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The nation's reaction to top recruit Andrew Wiggins choosing Kansas

Lots of links to get to after top prospect Andrew Wiggins announced Tuesday that he was coming to Kansas ...

Huntington Prep basketball player Andrew Wiggins smiles along side his mother Marita Payne-Wiggins, right, as he announces his commitment to Kansas University during a ceremony on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at St. Joseph High School in Huntington W.Va. The Canadian star, a top prospect, averaged 23.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game this season for West Virginia's Huntington Prep.

Huntington Prep basketball player Andrew Wiggins smiles along side his mother Marita Payne-Wiggins, right, as he announces his commitment to Kansas University during a ceremony on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at St. Joseph High School in Huntington W.Va. The Canadian star, a top prospect, averaged 23.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game this season for West Virginia's Huntington Prep.

• In his notes column about the signing, ESPN.com's Andy Katz talked to some other Big 12 coaches to get their reaction.

Here was what Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said:

"He's the best high school player who has come around in a long time. He's freakishly athletic and has great size and great length. He's a special player and a special talent in our conference."

How good is Wiggins? ESPN.com's Chad Ford talked about Wiggins' reputation among NBA folks in this column (subscription required).

Here's a snippet from Ford:

"Every GM and scout in the league with whom I've spoken believes Wiggins would be the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft if he were eligible. Every one."

Here's a long feature on Wiggins from Feb. 7 written by SI.com's Pete Thamel that discusses Wiggins' past. It also includes a quote from recruiting analyst Tom Konchalski who says Wiggins could be the "Michael Jordan of Canada."

After Kansas signed Wiggins, CBSsports.com moved the Jayhawks up 10 spots to No. 9 in its 2013-14 preseason poll. ESPN.com's Jason King moved KU up from No. 21 to No. 5.

ESPN.com's Paul Biancardi believes Wiggins' decision to go to KU will help him prepare for a pro career (subscription required), with Biancardi saying:

Wiggins already is viewed as a potential No. 1 pick, but looking at how Kansas made a top-5 player out of McLemore, Self’s staff could work wonders in preparing him for instant success as an NBA rookie.

Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde shared an interesting story about Bill Self in his column about Wiggins committing to KU:

When I saw Bill Self at the Final Four in Atlanta, I speculated that it was down to Florida State and Kentucky for the top player in the Class of 2013, Andrew Wiggins. "We're still in it," the Kansas coach replied.

CBSsports.com's Jeff Goodman is just happy that Wiggins didn't go to Kentucky, as he explains in his column:

Kentucky remains the most talented team in the land, but Wiggins would have put the Wildcats in a different stratosphere. That's not what college basketball needed.

CBSsports.com also put together the basics on Wiggins for those who didn't know much about him before this week.

810 WHB sports radio had KU assistant coach Kurtis Townsend on the Border Patrol, and at the 6:20 mark, Townsend talks about the first time he saw Wiggins play at an AAU event following his freshman year:

"This kid single-handedly did stuff that I hadn't seen since Vince Carter."

USA Today's Adam Himmelsbach gives a narrative account of how Wiggins told his parents he had decided on KU.

Here's a small slice of it:

So on Monday night, Mitchell and Marita Wiggins arrived at a hotel here knowing that their son had selected a college, yet still unsure which one. Wiggins drove to the hotel, entered his parents' room and flashed a wide smile. "I know where I want to go," he said. "Guess!"

Himmelsbach also said on his Twitter account that a Vine video from Kentucky's Andrew Harrison might have steered Wiggins away from the Wildcats.

Buzzfeed gathered together 21 of the best Andrew Wiggins GIFs, including this one.

Grant Traylor of the Herald-Dispatch — the one print reporter allowed to go to Wiggins' press conference — had some good quotes from Andrew's father, Mitchell, about why he decided to go to KU:

“They run a lot of pick and-roll, pick-and-pop — a lot of stuff as he goes to the next level, he’s already ready for. The system was probably the biggest thing and the coach. (Kansas) Coach (Bill) Self is a very good coach and Andrew had a good feel for him. I think it’s going to be a great fit.”

The Herald-Dispatch also has a nice photo gallery from Tuesday's signing.

ViewfromVegas says that KU went from 25-to-1 to win it all earlier this week to 10-to-1 after signing Wiggins. KU has the second-best odds, only behind Kentucky.

The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy outlines how much time Wiggins could be away from KU in summer/fall because of his commitments to play for Team Canada in two different FIBA championships. DeCourcy also compiled reaction to the signing from other analysts in this story, which includes this quote from talent analyst at Hot 100 Hoops Van Coleman:

"Andrew has similar tools to a young Carmelo Anthony, He, like Anthony can dominate the game with his ability to make plays on both ends of the court."

ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil says now it's time to see if Wiggins can live up to the hype.

SI's Andy Glockner ponders five questions about college basketball now that Wiggins has signed with KU.

He ends the piece with this:

We don’t know exactly what we’ll see from him next season, but we do know it’s just the start of what should be a sensational basketball career. He’s that kind of prospect, and it’s that kind of celebratory day for Kansas.

Bloguin shows us that Wiggins' decision brought out some of the worst of people on Twitter, as Wiggins had fans of other schools wishing him harm and also calling him some pretty awful names on the social media site (Warning: Harsh language/Viewer discretion advised).

Self was on CBSsports radio with Doug Gottlieb, and the coach was asked how he felt about his chances with Wiggins the night before he committed.

Self's answer?

"I didn't think it was great, because I kept texting him and couldn't get him to respond."

To gauge Wiggins' potential against the top KU players ever, USA Today's Scott Gleeson ranks the top 10 KU basketball players of all-time.

ESPN.com's Eamonn Brennan says the Wiggins addition instantly makes KU a Final Four contender again.

And finally, ESPN.com's Reggie Rankin says the Wiggins signing makes the young Jayhawks scary (subscription required).

Here's more from Rankin:

If KU fans thought Ben McLemore was exciting in transition, wait until they get an up-close look at Wiggins, who often appears to be looking down at the rim on finishes.

Comments

fearthephog512 1 year, 7 months ago

Hey Jesse — I like that you put quotes in italics, but they are nearly unreadable because they are so faint. Thanks for the awesome update, though!

flloyd 1 year, 7 months ago

We better enjoy Wiggins for a year as he'll be one and done and off to the NBA. Stars like this who come for a year or two is what brought University of Texas basketball to its knees.

SuperCorona 1 year, 7 months ago

No, Rick Barnes horrible coaching is what brought UT basketball to its knees.

Jonathan Briles 1 year, 7 months ago

Awesome update and some interesting stuff on here.

I already disliked the Harrison twins, but that just makes me like them even less. I honestly think they will be poison for UK which will be pretty funny.

jgkojak 1 year, 7 months ago

Jessee - this is a fantastic service you provide us getting all this summarized. THIS is a great job, and very thorough.

beaujvanbeek 1 year, 7 months ago

Jesse, did you ever think about doing a podcast with the fellow KU writers to talk about your reactions, Wiggins' potential impact, and the pressure being put on him?

Tony Bandle 1 year, 7 months ago

I had never seen the, now famous, "360 Under The Leg Slam Jam" before...WTF!!!!!

I have a very good, reliable friend who is involved in the AAU scene and he swears that the Harrison Twins are "toxic" and could end up sabotaging Kentucky's season!

Something tells me that our worries about the lack of penetration from the wings are over!!!

What Andrew will do will make everyone on the floor with him better because he will draw the defenses his way, thus opening up lob lanes, driving lanes and shooting lanes for the other players.

GOD, I'd pay good money just to sit and watch the practices this team is going to have; Joel, Andrew, Naadir, Perry, Wayne and maybe Tarek against Landon, Jamari, Conner, Frank, Brannen,AW3 and Justin!!!!!

LAJayhawk 1 year, 7 months ago

That dunk is riDICULOUS. With a capital DICULOUS.

BCRavenJHawkfan 1 year, 7 months ago

Those Twitter comments (sorry, Tweets) were so over the top I was slackjawed. As a native Kansan I take exception to being called hillbillies. I tend to think of hillbillies as from Appalachia, which includes Kentucky I believe, as opposed to the Midwest.

mom_of_three 1 year, 7 months ago

Can't believe people are so harsh about where he goes to school? I am happy he chose KS but wouldn't begrudge him another school. I thought the one about the NIT and also about choking was funny, considering Kentucky went to the NIT and lost in the first round. When is the last time KU went to the NIT - try.... my head hurts trying to think that far back....

dustfan 1 year, 7 months ago

Pretty hard to be hillbillies when there are no hills in Kansas, lol. Also, some were UNC fans I think. Honestly though if he picked another school there would be idiots repping KU saying the same stuff.

Mark Lindrud 1 year, 7 months ago

My Dad, a fellow alumni, and I are loving the updates. Thanks Jesse, keep up the great work!!!!

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 7 months ago

So Checking on Andrew Wiggins status thing of the past.

