UNC Making Move for Wiggins

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. --- It's not often that the best player in high school basketball has to ask schools to recruit him. But that's the case with Andrew Wiggins.

A member of the 2014 class, Wiggins has held the top spot in the rankings since he was a freshman. At 6-foot-8, he has elite athleticism, a strong handle, an impressive jump shot and a scoring package that impresses NBA scouts right now.

Despite his talent, only Kentucky and Florida State aggressively pursued the Huntington (W.Va.) prep standout.

The perception is that Wiggins is only considering those two schools. Wiggins says that's not true.

"They either think that because Kentucky always gets the best players or Florida State because my parents went there," Wiggins said before his high school practice on Monday.

"But my options are still wide open," he added. "People think they can dictate or know where I'm going, but they might be in for a surprise."

Wiggins said that he's now entertaining interest from Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio State and Syracuse.

"I think [those four have] always been there, but everyone just thought I was going to Florida State or Kentucky, but now I told everybody that my recruitment is wide open," Wiggins said.

In fact, if Wiggins had his way, others would jump into his recruitment as well.

"Every school is the same to me right now," Wiggins said. "I don't have any favorites. Even if a new school wanted to recruit me they can. My options are wide open, but a lot of schools aren't recruiting me because of what they think."

"I told them so they know now," he added. "Hopefully other schools know now so they can start recruiting me."

Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford echoed what Wiggins said.

"To be honest I think most people have assumed that Florida State is in it because his parents went there," Fulford said. "I think that's accurate. I think they are going to be in it at the end because of that."

"I think with Kentucky, initially people are scared to recruit against them. I think that is more on other schools, not necessarily Andrew because he's never really said that. I think it's more of a perception that they can't beat Kentucky."

Carolina Making Its Move

On Tuesday one of the four schools that he's reached out to recently will be in Huntington (W.Va.) to watch him work out. North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and assistant Steve Robinson are expected to stop by.

"It's amazing because he's a legendary coach," Wiggins said when asked about the upcoming visit from Williams. "He's developed so many. I'm excited about that."

"Every year they are one of the best teams out there," Wiggins said about UNC. "They play hard and they always have a couple guys in the first round and in the NBA. I know that Roy Williams is one of the most well known coaches of all-time."

According to Huntington Prep coach Rob Fulford, UNC has kept in contact for quite some time. The Tar Heel staff was scheduled to visit a few weeks ago, but had to reschedule because of Williams's surgery.

"They've been pretty consistent," Fulford said. "Coach Rob reaches out once a month and wants me to let Andrew know that they are there. He's just calling to check on him."

"Coach Rob came here in September and he just said they didn't really know how to recruit him because they didn't know if he was '13 or '14," he added. "I think they've been kind of standing back from the outside looking in to see how things are going to shape up."

Now it appears UNC is looking to make a move in Wiggins's recruitment.

"Obviously with Coach Williams coming up here tomorrow they are trying to catch up and make up some ground," Fulford said. "I think they are going to make a push. Obviously with some of the situations out there and with Kentucky picking up a small forward it may have an impact on other schools trying to pick it up a little bit."

Kansas, Ohio State & ‘Cuse Getting Involved

According to Fulford, Kansas is expected to stop by Huntington Prep in the near future. Wiggins said it's one of the schools he's interested in learning more about.

"[Kansas] just started recruiting me and I like that school a lot," Wiggins said. "My brother isn't too far from there."

Wiggins's brother – Nick – is a junior at Wichita State.

Ohio State has been in contact with Wiggins quite a bit over the past two weeks. They were supposed to visit last week, but had to reschedule due to a Huntington field trip. Wiggins said there is mutual interest with the Buckeyes.

"I like their school too," he said. "They are No. 4 in the country. They are a powerhouse right now. They have a great program and a great coach and great fans that support you so that's always good."

Syracuse hasn't attempted to schedule a trip into Huntington yet, but they have a connection with Wiggins through 2013 commitment Tyler Ennis, who plays with Wiggins in the summer on CIA Bounce.

"That's a good school," Wiggins said. "My friend Tyler goes there, so I wouldn't mind playing with him."

UK and FSU Have Head Start

While Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio State and Syracuse look to ramp up their relationship with Wiggins, Kentucky and Florida State established themselves early.

Both UK and FSU have been to Huntington Prep to see Wiggins since the Recruiting Period began in September. Each school has hosted Wiggins for an unofficial visit, plus trailed him all summer.

Wiggins said Kentucky's pitch is playing with some of the nation's best in the 2013 class and working to win a national championship.

"They are just telling me how they want me to play for them and if I go there we could win it all," Wiggins said. "I wouldn't mind playing around other great players that would make me better and going up against them in practice and winning a championship."

"I know where I go I'll still get mine," he added. "I'm an unselfish player and I know the people at Kentucky are unselfish players so I think we would get along great."

Florida State has a number of connections with Wiggins. Both his parents were Seminoles and Wiggins says he liked Leonard Hamilton's coaching ability.

"They are a hard working, defensive team," Wiggins said. "The past couple of years they've never really had any superstars, but they've still managed to beat good teams like UNC and Duke. That's how you know they are a great coached team."

Weighing Reclassification

To go with making a college choice, Wiggins is also debating a move to the 2013 class.

"Right now I'm still 2014, so I'm not too sure," Wiggins said when asked about the possibility of reclassifying back to 2013.

Wiggins said at this stage he doesn't have a timetable on making that decision, but did acknowledge that it's something he's thinking about.

"I'm considering it, yeah," he said. "My family and I talk about it sometimes."

Fulford said that it's a topic that has come up quite a bit recently and that Wiggins's parents will be a major influence on whether he opts to switch to the 2013 class or stay in the 2014 class.

"As of right now, it's going to come down to what his parents want him to do," Fulford said. "Obviously he knows he's ready from a basketball standpoint. His academics are going to be in order. It's going to take his parents to tell him what to do. It's just a decision he doesn't want to make."

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