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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Nick Wiggins commits to Wichita State basketball

By Paul Suellentrop
The Wichita Eagle

Before last week, Nick Wiggins wanted to visit Wichita State and then take two more visits before deciding his basketball future.

It didn’t take long for Shocker coaches and players to change those plans. Wiggins, a 6-foot-6 sophomore wing, orally committed to WSU and canceled plans to visit Baylor and Oregon State.

“I didn’t need to take other visits,” he said. “I want to be a Shocker. I felt really comfortable, like it’s a family. (I liked) the support system from the coaches and the players.”

Wiggins averaged 17.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists for Wabash Valley (Ill.) College. He plans to sign a letter of intent Wednesday, the first day of the signing period. He credited WSU assistant coach Greg Heiar with doing most of the recruiting work. He connected with Shockers Demetric Williams and Malcolm Armstead and former Shocker Joe Ragland during his visit. Then coach Gregg Marshall closed the deal by convincing Wiggins he could make the most of his two seasons. With a short stay, Wiggins wants to play, improve and win.

“He’s coached juco players and he understands my situation,” Wiggins said. “He’s a winner.”

Wiggins made 53 percent of his shots, 40 percent of his three-pointers (38 of 94) and 73 percent of his free throws (130 of 177 in 31 games). The Warriors went 27-10 and finished in eighth place in the NJCAA Tournament in Hutchinson. Wiggins was named to the 12-man all-tournament team after averaging 20.2 points in four games. He ended the tournament with 28 points in an 83-74 loss to Indian Hills (Iowa) Community College.

“He’s an offensive player,” Wabash Valley coach Dan Sparks said. “Good shooter. A slasher who can get to the basket.”

Wiggins averaged 16.6 points as a freshman at Vincennes (Ind.) University. He is the son of former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins. He grew up in Canada before moving to Florida for his junior year at Godby High in Tallahassee.

Wiggins will join a recruiting class that includes another junior-college star. Forward Cleanthony Early, a 6-foot-8 forward, was named NJCAA Division III All-American on Tuesday. Early, a repeat first-teamer, averaged 24.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.5 blocks for Sullivan County (N.Y.) Community College. Early signed with WSU in the fall, as did Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar forward Teddy Hawkins, Rockford (Ill.) Auburn guard Fred Van Vleet, Houston Klein Forest forward Derail Green and center Henry Uwadiae of Evelyn Mack Academy in Charlotte, N.C.

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