Tag:

Andrew Wiggins

By JOSH NEWMAN

There is no doubt that Andrew Wiggins intending to play for the Canadian national team this summer is a big deal, and a key figurehead in the world of Canadian basketball agrees.

"I think it's huge," CIA Bounce?co-founder and owner of Tony McIntyre told SNY.tv on the 4 Quarters Podcast on Monday afternoon. "Obviously, all these guys grew up playing for Canada basketball, grew up wanting to represent their country and for Andrew to solidify the fact that he is going to do it this summer, especially with Pan Am Games being in Toronto, I think it's huge for the Pan Am Games, huge for basketball in Canada and I think it's a huge boost for Team Canada itself."

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With reports circulating that Kevin Love is "likely" to be traded by Aug. 23 or 24, Andrew Wiggins's days in Cleveland appear to be numbered.

Appearing in a somewhat awkward interview on SportsCenter, the soft spoken Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in June's NBA Draft, said he just wants to be wanted.

"I just want to play for a team that wants me, so whichever team wants me I'll play for," Wiggins said.

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Andrew Wiggins will get a chance to play with LeBron James?and won't be traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love.

So says new head coach David Blatt.

"There's no reason or cause for worry on his part because Andrew's not going anywhere, as far as I know and as far as the club has expressed," Blatt told reporters Saturday following the Cavaliers' Summer League practice in Las Vegas, according to ESPN.

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Before the NBA Draft last month, Andrew Wiggins said he would love to some day play with LeBron James.

Now that day will become a reality -- assuming the Cleveland Cavaliers hold on to Wiggins and don't deal him -- and Wiggins is thrilled.

"Oh, it's a big day, we got the win and best of all we got the best player in basketball coming to play on our team," Wiggins told NBA TV after putting up 18 points in his NBA debut, a 70-68 win over Jabari Parker?(17 points, nine rebounds) and the Milwaukee Bucks in the Las Vegas summer league. "It's going to be a great learning experience for all of us on the team. We get to go under his belt and see how hard he works and what it takes to get to his level."

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOl61QKVKs4&w=560&h=315]

You have to wonder if it?is a bad omen for the Cleveland Cavaliers going forward that?broadcaster Fred MacLeod introduced No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins as Mitchell during Friday's introductory press conference.

MacLeod tried to cover his tracks by saying, "I go back....Mitchell, you wanna make a comeback?"

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NEW YORK -- Andrew Wiggins continued the?Canadian Invasion of the NBA by becoming the second straight No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft from North of the border.

The Cleveland Cavaliers selected the 6-foot-8 shooting guard out of Thornhill, Ontario by way of Kansas with the top pick ?over Duke forward Jabari Parker, who went?No. 2 to the Milwaukee Bucks just as he had predicted this week.

"A thousand thoughts are going through my head right now," said Wiggins, the second No. 1 pick from Kansas following Danny Manning in 1988 . "It's a dream come true. I've been dreaming of this moment since I was a little kid. My dream was just to make the NBA. Now going to high school and college, the opportunity and possibility of going No. 1 came into talk, and now I accomplished all of that.

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By JOSH NEWMAN Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK -?As it becomes increasingly likely that Jabari Parker will be selected No. 2 overall at the NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, that would leave Andrew Wiggins for the Cleveland Cavaliers with the No. 1 pick.

If that does happen and newly-minted free agent LeBron James somehow ends up going back to the Cavaliers next month, that potential pairing is something Wiggins would obviously be interested in.

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Potential No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wiggins has three workouts scheduled for next week, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.

Ford Tweeted that Wiggins worked out for the Milwaukee Bucks Friday in Santa Barbara and will then work out in Philadelphia on Monday, Cleveland on Wednesday and Milwaukee on Friday.

The Cavaliers pick first, the Bucks second and the Sixers third in the June 26 NBA Draft.

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The Canadian Senior?Men?s National Team will travel to?Europe this summer for a series of 11 exhibition games, but it remains unclear if rising Canadian stars Andrew Wiggins, Tyler Ennis or Nik Stauskas will young the team.

All three are projected first-round picks in the June 26 NBA Draft, with Wiggins projected as a top-three pick, and they could be busy ?with their new NBA teams during the European tour which runs July 24-Aug. 12.

"We are waiting so that we can build a relationship with the team that drafts these players and make sure that we are doing what is best for everyone involved," Canadian coach Jay Triano told SNY.tv.

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NEW YORK -- Of the seven college players expected to be on hand?Thursday night at the NBA Draft Lottery at the?Best Buy Theatre, two are not only from the same city in the same country, but from the same AAU program as well.

