Wiggins, Harrisons impress at Hoopfest

Xavier Rathan-Mayes (L) and Andrew Wiggins (R) take a breather during Huntington Prep's 76-59 win over East Memphis at Marshall County Hoopfest on Friday, November 30, 2012. Photo by Tom Hurley | Staff

By Nick Jones | @Kernel_Nick
njones@kykernel.com

Andrew Wiggins came into the Marshall County Hoopfest crowned as the No. 1-ranked player in the world on the high school level, and the young star undoubtedly lived up to the hype.

Wiggins’ Huntington Prep team, which features as much talent as any roster in the nation, won both of its games in a dominating fashion.

On Friday night, Huntington defeated reigning Tennessee state champs, Memphis East High School, 76-59, as the 6-foot-8 Wiggins overwhelmed the opposition on both ends of the floor.

Wiggins put forth the best individual performance of the entire showcase Friday night as he filled up the stat sheet.

He finished the game with 29 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and five blocks, all without turning the ball over once.

“I think in the first game I really showed out,” Wiggins said after the Hoopfest finale. “Tonight I struggled in the first half, but I brought it up in the second half.”

On day two, Huntington Prep took on Briarcrest Christian. Wiggins scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the 74-40 blowout win.

Most of Wiggins’ production came in the second half against Briarcrest, but it was still enough for the forward to be named game MVP for the second night in a row.

After the game, Wiggins acknowledged that his No. 1-ranked team lacked some intensity in its second game, despite the large margin of victory.

“We have to stay motivated as a team and focus on our goal of winning a national championship,” he said.

Throughout the weekend, Cats fans made their support loud and clear with chants of “UK” and “Go Big Blue” directed toward Wiggins.

“I always try to give the fans what they want: dunks, threes, crossovers,” Wiggins said with a grin.

But fans will have to continue to wait for the Toronto native’s college decision. Wiggins, who will visit Florida State this week, says he has no timetable to end his recruitment.

At Hoopfest he was able to see UK signees Aaron and Andrew Harrison in action in person for the first time.

“They are great players. I could see myself playing with them,” Wiggins said of the Harrison twins. “They love to pass, love to score. They would take pressure off of me to score.”

The twins were also able to take a glimpse at the play of Wiggins and Huntington Prep.

“We watched a little bit of it yesterday. Definitely amazing,” Aaron Harrison said of Wiggins. “He is a great player, so I am sure he will make the right decision.”

During their Saturday afternoon press conference, the twins discussed the possibility of adding a player like Wiggins and being a part of the greatest recruiting class of all time.

“I feel like that would be great and make history and everything, but right now we will be fine with what we have right now.” Andrew Harrison said. “But to get another player would be great.”

Justin moore says:

Lanny, you sound like a fair weather fan that knows nothing about college basketball, these kids are young and have alot of pressure on them coming into the best basketball program in the nation and trying to support the best fan base in the nation. Being in the top 25 isn’t what it’s all about, give them time cal knows what he is doing, by February this will be a totally different team. I hate seeing people that are supposed to be uk fans act like this when we aren’t winning, I mean we did just hang our 8th banner so let’s stop and think about that before you go and criticize our coach for the way he does things, just leave the coaching to him and support them no matter what happens. #BBN

Shirley Cantrell says:

Does Lanny really know anything about basketball. Our present team is taking more time than we UK Fans would want but, guess what, they are still young men and not young machines. Lets give them the time necessary and the results will speak for themselves.

This is really a great article about Wiggins. Really hope he chooses a school soon and hope it is UK. What a team that will be.

UKCATSFAN says:

I really hope u are joking Lenny! Also, Aaron needs to go back and look at the record of the 2009 team to see how many games they lost. We were ranked #1 fora time that year. Not even close to 10 losses.

Aaron says:

Lanny you are seriously warped. We have great young KIDS with a ton of talent. I believe we lost 10+ games with John Wall and crew and made it to the Elite 8. Don’t be a tool.

Tommy Bischoff says:

You’re joking right?

lanny forbis says:

I will be glad when this nightmare season ends so we can get good players at UK. Wiggins and the Harrison twins would be the greatest players UK can get along with the other recruits. What i cant figure out is why would Cal recruit a players like willie cauley who is more of a football player than basketball player. There is not one player on UK team right now that would even be considered a NBA propect. This remindsme of the billie gillispe era. This team has to be the worst i have seen since gillispie left. Coach Cal needs to stop recruiting these one and done players. It is not working. Now we are out of the top 25 and will probably lose 12 games this season and will not be in the big dance. Maybe Cal will learn his lesson on getting one and dones. Louisville will blow us out of the chicken bucket. My prediction is Indiana will win the whole shabang this year.