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Is Bill Self Giving Calipari Some Competition in Recruiting Game?

Andrew Wiggins is going to be playing or the Kansas Jayhawks next season. This changes everything. Wiggins has been called the best prospect to come out of high school in 10 years, since Lebron James came out. Most had Wiggins going either to the Florida State Seminoles or the Kentucky Wildcats. Had he picked Kentucky, they would be hanging the championship banner for 2014 during Midnight Madness in late October. Had he gone to FSU, the Noles would be erecting a statue outside the Tucker Center already. The Seminoles would be considered a contender to win the ACC next season.

But had he gone to FSU, Kentucky and Louisville would still be the front runners to win it all next season. But now, throw the Jayhawks into the mix. KU will be extremely young as will the Wildcats, but both will be loaded with talent. They landed six players ranked in Rivals top 76 players including #12 Wayne Selden at shooting guard and center Joel Embiid at #25. Suddenly UK’s does not look head and shoulders above the the number two Jayhawks.

Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville and now Florida look to be strong Final Four contenders. The Gators landed two top recruits in Kasey Hill at #10 and Chris Walker at #6. But the the Gators also have five returning players from last season’s Elite Eight team and three incoming transfers who will be able to play this year. They add Dorian Finney-Smith from Virginia Tech, Demontre Harris from South Carolina and now Rutgers point guard and leading scorer at 15 ppg, Eli Carter. Carter will not have to sit out a year due to the Mike Rice situation at Rutgers.

Florida State was thought to be the destination for Wiggins because both of his parents are FSU alums. His father Mitchell, played basketball at FSU. Wiggins kept things under wraps to the point where nobody really knew Kansas was gaining on FSU and UK. But as we can tell. Bill Self is a master recruiter. John Calipari gets all the publicity for his recruiting classes that are always loaded with top draft picks, but Self is right up there with him. With Wiggins coming on board, Calipari know has some competition on the recruiting trail.

Then we also have Billy Donovan who has been pulling in not only top level recruits, but top level transfers the last few years. Donovan was often criticized for the number of transfers leaving the program, but now is turning the tables and getting players with experience to transfer in. Players on teams whose coach has been fired is becoming another recruiting ground and Donovan is tapping it. Mike Rosario was one of those players and he contributed to two Elite Eight runs in 2012 and 2013.

So now, it looks like next season’s trophy is up for grabs after all thanks to Wiggins spurning Kentucky and going to Kansas. That is a good thing for college basketball.

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