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May 3, 2012
When Rivals.com updated the rankings for the 2012 and 2013 classes recently, the decisions for the No. 1 spot weren't easy.
The class of 2014, though, is a different story.
Andrew Wiggins stands alone as the clear choice for the top spot in the class of 2014 rankings. A 6-foot-7 wing from Canada, who is playing his high school ball at Huntington (W.V.) Prep, Wiggins has a blend of skill, athleticism, feel for the game and desire to win that is unmatched in the sophomore class. The top spot is something that he doesn't take lightly.
"It's an honor coming from Canada and being classified as the top prospect in another country," Wiggins told Rivals.com. "I just try to stay humble and it means another year of hard work for me because I know there are other hungry kids out there who want to be No. 1, too."
Atop that list of hungry kids is No. 2 overall, New Hampton (N.H.) Prep's Noah Vonleh. The 6-foot-8 combo forward is a dominant rebounder who is starting to look like a young Marvin Williams on the offensive end of the floor. Checking in at No. 3 is Chicago Whitney Young big man Jahlil Okafor, a massive back-to-the-basket big man with super hands.
The fourth spot belongs to the first point guard ranked in the class of 2014, Tyus Jones. The 6-footer from Apple Valley (Minn.) High is a pure playmaker who can distribute or score the ball. For the fifth spot, we head down to the state of Texas where 6-foot-4 combo guard Emmanuel Mudiay from Arlington Grace Prep uses a great mix of size, instinct and athleticism to make plays.
Wiggins is well aware of the talent those other players possess, but he's confident in his ability.
"I can impact the game the game without scoring and people love to play with me," Wiggins said. "Also, you can put me on the court with anybody, college players or anything, and I still believe I will stand out."
Making a big move up from No. 20 to No. 6 is another impressive big man, Dakari Johnson. After sitting out the year due to a transfer to Montverde (Fla.) Academy, the 6-foot-10 center has been a monster and is pushing aggressively to pass those ranked ahead of him. At No. 7 is another playmaking Texan in 6-foot-5 wing Justise Winslow, who plays a very mature game.
Rounding out the top 10 are Cliff Alexander, a somewhat raw big man from Chicago Curie who has a big-time body, high level athleticism and can be dominant on the glass. While Alexander overwhelms with physicality, the No. 9 player on the list, Indiana-bound Trey Lyles, is the most offensively skilled big in his class. Finally at No. 10 is New York native Chris McCullough, who is a big-time athlete with inside/out skill.
With the No. 1 spot secure for now, Wiggins isn't going to rest on what he's done and let someone catch him.
"I think I need to improve on moving without the ball," he said. "Other than that I just need to find that killer instinct with me to just always play hard and with motivation."