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Andrew Wiggins Tired of Recruiting Process?

Happy MLK Day, everyone.  Like a lot of you probably did, I took advantage of the day off of work/school by staying up a little late last night, only instead of the usual It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia end-of-weekend marathon, I went to karaoke with some of the KSR Crew, and let me tell you, when you hear Nick Roush sing “Nerlens and the Cats” to the tune of “Bennie and the Jets,” you won’t be able to get it out of your head.  Like, ever.  It’s burned into my brain as something both terrible and great.  But after participating in Karaoke Sports Radio, I’m a little tired.

You know who else is tired?  Andrew Wiggins.

Not because he stayed up late doing karaoke, even though that’s very possible.  No, Wiggins has to deal with something a lot of us don’t: national attention.  And it might be starting to bring him down.  A Mr. Bryan Fitzsimmons recently discussed the recruiting process, and how it’s affecting the nation’s best high school player:

“It’s overwhelming. He doesn’t like the attention. He doesn’t like it. His shots aren’t falling,” [Coach Rob] Fulford admitted. “His shot was much more consistent last year and his free-throw percentage is low… He’s a good kid. He really is. He’ll talk to you about anything, but once recruiting is brought up, he shuts down.

“Florida State might get two or three more ESPN games because he’d be there, but it’s a football school,” shrugged Fulford, hinting at some relief from scrutiny as a Seminole.

I don’t really buy that Wiggins would choose to go to FSU because he’s shy and it’s a football school, but I can understand how the constant questioning right now could affect his game.  There’s a big difference between folks paying attention to you because they want to ask you if you’ve made a decision, and paying attention to you just because they want to see you play ball.  After a decision is made, whether Kentucky or elsewhere, I think most of that pressure goes away, and Wiggins has a stellar one-year college career focused on just playing, and doing that pretty well.

Should he come to Kentucky, he would no doubt get a ton of attention as probably the best player in what’s already the best recruiting class of the decade, possibly ever.  But it’d be so much different than the attention he’s getting during the recruiting process.  As Fulford said, “We’ve played six games in the state of Kentucky and had over 35,000 people.”  Those folks weren’t there to ask him questions; they were there just to watch his game.  That’s the kind of attention he’d get at Kentucky.  Just basketball fans wanting to see a basketball player.  Nothing more, nothing less.  It’s the recruiting process that’s tough, not the attention itself.

I understand that recruiting can be rough, and the longer it goes on, the more tiresome it all gets.  Not from personal experience, but I can imagine.  But Wiggins should ask another Huntington native, Patrick Patterson, what playing at Kentucky is really like.  The attention wouldn’t be on his decision, cause that would have already been made.  Instead, he’d be getting attention for something much more simple: his game.  And Wiggins’ game speaks pretty loudly on its own.

Article written by Corey Nichols

42 Comments for Andrew Wiggins Tired of Recruiting Process?

  1. Bleaker
    9:05 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    WOuld love to have him, but if he doesnt like attention, he’s out of luck with the BBN

  2. Random Nibbler
    9:10 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Nice write-up and I agree. Two totally different types of ‘attention.’

  3. Reality
    9:12 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Would love to have him here. But lets face it, we have our share of Billy Bob type fans that won’t leave him alone.

  4. Hello
    9:13 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Kentucky’s “not for everybody”

  5. W.W.B.B.N.D?
    9:20 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    If he goes to UK he will have other great players playing with him. At FSU he will be double and triple teamed every game.

  6. lesigh
    9:22 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    I guess his draft contract will state “Will play only in Toronto,” if the kid is this shy. I would love to add him, but adding Randle still makes this class one of the best ever.

  7. floorgeneral22
    9:26 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    It is absolutely not true to say that the attention is only going to be on “his game.” These guys are instant celebrities the second they show up on campus; their every move is documented or at least noticed. When I was at UK if a UK player showed up at a party, people would immediately start calling and texting their friends and the place would double in size in an hour. Now the thing is, that’s how it is going to be when he gets to the NBA – if you are an all-star caliber player, you are going to get a lot of attention off the court as well. If he wants his time in college to be quiet, in arenas that are at half capacity, and basically be considered a novelty for a little while, Florida State is perfect. If he wants a primer on NBA life before he goes to the next level, he needs UK.

  8. SCCat
    9:28 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    If he wants the recruiting attention to stop – pick a school and it will.

  9. real blotto
    9:31 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    FSU is a good school with a really good basketball program. Don’t underestimate Leonard Hamilton’s ability to recruit.

  10. MKG Day
    9:32 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Ummmmm…have you seen any of the autograph lines after those games in KY? It’s definitely not just people there quietly watching & supporting him. Anyway, he’ll pick what he feels is best for him and hopefully that’s UK. If not, then you can chalk one up for “UK isn’t for everyone” and trust that those who do come will benefit greatly for it.

  11. Share the spotlight
    9:33 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Bigger stage at UK, but more players. He can actually share the spotlight at uk with other 5star players. That could be a good thing for uk. The responsibilities will not all fall on him at uk

  12. keepingittreal
    9:36 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Like most top players, he will go where his handlers tell him to go. The choice is not up to him.

  13. Big Blue 66
    9:36 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    love the kids game, but man, if hes shy of attention, im not sure where he should go. I do know that if attention affects his game, UK is probably not the fit for him

  14. Big Blue 66
    9:38 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    12. believe it or not, there are major influences such as shoe contracts but after a couple of major issues, his handlers as you put it, really dont care. Plus a kid of this guys ability has more leverage over what he wants than his handlers do, they know this guy has a ticket and most hang onto him versus the other way around

  15. njCat
    9:41 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    8. said it best. If he just picks a school now he can put the entire thing behind him and start cheering for the school he picks instead of dreading it every time his phone rings. Not hearing any of the kids who picked their schools already complaining.

