in the regular season of his one year of college.

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melrank 11 months, 2 weeks ago

So, Jesse, who is your guess on where he's going?

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Janet Scott 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Nice interview, Jesse. But the real question all of Jayhawk Nation wants you to explore with Eric is: what effect would the addition of any of the recent KU bball fantasy campers have on the KU team in the upcoming season? Did any of them get "offered" by HCBS after showing their "skills" at the KU bball fantasy camp? Is UK after any of them? Just wondering.

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kusayzone 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I dont know if HCBS is really down after losing top recruit after top recruit, but the fans seem all wrapped up..I dont care if we get Wiggins or not....want to keep winning and HCBS has that formula and if those youngsters dont understand that...then keep on moving down the road. It is done the right way at KU>

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Danny Hernandez 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Ben Mac was pretty athletic and above the rim

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litlmikeyb 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I think we've all been disappointed one too many times with these high-prized recruits... It's been said before, while it would an amazing addition to an already great class, at this point, most of us have given up on the thought of Wiggins coming to KU...

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DSommersby 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Would be a lot of fun to get Wiggins! Here's hoping it happens. I think KU would be a great place for him and his family. He would get incredible exposure here and his family would be able to bounce back and forth between Lawrence and Wichita for his brother's senior year as a Shocker. I think Self and the staff would help prepare him. UK and Carolina are great options too, but I think KU would be a great fit. I know I am biased, but when I look at the make up of the rosters next year it just seems like Lawrence would be a great overall fit. Think about the epic battles he could be in trying to help KU get conference title #10 in a row, and going head to head vs Marcus Smart at least 2 times for Oklahoma State.

Let's make it happen KU! Rock Chalk!

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