Huntington Prep forward Andrew Wiggins is all but guaranteed to be a huge star on the college basketball scene next season. That doesn't mean that the team that lands the highly touted player will add a national title to its trophy case, though.
According to 247sports composite rankings, Wiggins is the top recruit in the country. At 6'8" 195 pounds, the small forward has an NBA body and unbelievable athleticism. There's no question he's going to put up incredible individual numbers wherever he decides to play.
His short list includes North Carolina, Florida State, Kansas and Kentucky (according to 247sports) and any of those teams will benefit from what he brings to the table. Bringing in the No. 1 recruit in the country is sure to make the school an attractive landing spot for future recruits, get the fanbase buzzing and even improve the team.
However, if we learned anything from the most recent college basketball season, it's that superstar freshmen don't necessarily equal national championships.
The UCLA Bruins can attest that reeling in elite freshmen doesn't mean tournament success. They created plenty of offseason buzz by grabbing the No. 1 and No. 3 recruits according to Rivals 2012 rankings in Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson last season. They were still bounced by Minnesota in the NCAA tournament's round of 64.
In fact, none of the team's that landed a top-10 prospect from last year's list made the Final Four. Michigan's Glenn Robinson III was the highest-ranked prospect to make it that far in the tournament.
In today's one-and-done game where elite freshmen rarely stick with college for more than a year, experience has become an even more important commodity in March.
Teams like John Calipari's Kentucky squad in 2012 can always make a run with enough talent, but they are just as likely to miss out on the tournament altogether like Calipari's in 2013. After bringing in Anthony Davis, Doron Lamb and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Coach Cal put together another great class with top-10 talents Nerlens Noel and Alex Poythress.
Thanks to injuries and a lack of cohesiveness, the Wildcats just couldn't put things together.
When Wiggins does make his decision, there's sure to be plenty of hype surrounding the team that brings him into the fold. He's an exciting talent, and the team he plays on will be a huge draw. However, it's important to keep things in perspective.
The team that lands Wiggins will need a complete roster and good leadership to be cutting down the nets in March.
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