Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Wildcat assistant coach Orlando Antigua made the short trip from Lexington to Huntington, W.Va., on Monday to watch the player many consider to be the best prospect regardless of class, Andrew Wiggins, play during an open gym session at his high school.
"Yeah, just wanted to come over and see if the kid could play," joked Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford.
"It went well," Fulford said. "He watched open gym for about an hour and 15 minutes. It was pretty high-level play, extremely competitive for an open gym. It usually is, but everybody had a little extra pep in their step today with Coach Cal and Orlando here from Kentucky, Kevin Ollie from UConn, and a couple of Marshall's coaches.
"Cal had an opportunity to speak with him briefly. He just relayed the message that Andrew already knew, that he really wants to coach him."
Asked how that message is being received, Fulford said: "Andrew's very clever. He doesn't give up a ton of information, but I've been telling everybody from the get-go that I think Kentucky's going to be there in the end. You won't hear much from Andrew along the way, but that's my general feeling from being around him."
Wiggins (6-8, 195) is a native of Toronto and the son of former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins and Canadian track star Marita Payne, who won two silver medals in the 1984 Olympics. His parents met while attending Florida State, which is one of many top college programs pursuing him.
Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse and West Virginia are also in the mix, but most recruiting analysts believe that the battle will ultimately come down to the Wildcats and Seminoles.
Wiggins is rated the No. 1 player in the Class of 2014 by Scout and almost every other organization that follows prep basketball. After a dominant performance on the spring and summer AAU circuit, many believe he's the most talented player in the world who's not currently in the NBA.
The biggest question surrounding Wiggins now is whether he'll remain in the Class of 2014 or reclassify to 2013 in an effort to accelerate his development.
Fulford says there have been no changes in his status, but that matter should be resolved in the near future.
"I think his parents are going to try to come down in the next couple of weeks and sit down as a family," Fulford said. "He's been overwhelmed with it. He's just a kid, and he doesn't really know what he wants to do. I think he'd actually like his mom and dad to give him a little push in the right direction."
Fulford has given Wiggins his input, and it may surprise some. Although he could have the opportunity to coach the best player in the high school ranks for two more seasons, he thinks 2013 is a good option.
"He's obviously ready," Fulford said. "He's academically in good standing to do it. On my end, I think it's in his best interests to go. It's to his benefit. Obviously, if he stays here, it benefits us. But I'm not in it for me.
"It's no different than Cal's message to his kids at Kentucky and the draft. I don't think coaches can look at a kid's parents and honestly say they have their best interests at heart if they don't do like he does. That's sort of the way I've decided to do it here."
Huntington Prep, which also features elite prospects Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Dominic Woodson, Moses Kingsley and Montaque Gill Caesar, is scheduled to play in the Lexington area on Nov. 18 against Christian Faith of North Carolina. The schools are currently seeking a venue to hold the game.
UK staff attends Wiggins workout
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