Canadian import Andrew Wiggins tops 2014 Top 50 basketball recruits

Staff Report | MaxPreps.com Thursday, August 18, 2011

Versatility and athleticism separate Andrew Wiggins from peers as he brings game to upstart Huntington Prep.

Andrew Wiggins might be the most celebrated athlete to arrive in Huntington, W. Va., since Randy Moss transferred from Florida State to Marshall in 1996.

After playing in his native Canada as a freshman, the 16-year-old Wiggins is bringing his game to Huntington Prep this year, along with his reputation as perhaps the best age-group player on the planet. He earns the nod as the No. 1 prospect in MaxPreps.com's initial Class of 2014 rankings.

"It's a big deal in the local media here," Huntington Prep head coach Rob Fulford said. "He's already a celebrity in Huntington. Whether or not he was coming here was the talk of Huntington."
Wiggins will make his American high school debut at Huntington Prep this winter.
Photo by Nick Koza
Wiggins will make his American high school debut at Huntington Prep this winter.

The 6-foot-7, 200-pound wing was the only player born in 1995 to participate in last summer's FIBA U17 World Championship in Germany, averaging 8.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game – including 20 points in a losing effort against the United States.

The buzz continued to build this summer as Wiggins starred on Nike's EYBL circuit with Toronto-based CIA Bounce. Dubbed "Canada's LeBron James" by some, he posted 15 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in five contests at the highly-competitive Peach Jam last month in South Carolina and was still the youngest player on the floor in most outings.

"I think the gap between Wiggins and the rest of the class is noticeable," CBSSports.com recruiting analyst Jeff Borzello said. "He's a versatile prospect who can play multiple positions and not miss a beat.

"Wiggins is explosive athletically and can score at will against defenders. He's a matchup problem because of his all-around skill set; he is able to score from the perimeter or get the ball inside and put up points. Wiggins has solid vision for someone his size, and he crashes the offensive glass aggressively for second chances. The best thing about him is that he's still developing, and will only get better."

Fulford pursued Wiggins like a college coach trying to land a prized target, seeing him play 21 times during the spring and summer. Adding the Ontario phenom to the roster is a huge boost for an upstart program that could be on the verge of big things in 2011-12 with at least nine Division I prospects on the roster.

"I think that meant a lot to him, us putting in the time and how badly we wanted him," Fulford said. "For us, it definitely gives us some added recognition."

Beyond Wiggins, recent gold medalists at the FIBA Americas U16 Championship Theo Pinson, Jahlil Okafor and Tyus Jones join 6-10 Brooklyn big man Dakari Johnson (who will join former St. Patrick head coach Kevin Boyle at Montverde Academy in Florida) in the Top five.

"The class of 2014 is great at the top. There are plenty of elite players fighting for spots in the Top five, and a case can be made for at least 11-12 players to be in the first quintet of prospects," Borzello said. "It's also a deep class, with high-major prospects popping up everywhere. Some of them will make major moves in the next few months.

"That's the fun part of projecting players that are three years away from being in college – we don't need to pick them apart just yet, they will separate themselves as their high school careers progress."

MaxPreps Class of 2014 Top 50

RankNameStarsCollege
1Andrew Wiggins, SFHuntington Prep (Huntington, WV)6-7/200 

2Theo Pinson, SGWesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, NC)6-4/175 

3Jahlil Okafor, PFWhitney Young (Chicago, IL)6-8/260 

4Tyus Jones, PGApple Valley (MN)6-1/170 

5Dakari Johnson, CMontverde Academy (Montverde, FL)6-10/255 

6Chris McCullough, PFSalisbury School (Salisbury, CT)6-8/195

7Justin Jackson, SGHCYA North (Houston, TX)6-4/175

8Wayne Selden, SGTilton School (Tilton, NH)6-4/200

9Emmanuel Mudiay, SGGrace Prep (Arlington, TX)6-4/185

10Noah Vonleh, SFNew Hampton School (New Hampton, NH)6-7/190

11Trey Lyles, PFArsenal Tech (Indianapolis, IN)6-8/210
Indiana
12Clifton Alexander, CCurie (Chicago, IL)6-8/240

13Paul White, SF/PFWhitney Young (Chicago, IL)6-7/195

14Parker Jackson-Cartwright, PGLoyola (Los Angeles, CA)5-10/150

15Kevin Zabo, PGMontrose Christian (Rockville, MD)6-1/175

16Craig Victor, PFSt. Augustine (New Orleans, LA)6-7/210

17Devon Hall, PG/SGCape Henry Collegiate (Virginia Beach, VA)6-4/180

18Justise Winslow, SFSt. John's (Houston, TX)6-5/200

19Stanley Johnson, SF/PFMater Dei (Santa Ana, CA)6-6/210

20DeAngelo Russell, SGCentral (Louisville, KY)6-3/170

21Isaiah Whitehead, SGLincoln (Brooklyn, NY)6-3/175

22Shaqquan Aaron, SFTaft (Woodland Hills, CA)6-6/170

23JaQuan Lyle, SFBosse (Evansville, IN)6-4/180

24LeRon Black, PFWhite Station (Memphis, TN)6-7/200

25Kevon Looney, SFHamilton (Milwaukee, WI)6-6/170

26Jalen Lindsey, SFChrist Presbyterian Academy (Nashville, TN)6-6/180

27James Blackmon Jr., PG/SGBishop Luers (Fort Wayne, IN)6-2/170
Indiana
28Joel Berry, PG/SGLake Highland Prep (Orlando, FL)6-1/190

29Paul Turner Jr., SGSt. Joseph (Westchester, IL)6-3/175

30Malik Yarbrough, SFZion-Benton (Zion, IL)6-4/200

31JaQuel Richmond, PGWesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, NC)6-0/170

32B.J. Stith, SGBrunswick (Lawrenceville, VA)6-5/175

33Caleb Martin, SGDavie (Mocksville, NC)6-6/175

34Cody Martin, SFDavie (Mocksville, NC)6-6/180

35Eric Johnson Jr., PGChrist School (Arden, NC)6-2/175

36Khadeem Lattin, CSecond Baptist (Houston, TX)6-9/190

37Daniel Hamilton, SGSt. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA)6-4/160

38Trey Thompson, CForrest City (AR)6-8/210

39Larry Austin Jr., SGLanphier (Springfield, IL)6-1/165

40Josh Level, SFWestchester Country Day (High Point, NC)6-5/205

41Kahari Beaufort, PGEast Hartford (CT)6-2/180

42Tyler Wideman, PFLake Central (St. John, IN)6-7/240

43Mitchell Wilbekin, PGRock (Gainesville, FL)6-0/155

44Melvin Swift, PFYates (Houston, TX)6-7/190

45Trayvon Reed, CShiloh (Snellville, GA)6-10/190

46Tadric Jackson, SGTift County (Tifton, GA)6-2/185

47Phil Booth, SGMount St. Joseph (Baltimore, MD)6-2/165

48Johnnie Vassar, PGLa Lumiere (LaPorte, IN)6-0/160

49Quentin Snider, PGBallard (Louisville, KY)5-11/150
Louisville
50JaQuan Newton, PGSts. Neumann & Goretti (Philadelphia, PA)6-1/165


Rankings compiled by Jeff Borzello and Jason Hickman. Borzello is a college basketball and recruiting writer for CBSSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeffborzello. Hickman covers high school basketball and college recruiting for MaxPreps.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jason_Hickman.