There was some very big news on the recruiting front Monday: Andrew Wiggins, the top prep player in a loaded 2014 class and by many accounts the best since Kevin Durant, announced the cancellation of his remaining home visits with North Carolina, Kansas, and Florida State, according to CBS' Jeff Goodman.
Kentucky coach John Calipari did in fact enjoy a home visit with Wiggins, a bonus the rest of the coaches competing for his services will not have. Calipari has already put together one of the best (if not the best) recruiting classes in the modern history of the sport. The most predictable outcome, that Wiggins would choose to play for a national title for the coach that has landed more top prospects than any other in the past five seasons, now appears to be a mere step or two away from completion.
I mean, let's be serious: It's over, right?
Maybe not! From Jeff Borzello:
“It means nothing,” Rob Fulford told CBSSports.com Monday morning. “He's just tired. He doesn't want to deal with it.” Wiggins played for the World Team at the Nike Hoop Summit this past weekend, and is still stuck in Portland after his flight home was canceled. “He's just drained. He is shutting it down.”
Of course, a high school coach saying a development in his player's recruiting decision had no meaning even though it really did would be less surprising than Wiggins ending up playing for Kentucky. (I'm trying to think of the last time a top prospect was well and truly pursued by a Worldwide Wes-backed Calipari and ended up playing somewhere else. The list isn't long.)
That's how these things work. Everything is accorded an undue amount of suspense. Every tiny development is scrutinized on the Internet. Every wave of scrutiny is immediately dismissed, and then the cycle begins anew. Throw in every fan base taking to comment sections and message boards to tell you why a kid will definitely no doubt about it choose my school and here's why, and the better the player, bigger the mess.
Personally, I can't help but think Wiggins' in-home recruiting thing is an important piece of information, because college basketball recruiting is a marketplace of respect, and that works both ways: You better believe Roy Williams, Bill Self and Leonard Hamilton would like their crack at the classic living room pitch. (I bet all three have some unreal living-room stuff in their repertoire. I would pay for tapes.) But I also don't know. Maybe Wiggins made up his mind in the opposite direction! Maybe he's introverted and would prefer to discuss these things via an IRC chat room. Or maybe he really is just exhausted.
Kentucky fans are seeming somewhat triumphal today, and understandably so. But -- as is always the case with recruiting -- it's probably best to save any such emotion until things are really, officially done. No one, save Andrew Wiggins, really knows.