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Andrew Wiggins to Kansas: Florida State impact analysis

What does an FSU program look like without Andrew Wiggins?


If you are reading this article, then you are likely aware that Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 recruit in all of high school basketball, decided to take his talents to Kansas, which is very close to his brother at Wichita State. While this is certainly disappointing for Leonard Hamilton and company, as they have been actively recruiting the young man for over two years, at least it finally provides some closure to the whole saga and allows us to start looking at next steps.

1. Does this mean FSU is done with the 2013 recruiting class?
2. What does this, along with the recent transfers, mean for FSU’s 2013-14 lineup?
3. Does this change any priorities for the 2014 recruiting class?

For the first question, perhaps the best thing I can do is remind everyone that Leonard Hamilton is famous for having a seemingly endless amount of tricks up his sleeve. Yes, one should never try to count Ham’s scholarships, as there is always another rock on the recruiting trail for him and his staff to turnover. So I would not be surprised if, like many years, a late addition or two is made to this roster. My best guess would have FSU going the "graduation transfer" route that has become so popular in college basketball these days. In fact, just two years ago Hamilton added Jeff Peterson via this route and he played key minutes giving Luke Loucks a breather on our way to an ACC Title.

So what does this all mean for next year’s lineup? Well, for now let’s just evaluate this with the guys currently on the roster or signed:

PG – On paper it looks solid. Bookert, Miller, and Brandon have all had in-game experience playing the point, and XRM is a plus-passer as well. Obviously, the big question would be the health of Bookert and Miller, but there is currently no indication that either will have problems being ready for the start of fall practice.

SG – Again, on paper it’s solid. Miller, Thomas, XRM, and Brandon can all log minutes here.

SF – This is an area where depth is a concern. White CAN play here, but he is better suited for the 4 spot. Brandon could also play here, but again it’s probably not his natural spot. If we went small, you could even see Thomas playing here, as his defense is stellar and he has plenty of length. After that…well this is where losing Antwan Space last year hurts. Maybe Joell Hopkins (a preferred walkon who redshirted last season) can contribute some minutes? Perhaps Gilchrist could slide down at times? This will clearly be something to watch in the offseason.

PF – If White starts here, then you know what we have there. Gilchrist and incoming recruit Jarquez Smith would provide depth.

C – On paper it looks solid.

Looking forward to 2014, what—if anything—does this change? In terms of FSU getting a year of wonderful exposure after landing the best recruit in all of amateur basketball, this obviously takes away that possibility. However, in terms of who and how many people we are recruiting it doesn’t really change that much. Wiggins was an essential lock to be a one-and-done player, so the number of available scholarships is the same. FSU will be looking to add at least one player at PG, SG, SF, and PF and potentially a center as well. All in all, FSU will likely have 6 openings to fill with even 7 being possible, and should bring in a well-rounded class full of top 30-150 type players. More on these possibilities in the upcoming weeks.