Andrew Wiggins?of Kansas and Tyler Ennis of Syracuse, former teammates with the Toronto-based CIA Bounce program, will both be on hand for the draft lottery. Despite reports that Ennis was a late addition, he was invited three weeks ago, a source close to the situation told SNY.tv.

The 6-foot-8 Wiggins is projected as the potential No. 1 pick in the June 26 NBA Draft, while the 6-2 Ennis is also projected as a lottery pick.

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Andrew Wiggins believes he should be the No. 1 pick in next month's NBA Draft.

And he may well get his wish.

"I always put myself No. 1 above anybody else. That's just me. I got a lot of confidence in myself," Wiggins said Monday on ESPN's "First Take."

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Potential No. 1 draft pick Andrew Wiggins has chosen?agent Bill Duffy, sources confirmed to SNY.tv.

The news was previously reported by Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report.

Duffy also reps Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo and Joakim Noah, among others.

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Andrew Wiggins made official on Monday what everyone has expected all season long: He is headed to the NBA Draft.

?At end of the day, I decided I will enter the draft. It wasn?t an easy decision,? Wiggins said at a news conference, according to the Kansas City Star. ?I wish I had more time, time goes so fast. I wish I had all four years.?

The 6-foot-8 Canadian is projected as the No. 1 pick in the Draft by DraftExpress.com and could become the second straight Canadian taken No. 1 overall following Anthony Bennett last season.

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Kansas announced a 3 p.m. ET press conference on Monday at which freshman?Andrew Wiggins will?announce he will enter the NBA Draft.

?I wish I had more time to stay here and do my thing and just be with the team and the coaches and all these wonderful fans,? Wiggins said following Kansas? loss to Stanford in the NCAA tournament last week, according to RockChalkblog.com. ?I?m sad it?s my last time. But I?ve enjoyed my time here. I couldn?t ask for more.?

The 6-foot-8 guard from Vaughn, Ontario is projected as the No. 1 overall pick by DraftExpress.com after averaging?17.1 points and 5.9 ?rebounds.

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No losing player in the NCAA Tournament wants to talk about the NBA Draft right after they go down in defeat.

It's an awkward question for reporters to ask, yet everybody is curious what they might say.

In the cases of Kansas freshmen Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, both told reporters after losing to Stanford, 60-57, that they weren't thinking about the draft at this point.

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Andrew Wiggins has been re-installed as the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, according to DraftExpress.com.

The 6-foot-8 Wiggins has averaged 35.5 points in his last two games while teammate Joel Embiid has been out with a back injury. The 7-foot Embiid had previously been No. 1 on DraftExpess.com, but it now remains unclear when he will return this season.

"It's a combination of [Wiggins's] terrific play as of late and the question marks about Embiid's back and how that might affect him long-term," Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.com told SNY.tv.

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Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck joked that he wants Andrew Wiggins in this year's NBA Draft.

"NBA commish Adam Silver, speaking at BC event, notes two Canadians on Celtics roster. C's owner Wyc Grousbeck shouts, 'Wiggins next year,'" Kevin?Armstrong of the Daily News Tweeted.

In the Tankathon standings, the Celtics currently are tied with the Lakers and Kings for the fourth-worst record in the NBA. Boston has two first-round picks.

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NEW YORK -- Canadian men?s national team coach?Jay Triano?expects?Andrew Wiggins, Tyler Ennis, Anthony Bennett?and the country?s talented young core of basketball players to compete in Olympic qualifying in 2015.

But he says the big payoff with this group might not come until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

?The future?s going to be great,? Triano, an assistant with the Portland Trail Blazers, told SheridanHoops.com on Wednesday following a 94-90 win over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.??But it?s not going to happen overnight. It?s not going to happen at the next Olympics, it might be the following Olympics.?

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Here's a scary thought for opponents of Kansas going forward.

Bill Self believes that Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins?-- the projected No. 1 and 2 picks in the NBA Draft -- aren't anywhere close to reaching their ceilings.

"I?think [Embiid] can be an NBA All-Star eventually,?and certainly we got another kid [Wiggins] that I think can do the same thing eventually," Self, whose team visits Baylor tonight (7 p.m., ESPN2), told Seth Davis of CBS Sports.

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By JOSH NEWMAN

Special to ZAGSBLOG

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By JOSH NEWMAN & ADAM ZAGORIA

NEW YORK -- If the Canadian national team, which was set to feature Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Tristan Thompson and Tyler Ennis, is going to become a player on the international stage, it is going to have to wait until at least the 2016 Rio Olympics.

