Posted: 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 14, 2013
By Brian Barbour
Let me just state upfront I have no inside information, don't know who Andrew Wiggins is choosing and quite frankly don't even have the information required to make an educated guess. If you have been living under a rock, the #1 high school recruit in the class of 2013 is making his decision known today. The finalists are FSU, Kansas, Kentucky and North Carolina.
The general feeling is Wiggins is going to pick Florida State because of this parents' ties to the school and a longstanding relationship with Seminoles had coach Leonard Hamilton. Kansas is getting some dark horse love and no one is willing to count Kentucky out. North Carolina is considered to have almost no chance at all and isn't even mentioned except when folks reel off schools Wiggins has on his list.
Speaking of lists, I did find it interesting that at least two college basketball writers, evaluating the four possible landing spots for Wiggins, still think UNC will use a small lineup next season if Wiggins comes.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels seemed to have a lot of momentum in Wiggins' recruitment as of a few weeks ago, although that's a vastly overrated aspect of covering a decision-making progress. Wiggins would be a perfect four-man in Roy Williams' small-ball lineup, and he would get a chance to play in a fast-paced system. He's been attracted to the Tar Heels for a long time.
North Carolina: Few believe Wiggins will end up at North Carolina, but if he does, he would be the perfect piece to slide into Roy Williams’ system. Think about it like this: the guy is basically the same position as Reggie Bullock, only worlds better than Reggie Bullock. And when North Carolina made their late-season run in 2012-2013, it was when Bullock played in the front court alongside PJ Hairston and James Michael-McAdoo. In that system, I’m not sure there is a player better-suited to being an undersized-four than Wiggins.
First of all, Roy Williams has said(more than once) the small lineup is not making a return appearance in 2013-14. UNC has four centers on the roster next season and one or more of those guys is going to need to step up. Secondly, James Michael McAdoo didn't return for his junior season to play the five again. I imagine that conversation was had during the course of the decision making process. No, it wasn't a "I play the four only or I am going to the NBA" kind of conversation. I do think there were assurances given that McAdoo would spend most of his time at the four where he will be most effective and improve his draft stock. Finally, the Tar Heels have limited wing depth which means Wiggins would play opposite P.J. Hairston if UNC gets the longshot commitment. That would give Williams the option of bringing Leslie McDonald off the bench, which is better for everyone anyway.
Not that it matters. Wiggins is probably going somewhere else so all we have left is to be entertained by the reaction.