The SEC-Big 12 pairings were officially released on Tuesday. We’ve known for a little while that Florida will host Kansas on Dec. 10, but the matchup at the O’Connell Center just gained a little more star power.
Top 2013 national recruit Andrew Wiggins announced that he’s accepted a scholarship to Kansas, surprising many recruiting analysts that had him pegged for either Kentucky or Florida State.
The 6-foot-7, 205-pound Wiggins, son of former NBA and FSU guard Mitchell Wiggins, has been dubbed as the “Canadian LeBron James” due to his his combination of strength, speed and ability to get to the rim. A Toronto native, Wiggins spent this past season playing at Huntington Prep School in Huntington, W. Va.
“I think he’s going to be not just a good player, but has a chance to be a great one,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “I know people that support our program are going to be pleasantly surprises when they see him run and play the very first time he gets an opportunity.”
Florida will have five months to figure out which player will guard Wiggins. But the Gators have plenty of options, ranging from Will Yeguete to Casey Prather to Scottie Wilbekin to Dorian Finney-Smith.
Even with Wiggins in fold, Self is concerned about how his young Kansas team will handle the environment at the O’Connell Center. Kansas’ roster will feature mostly freshmen and sophomores, including sophomore forward Perry Ellis, freshman McDonald’s All-American point guard Wayne Selden and freshman center Joel Embiid, who spent last season at the Rock School in Gainesville.
“We got a difficult draw going to Gainesville, but it should be a good preparation game and one that will warrant a lot of national attention,” Self said. “Florida has a roster that I think people can make a case for as one of the better rosters in America next year with a chance to win it all. Hopefully we’re going in that direction as well. So it should be very exciting, a lot of young players going at one another.”
Here’s a look at the rest of the SEC-Big 12 pairings:
Nov. 14 — Texas Tech at Alabama
Dec. 2 — Vanderbilt at Texas, Auburn at Iowa State
Dec. 5 — Ole Miss at Kansas State, West Virginia at Missouri, TCU at Mississippi State
Dec. 6 — South Carolina at Oklahoma State, Kentucky vs. Baylor (Arlington, Texas)
Dec. 10 — Kansas at Florida
Dec. 21 — Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M (Houston)