Next things as KU fans to be checking out is -

  • Dooley Replacement
  • Whether White III is asked to redshirt
  • Status on Tarik Black
  • Status on 2014 / 15 Recruits - namely keep tabs on Tyus Jones, J. Okafor, Josh Perkins, McLaughlin, Ju. Winslow, M. Pope, L. Black, Oubre, Ahmed Hill, S. Zimmerman, Rabb among others.

Lookin' like we're still doing good in East Coast recruiting with our big wins being from Ontario / Huntington, WV, Boston, MA (some NH academy) & FL

Other three landings being from Wichita, KS (recruits itself), VA & GA.

Looks like recruiting-wise we're sliding back some in Chicago, Texas & Calif. compared to the past. Newest Asst. will be tabbed with AT LEAST helping out in Texas....where the Jerrence Howard rumors were put in (Asst. under L. Brown at SMU now), but I think he's making too much & has short-term sights of going out on his own.

I STILL like the idea of giving Woodberry a try. Already with 6 years as an assitant at Missouri State under Cuonzo Martin & last year at Tulsa under Danny Manning. From Wichita, I could see us having no problems delegating him as our SW-area recruiter (CO, NM, TX, AR, OK, KS, LA areas). Townsend primarily out West & N. Roberts primarily out East. Self more with local K.C. kids - maybe Chicago area w/ past stint at Illinois.

Boouk 1 year, 7 months ago

I'd be shocked if Andrew White redshirts.

John Fitzgerald 1 year, 7 months ago

The worst part of all the links was the twitter responses. Talk about saddening. But, I hope Great Wiggins reads all of those. Did you see him go crazy on the court when all those kids were chanting "overrated" in the video? This is much worse and much more personal. Go ahead Kensucky fans, add fuel to the fire so Wiggins has more reason to embarrass you with your title aspirations. The nightmare for UK starts now.

gchawk 1 year, 7 months ago

I'd be the first to admit that I get disappointed when we miss out on a top recruit, but to wish an athlete a potential career ending injury, or worse, simply because he didn't pick "my school" is unbelievable. Note to those horrible posters, beware of kharma, and the Phog!

jayhawkliz 1 year, 7 months ago

I can not wait to watch our whole team play. The team has talent coming out it wazoo...Rock Chalk Jayhawk, and Thanks Coach!

HawkDownSouth 1 year, 7 months ago

I now have a reason to get in the lottery for the F4 in the Big D. For those in the the South, I would expect a sea of Blue on the big screen in Cowboys stadium.

DDDHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Jesse, I can't believe how much info you have stuffed into one article! Awesome! Thanks.

Jace FitzGibbon 1 year, 7 months ago

after looking at videos of wiggins, embiid, and selden, i cant wait for the season! we'll seriously be the most athletic and dangerous team, even over kentucky.

embiid can slam and shoot. hes a freak athletically and will own the paint after some seasoning. selden is the same except he can dribble and shoot lights out! no explanation needed on wiggins.

all tharpe needs to do is distribute and perry needs to be that constant source of points and boards.

then we have all of our sharpshooters and muscle coming off the bench! can the season start tomorrow?

Micky Baker 1 year, 7 months ago

Yes, I do think that KU's class is better than Kentucky's actually because of the Embiid. He's going to be a monster under the basket on defense and will cause huge problems for shorter teams like Oklahoma State and Iowa State. He will cause match up nightmares, then combine that with the two other 5 star recruits and 3 other solid 4 star recruits including the outside shooting marksman. We then have three pretty good players returning, and at least two of them will be coming off the bench and force other teams to play their players that might be foul trouble, and this includes what Embiid/Wiggins could do to a team like Kentucky that might be athletic, but not that quick or that tall to be able to marginalize that combination.

Jim Stauffer 1 year, 7 months ago

I would think Kentucky will be plenty tall with Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson.

notjustbread 1 year, 7 months ago

And another note on Wiggens...his haircut is similar to McLemore's.

notjustbread 1 year, 7 months ago

I just watched the 360 between legs dunk again...and said 'oh my goodness....oh my goodness....oh my goodness' several times before I snapped out of it.

Justin Steele 1 year, 7 months ago

Does anyone know whats going on with Tarik Black and by when does he have to make a choice?

Chris1955 1 year, 7 months ago

In another article a poster asked about nickname suggestions. I have two for review and comment.

  1. Andrewgeddon, a word play with the word Armageddon

  2. North Star, a reference to his Canadian heritage and the star that travelers look to for guidance.

chalmers2wright 1 year, 7 months ago

"All the schools were good, but Kansas was where my heart was at."

Favorite quote out of all of them (in the article about telling his parents where he was going).

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