This summer's FIBA World Cup (formerly FIBA World Championships) will be contested from Aug. 30-Sept. 14 in Spain, but the Olympic qualifier will not include the Canadians, who were not one of the four wildcard teams selected for the 24-team event early Saturday morning. Those four spots went to Brazil, Greece, Turkey and, surprisingly, Finland.

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Reports of Andrew Wiggins' demise may have been premature.

The Kansas freshman went off for a career-high 29 points and 7 rebounds Wednesday as No. 6 Kansas beat No. 16 Iowa State, 92-81.

The Canadian sensation is now averaging 24.3 points in his last three games for the Jayhawks (16-4, 7-0 Big 12).

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The Canadian invasion of the NBA has hit a speed bump.

Anthony Bennett, the Canadian chosen No. 1 overall in 2013 by the Cleveland Cavaliers, is trending toward being a full-scale bust.

And Andrew Wiggins, the Ontario native widely expected to be the No. 1 pick in 2014 when this college basketball season began, could ?fall? to No. 2 or 3 come June.

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Andrew Wiggins saw Kanye West's Yeezus tour Sunday night in his native Toronto and then posed for this picture, which Wiggins posted on his Instagram Monday morning.

Kanye looks thrilled to be posing with the potential future No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Wiggins is home on a short break before Kansas resumes playing Friday against Toledo.

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NEW YORK -- Who can Andrew Wiggins be in the NBA?

ESPN.com's Chad Ford has one thought.

"The guy he really reminds of the more he's played in college is Paul George," Ford told SNY.tv of the Kansas freshman whom he has projected as No.1 in the 2014 NBA Draft.

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NEW YORK -- For the past several years on the summer AAU circuit, Andrew Wiggins benefitted from having Tyler Ennis as his point guard with the Canadian outfit CIA Bounce.

While Ennis was never ranked as high as point guards like Andrew Harrison and Kasey Hill by the recruiting services, anyone who ever watched CIA Bounce play knew that Ennis was the engine that made them run, the poised and polished floor general who put Wiggins in the space to succeed.

Led by Ennis, Wiggins and Xavier Rathan-Mayes, that team reached the finals of the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit -- losing to a James Young-led USA Midwest team -- and the finals of the 2012 Peach Jam -- losing to an Aaron Gordon-led Oakland Soldiers outfit on a late phantom foul call on Wiggins.

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If you've ever met or spoken with Andrew Wiggins, you know that he's a soft-spoken humble kid not given to brash behavior, or anything resembling aggression.

One of the few times I've heard him come remotely close to being brash was after he and his CIA Bounce AAU team beat Julius Randle and his Team Texas Titans at the Peach Jam in the summer of 2012.

This was when?Jabari Parker?had just been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and?Wiggins had missed out on a chance to face Parker's?Mac Irvin Fire squad because Parker was absent from the event with a foot injury.

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Despite his lackluster play last week in the Bahamas, NBA executives and scouts are still understandably high on Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins.

"His status isn't about what he IS, it's about what he CAN become," one NBA GM who would take Wiggins No. 1 overall told SNY.tv.

Wiggins averaged just 8 points and 5 rebounds in Kansas' last two games in the Bahamas -- a loss to eventual champion Villanova and a win over UTEP -- but by all accounts he was very ill.

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By BEN BASKIN

Special to ZAGSBLOG

NEW YORK --?On Friday afternoon, Kentucky coach John Calipari hopped on WFAN in New York and talked college basketball with Mike Francesa. ?Francesa asked some good questions to the coach of the third-ranked team in the country but, in his inimitable style, rarely allowed Calipari to finish more than a sentence before cutting him off.

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Perhaps the only funnier radio riff ?on Andrew Wiggins than Colin Cowherd's question to Bobby Hurley earlier this year occurred Friday afternoon on WFAN in New York.

Mike Francesa, who clearly hasn't watched a college basketball game yet this season, interviewed Kentucky coach John Calipari in advance of the Kentucky-Providence game Sunday at Barclays Center.

At one point, Francesa blurted out: "How did Wiggins?get to Kansas?"

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Iona senior guard Sean Armand isn't shy about expressing his plans for the Gaels' Tuesday night tilt at No. 2 Kansas.

"Yes, I'm going into the game expecting to win, just like every other game we play," the Brooklyn native told SNY.tv Monday.

You might wonder how Iona, a two-time NCAA Tournament qualifier out of the MAAC, came to play Kansas, a perennial Final Four contender featuring the projected No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft in Andrew Wiggins.

