October 8, 2012

Coach uncertain if Wiggins will visit for Madness

The nation's number one overall prospect, and the easy choice for the top player in the class of 2014, Andrew Wiggins is expected to attend Kentucky's Big Blue Madness event this weekend at Rupp Arena.

Over the last few days reports have surfaced that have said that Wiggins will be cancelling that visit to head to his hometown of Toronto to spend time with his family. On Monday afternoon, Cats Illustrated caught up with Wiggins high school coach, Rob Fulford of Huntington (W.V.) Prep to get the real scoop on what Wiggins' weekend plans are.

"We're still not exactly sure what Andrew is going to do this weekend," coach Fulford said, "He had told John (Calipari) that he would be coming to their midnight madness event when they were down here a few weeks ago. I've heard all the reports out there, but Andrew hasn't told me that anything has changed."

As a seventeen year old who lives far away from home and his family, Wiggins obviously would like to take advantage of every situation that he can to return to Toronto and spend time with family members. With practice starting up a week from Tuesday at Huntington Prep, this could be Wiggins last chance to get back to Canada until well after his team finishes their high school season.

That opportunity to visit home is understandably taking precedent in Wiggins' mind right now as he makes his decision on where to spend his weekend.

"The issue is that we have an extended weekend here for their fall break," said Fulford, "I don't know if he's going home or not but I know that he was trying to figure out if he was going to be able to find a way to get home to Canada.

"With our fall break this weekend and practice starting next week this might be the last chance that he'll have to come home until the season ends. He hasn't given me any indication yet that he's going home this weekend, but obviously he wants to see his family."

Whether Wiggins visits for Big Blue Madness or not, Fulford assured Cats Illustrated that the 6-foot-7 five-star wing would be making a visit sometime during the regular season for a home game at Rupp Arena. In fact, Fulford said that if Wiggins takes a visit to Kentucky this weekend for Big Blue Madness it will be more to enjoy the experience, rather than to use the visit as a judgment point for his college decision.

Either way, Kentucky staff stands right where they want to be right now with the recruitment of the superstar Wiggins.

"I'm sure he'll be there soon if he doesn't make it this weekend. If Kentucky fans don't see Andrew this weekend there is absolutely no reason to hit the panic button. There's no doubt that Andrew will get down to Kentucky for at least one game this season."

For a while now, fans of Wiggins two presumed leaders, Kentucky and Florida State, have wondered two things. When will the class of 2014 prospect make his decision as to if he will be reclassifying to the class of 2013; and more importantly, where will he be playing his college basketball?

Fulford pointed out that Wiggins is still enrolled in the necessary classes that would allow him the option to graduate if he wants to at the end of this year; and the college decision process is pretty much exactly where reports have indicated that it is.

"Kentucky is definitely at the top of the list along with Florida State. Those two schools are doing by far the best job of recruiting Andrew," said Fulford, "North Carolina is involved but not to the extent that the other two are.

"It's kind of a little unfortunate, but a lot of other schools have already given up on Andrew. Everyone seems to think that it's a lock that it will come down to Florida State and Kentucky. A lot of these schools want to move on to guys that they think they can get, but that doesn't make sense to me with it being so early in his recruitment."

As for the reclassification decision, it seems that no formal time table has been set at this point. As the rumors of Wiggins skipping Big Blue Madness to return home circulated, fans began to speculate that Wiggins' visit home would be to go ahead and make that classification decision. But Fulford doesn't think that is the case.

"First of all, it's difficult for me to comment accurately because that decision is going to be determined solely by Andrew and his parents. I can't even tell you for sure if they've had a formal discussion about it yet," said Fulford, "Whenever he lets us know we'll let everyone else know. It could be tomorrow, the end of this coming weekend or not until the spring."

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