Vernon: Andrew Wiggins could determine success of Kansas basketball next year

One week could determine the difference between good and great for the 2013-2014 Kansas basketball season.

Andrew Wiggins, the top recruit in the 2013 class, seems ready to end his prolonged decision making process.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Wiggin’s mother will head from Canada to West Virginia to support him for the announcement, which will come “sometime in the next week or so.”

The general consensus among recruiting experts is that Wiggins will choose one of four schools: Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina.

I’m not here to speculate on which school Wiggins will choose. I would spew forth nothing of worth if I were to do that. With recruiting, it’s a complete guessing game until the very end, regardless.

However, I will say that Wiggins could elevate Jayhawk basketball back to top-five status to start the season. That’s not to say Kansas won’t finish the year without him. But the instant gratification and results of what Wiggins will bring could prove immeasurable.

The 6-foot-7-inch small forward, who has been called the best prospect in years, would fit in perfectly for a Kansas team that could use a star in its lineup next season.

Sure, Naadir Tharpe will be back as point guard and facilitator. Perry Ellis flourished in post-season play at power forward. Big man Jamari Traylor looked promising at times, and Bill Self has spoken highly of Landen Lucas as well.

There’s Wayne Selden, an incoming freshman who played in the McDonald’s All-American game who will fit in nicely at shooting guard. There’s Wichita’s stellar shooter Conner Frankamp, whose highlight tape is non-stop barrage of deep 3-pointers and impressive drives to the basket. Not to mention center Joel Embiid who has soared in recruiting rankings this season.

But none of those guys will be able to change a game — change a team — like Andrew Wiggins. Sure, the hype is high, but those who have seen the man play almost unanimously declare hist talent will count as a gargantuan addition to any team that lands him.

Wiggins would slide perfectly into that small forward spot for Kansas, and the eyes of every opponent would focus on him. That’s when Conner Frankamp’s 3-point shooting could become deadly. When Perry Ellis will be able to win one-on-ones in the post. When Naadir Tharpe will best be able to blow by his defender.

Of course, all of this means nothing if Wiggins chooses another school. That’s just the way recruiting goes. For now, this is Kansas’ first must-win game of the 2013-2014 season.

  • Updated May. 9, 2013 at 11:30 am
  • Edited by Brian Sisk