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October 27, 2012

Mailbag: Could Wiggins play in the pros?


In his latest mailbag, Eric Bossi addresses Andrew Wiggins' move to 2013, among other questions.

Straight to the pros

Do you think that Andrew Wiggins could be effective in the NBA right now?
-- @tymoney_12 (via Twitter)

Given that the No. 1 player in the country is still only 17 years old, this isn't easy to answer. Could he be effective right now? That's tough to tell.

But, I do think that he could definitely play in the NBA right now and much of his effectiveness would depend on how well he could handle the physicality of the league.

The 6-foot-7 wing certainly has high-end NBA athleticism, is a big time defender (a constantly underrated aspect of his game) and his natural instincts on the floor are off the charts.

Wiggins probably would have been drafted in the top 10 of the 2012 draft, would likely go first in 2013 and as long as he keeps developing as everybody expects him to, odds are he goes No. 1 in the 2014 draft.

Class move

How will Wiggins moving up a year open up the class of 2014?
-- @bowncewithme (via Twitter)

In the short term, Wiggins' move from the class of 2014 to 2013 elevates Jahlil Okafor to the No. 1 spot in 2014.

The 6-foot-10 center from Chicago (Ill.) Whitney Young is a rock-solid, back-to-the-basket player with size, skill and superior hands and understanding of how to use positioning.

While Okafor gets the initial boost to No. 1, what Wiggins' move does is create a legitimate race for the top spot in 2014. As long as Wiggins was in that class, it wasn't going to be a debate but now there will be one.

As of right now, Okafor's biggest competitors for the top spot are a pair of point guards in Texan Emmanuel Mudiay and Minnesota product Tyus Jones.

However, neither has played a game of their junior year so there's also plenty of time for somebody else to enter the conversation.

Best ever?

Is 2013 the best recruiting class ever?
-- @dester30 (via Twitter)

Since I started in the business in 1999-2000, the classes of 2004 and 2007 are the best I've seen. Both produced a significant number of pros, several standout college players and guys who have ascended to superstar status in the NBA such as Dwight Howard (2004) and Derrick Rose (2007).

The class of 2013 at a minimum looks like it could be the strongest class since 2007. There appears to be plenty of future pros (including a potential star in Wiggins) and the class has excellent depth on the back end.

However, I'm a bit on the conservative side and I don't think this is a question that can be fully answered until another 4-5 years down the road. But 2013 is shaping up to be a better-than-average class of kids.

Clark's ceiling

Wesley Clark made a big jump from 3-star to the high (No.) 60s. Any idea of how high his ceiling is with a great season?"
-- @hrt710 (via Twitter)

The six-footer from just outside of Detroit was awesome during the month of July. That isn't to suggest that he was anything less than that previous to the month of July.

However, until he got a chance to play on his own at the LeBron James Skills Academy, Clark had been overshadowed a bit by five-star James Young and fellow four-star E.C. Matthews.

Because of his effective playmaking and ability to score, Clark has ascended all the way to No. 70 in the 2013 Rival150 (he got bumped back a few spots by Wiggins and Noah Vonleh re-classifying).

Is there room to move up? Sure. If he can show a little bit more of a physical edge and continue the improvement on his outside shot a boost could happen. Either way, he's a very good pickup or Missouri.

Fine whine?

Billy Donovan was quoted as saying at SEC Media Day that he didn't feel it was right for Kentucky to have (its) all-access show on ESPN if it was being used for a recruiting tool. Is he whining or does he have a point?
-- Craig, Lexington (via email)

I definitely don't think that Donovan was whining. It's not as if the Florida coach took the podium and started ranting against the show featuring UK's preseason preparation, he simply answered a question.

More than likely, there aren't very many (if any) coaches out there who don't feel that UK is getting a little bit of an advantage. There have been similar shows before, but never one that featured the recruiting of a program as extensively as the current one on the Wildcats.

However, I can't help but ask myself is this really giving John Calipari any kind of advantage on the recruiting trail? The fact is he's working on his fifth straight No. 1 recruiting class so it's not like he needs any extra help.

My guess is that the NCAA may tell ESPN no more coverage of unsigned recruits during these shows in the future, but for now I don't see any true advantage being gained.

Even if the NCAA makes that move, Cal has once again gotten ahead of the game in terms of building both he and his program's brand.

Star bright?

How is Joel Embiid not a five-star? At the very least he should be a low 5-star on talent alone.
-- Gater4Life (via rivals message board)

A recent "mixtape" video of the 6-foot-11 center at Gainesville (Fla.) the Rock School has generated quite a buzz. Like all of these videos, it features him swatting shots, dunking and making plays that are highlight-friendly.

However, stars aren't decided by mixtape highlights. We've written quite a bit this fall that Embiid will be making a move into the final Rivals150 and that his debut in the rankings will be a high one.

Will he be a five-star? There's not enough of a body of work to say that at this point. He does have skill, he is a good rebounder and he is a very promising prospect.

However, Embiid is also still quite raw, needs strength and hasn't really proven himself against other established big men. Very good prospect and certainly a higher end four-star, but let's not put the cart ahead of the horse.




 

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