    Honestly.. these kids drag this out to GET attention… then complain when they get it. Grow up dude.

  16. Smokeweeed
    9:43 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    HEs from Toronto Numb-nuts..doubt Patterson could offer him much help.

  17. Thezombieflanders
    9:43 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Is this the same kid who basically had to ask other schools to recruit him because everybody just assumed he would go to UK? And now the attention is too much huh? Sounds like he is mentally weak and not ready for prime time. Maybe UK should move on.

  18. Patterson
    9:47 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    16: Yeah he is from Toronto but where does he play his HS basketball?

  19. Sonny
    9:53 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    I love “Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia”. Great comedy. Also, Wiggins will be at UK next year. It is a no brainer.

  20. billy bob
    9:53 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    wouldn’t it be a violation if ppat contacted him? if he can’t stand the attention maybe he should go to someplace like s dakota or a jr college

  21. bluristhurr
    9:54 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    17 LOL I do remember a post about that

  22. Mack
    9:55 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    17) What you said! Plus the other schools that showing the most interest except FSU are bigtime in the basketball world but FSU seems to have a lot of half naked girls.

  23. asdf
    9:55 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    At FSU, he’s going to be the guy with all the attention. He would be the only superstar. Here, he’d only be the #3 guy in his recruiting class. No pressure!

  24. anthony wingler
    9:58 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Not buying it. He can commit at any time and put an end to the majority of the attention for the rest of the high school season – or at least a big part of it. One thing is common in these elite high school players today…. most crave the attention. I suspect Wiggins is no different.

  25. kychuck
    9:59 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with #7, and others. The attention you get at UK is great prep for the NBA, if you are too shy for UK, what are you going to do in the pro’s?

  26. kychuck
    10:00 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Amen 24, if you are tired of it, just commit already!

  27. Musehobo
    10:10 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    “I don’t really buy that Wiggins would choose to go to FSU because he’s shy and it’s a football school”

    My guess is if you polled athletes on why they chose a particular school, you would get a lot of different answers. Of course I want him here, but the reason above seems like a perfectly logical thought process for an 18 year old. Yes there are other factors (at UK he wouldn’t have to be the sole leader day in and day out, while at FSU, he would shoulder the weight of the team), but I wouldn’t discount the idea of him going to FSU for less attention. It’s not a ridiculous notion.

  28. Wait a minute
    10:19 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    He’s the same kid who provoked other schools to not to be afraid to go after him because of who was already recruiting him. So now its too much eh?

  29. cdc_uky
    10:47 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Attention comes with his future line-of-work. Get ready for groupies looking to have your baby. Get ready for everyone you have ever met looking for a piece of the pie. Get ready for commercials/shoe contracts/being recognized everywhere you go.

    It sounds like Wiggins better come to UK just to prepare. If he cannot handle recruiting attention, then he is in for a shock.

  30. Joe
    10:54 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Kentucky is a football school too!

  31. burl
    10:55 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    24. I’m not buying it either. commit and put an end to it.

  32. tyrus
    11:02 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    I agree about those parties. I remember when Mike Phillips would show up at the ATO house or some other party, things got crazy. People would start texting…humm no. Okay we would start making calls on our cell..humm no that’s not it. Oh heck that was so long ago I don’t remember what we did if anything. Maybe smoke signals. Just messing around. It was nice back in the days when on campus you happen to be in the right place at the right time where a couple of players would show up. Compared to now, unless you had a class with a player, you knew very little about the players. Made it nice to have conversations with players in a more intimate setting no matter if it was McDonalds when chatting with Turpin. That was before Hall banned him from eating there.

  33. Jerry
    11:29 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    #30 Football school? Since when?

  34. big cat65
    11:33 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Florida state.

  35. seriously
    11:37 am January 21, 2013 Permalink

    no way he comes to UK. think we may get randle though, which is probably a greater need, position wise

  36. afgh
    12:31 pm January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Wiggins seems like a really humble guy. He doesn’t look like the type of player who shows much emotion on the court(Think Alex Poythress). I don’t really know what I’m trying to say here but its just something I noticed.

  37. BigBlue
    1:14 pm January 21, 2013 Permalink

    If he does not like attention he may not like it here at UK. I hope we get him, but that may be an issue if does not like the limelight.

  38. reality
    2:47 pm January 21, 2013 Permalink

    The reality is with Wiggins being the only star player on an FSU team, he would actually be even more the center of attention than if he were to come to UK and be one of many star players… all the attention would not be just on him. HE WILL BE A CAT!

  39. UKSupporter76
    3:46 pm January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Instead of asking PPat about the attention, maybe he should ask Poythress. Once he made his decision and started playing all anybody could talk about was how great he’s played at UK, right? RIGHT???

  40. bluecat
    6:02 pm January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Some made some fuss about Cal not going to see Wiggins a few times when he had the chance. Maybe this is why Cal didn’t go to a couple of Wiggins’ games in Kentucky. Maybe he senses the kid needs some space, rather than he feels Wiggins is leaning other ways.

    That being said, I agree with what a few others have said. If he didn’t like the attention of the recruiting process he shouldn’t have invited other schools to join in. He opened the door to alot of it.

  41. lou
    6:14 pm January 21, 2013 Permalink

    Do not worry cause he will be coming to Kentucky. Anything else would be foolish if he want to compete for a NC…and he does. I say we get both he and Randle and THEN all will be good with the BBN……………..

  42. CATS
    11:20 pm January 21, 2013 Permalink

    The only question is, if Wiggins is “playing bad” because of all of this attention, would he play the same way if he came to UK? Or even in the NBA?