Mark Story: Andrew Wiggins faces a lot of scrutiny next year

RECRUITMENT HUBBUB WILL CARRY OVER

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistMay 13, 2013 

Fast-break points from the Andrew Wiggins D-Day:

21. Andrew Wiggins. In delaying his college decision so long, Wiggins has raised the level of scrutiny he will face next year in college.

20. His right. However, I am not among those who fault the Canadian star for how he has handled his recruitment. He has every right to make his decision on his own timetable.

19. Where will Wiggins go? As of early Monday evening, 22 recruiting "experts" had made a school prediction for Wiggins on the 24/7 Sports "Crystal Ball." Of those, 16 had Wiggins going to Florida State; five Kentucky and one Kansas. (One picking UK was Herald-Leader recruiting writer Ben Roberts).

18. Hope "jilted" fans hold fire. Whatever Wiggins does — his other finalist is North Carolina — is it too much to ask backers of the schools not selected to show restraint on the Internet message boards?

17. Kentucky players in 2013 NBA mock draft I. NBAdraft.net has No. 2. Nerlens Noel; 23. Gorgui Dieng; 33. Isaiah Canaan; 37. Archie Goodwin.

16. Kentucky players in 2013 NBA mock draft II. DraftExpress.com has No. 1. Nerlens Noel; 15. Gorgui Dieng; 16. Archie Goodwin; 49. Isaiah Canaan.

15. More Archie Goodwin. Scuttlebutt is the Boston Celtics like the ex-UK guard.

14. SEC Network. When ESPN and the Southeastern Conference launch the new all-SEC cable channel, the number of league games available via "over-the-air" TV will go down.

13. Cable penetration. According to 2011 Nielsen Media Research, the market penetration for cable/other alternative delivery systems is 91.6 percent in the Lexington market and 90.2 in Louisville.

12. Future of UK-U of L football series. Does the likelihood that ESPN will cajole the SEC to go to a nine-game league schedule from eight imperil the Kentucky-Louisville football rivalry?

11. Done more for Louisville. The Cardinals are 11-8 against the Wildcats since the modern Governor's Cup began in 1994. That success helped U of L enhance the in-state perception of its program.

10. Series good for Kentucky, too. In its last 10 games against U of L, UK is 4-6. Over the same span, Kentucky is 0-10 against Florida, 1-9 vs. both Tennessee and South Carolina and 2-8 against Georgia. In U of L, UK has a game that matters to its fans and that the Cats sometimes win.

9. Future of Kentucky-Western Kentucky series. The 2013 season opener between UK and WKU in Nashville will be the final in a four-game contract. UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said that WKU is not on the 2014 or '15 UK schedules, though UK is open to playing Western in the future depending on what the SEC does regarding the eight or nine-game schedule.

8. Western's view. WKU Athletics Director Todd Stewart says with the Hilltoppers moving up to Conference-USA in 2014 and UK's uncertainty around its league scheduling, "it's probably a good time to take a breather. We hope in the future that Kentucky and Western will be able to play."

7. WKU says thanks. Stewart says Western is appreciative of Kentucky for signing on to a four-year deal. "As an institution, we at WKU are grateful to Mitch (Barnhart) and (former UK coach) Rich Brooks for agreeing to that. There's no question, the four-game series was more important to us than to UK. We appreciate what they've done."

6. Quaker State 400. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will return to Kentucky Speedway for the third time June 29. In 2011, the inaugural Cup race sold out, over 106,000 fans. Last year, the crowd appeared to be in the 70,000 to 80,000 range.

5. Ticket sales. Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger said Monday that 2013 ticket sales "are tracking like they did last year. Our corporate sales are very good. Our individual sales are good, not great. I'm optimistic."

4. 'Top Cop' race. On Thursday, Kentucky Speedway will play host to an interesting promotion. Lexington Police Chief Ronnie J. Bastin, Kentucky State Police Lieutenant Colonel Jack Miniard and Cincinnati Police Chief James E. Craig are among law enforcement professionals who will compete in time trials.

3. The competition. Craig, Bastin and Miniard are among executives from eight different law enforcement agencies who will drive old Sprint Cup cars provided by the Richard Petty Driving Experience in timed laps. Each of the eight will bring another officer and compete as two-man teams.

2. The prizes. Simendinger says the winning team will get 100 free tickets to both the Quaker State 400 and the Nationwide Series Feed The Children 300 (June 28) to dispense in their community. The fastest among the chiefs will get to ride in the ceremonial pace car at the Quaker State 400.

1. Put up. "Over the years, I found myself interacting with the Chief of Police in Cincinnati, James Craig," Simendinger said. "He's a rather colorful guy, and he started bragging about how fast he can drive a car. So that sort of turned into 'Why don't you put up?'"

If nothing else, we will find out what it takes to outrun the long arm of the law.

Mark Story: (859) 231-3230.Email: mstory@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @markcstory. Blog: markstory.bloginky.com.

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