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How much did Jabari Parker impress the NBA scouts on Tuesday night in Chicago when he went off for 27 points in a loss to Kansas?

"That dude could play right now [in the NBA], like today," one NBA assistant coach who sat courtside told SNY.tv.

"Like if he left Duke right now and said, 'I'm leaving,' he would be Utah's best player. He would be a lot of teams' best player."

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Count Kevin Durant among those highly impressed with Kansas superstar frosh Andrew Wiggins.

"He's raw, but his ceiling is high. He can be like a Hall of Famer, All-Star, for sure. He's good," Durant told Yahoo! Sports.

Durant watched on TV Tuesday night as Wiggins and Kansas held on to beat fellow frosh Jabari Parker and Duke in the Champions Classic. And like the nearly 80 NBA personnel in attendance, he came away impressed with both.

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CHICAGO -- Just getting settled in here for tonight's Champions Classic at the United Center.

Here's six quick storylines heading into tonight's games, which feature four of the top five teams in the AP Top 25: No. 1 Kentucky vs. No. 2 Michigan State (7:30 p.m. EST) and No. 4 Duke vs. No. 5 Kansas (10 p.m EST).

1. No. 1 vs. No. 2The No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the Associated Press Top 25 have previously met 39 times (according to collegepollarchive.com), with the No. 1 team posting a 20-19 record. The top two teams in the poll have not met since Feb. 23, 2008 (No. 1 Memphis vs. No. 2 Tennessee). The No. 2 ranked team has won the last two meetings and six of the last eight. Prior to this meeting, the earliest meeting between No. 1 and No. 2 was Nov. 29, 1975 (No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 2 UCLA). It's also worth noting that this is the first time since the 2008 National Semifinals that four of the top five teams in the nation will play in the same venue on the same day.

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By JOSH NEWMAN Special to ZAGSBLOG

The 50-player preseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award was released on Tuesday afternoon. To the surprise of no one, with freshmen allowed on the list for the first time, the young guys are well-represented.

Kansas (Andrew Wiggins, Wayne Selden Jr.?Joel Embiid), Kentucky (Andrew Harrison,?Julius Randle, James Young) each got three first-year players on the initial list, while?Arizona?(Aaron Gordon)?Duke?(Jabari Parker)?and?Indiana?(Noah Vonleh) each got one.

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Nearly 80 NBA personnel are expected to watch diaper dandies?Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Jabari Parker in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night in Chicago.

Media coordinator Charley Green told SNY.tv that 73 NBA credentials have been issued, and that doesn't include the Chicago Bulls who don't have to go through Green because the United Center is their home arena.

"Probably around 80 scouts in total. This thing blew up after Wiggins committed," Green told SNY.tv.

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When?Adam Silver begins calling names next June in the 2014 NBA Draft, you should expect to hear several of these monikers called out right off the top.

Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Jabari Parker and Aaron Gordon.

You may have heard that as many as six NBA teams are tanking the season -- to one degree or another -- to draft these guys next June.

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Comparing any young Canadian player to Andrew Wiggins is inherently unfair, yet some of Canada's best young players are being recruited by Syracuse, Georgetown and Boston College, among other major programs.

That group includes 6-5 2016 guard Jamal Murray,?6-4 2015 guard Jaylen Poyser and 6-8 2015 center Kyle Alexander -- all of whom play with the new Canadian prep program Athlete Institute,?which we profiled here last month.

Syracuse, Georgetown and Boston College "have probably been in the most," Larry Blunt, the team's head coach, told SNY.tv by phone Friday.

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In news that can only be filed under the "Captain Obvious" category, Andrew Wiggins tells ESPN The Magazine that he plans to be one-and-done and expects to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

"The Philly GM just breathed a sigh of relief," one NBA executive joked to SNY.tv.

The 6-foot-8 Canadian wing was asked what he's enjoyed most since arriving at Kansas.

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While one NBA GM recently admitted to ESPN.com that he is tanking this season in order to score in the loaded 2014 NBA Draft, one of his colleagues actually says a half dozen teams are doing the same thing.

"Utah is going young which is understandable and Denver is looking to lower their payroll," the NBA exec told SNY.tv. "Orlando and Sacramento just aren't good enough because of the jobs of their predecessors, but Philadelphia and Phoenix are obvious [in tanking the season] with Philadelphia not even trying to hide it."

Perhaps it was one of these GMs who told ESPN.com, "Our team isn't?good enough to win and we know it...Sometimes my job is to understand the value of losing."

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ERJVt0PsMw&w=560&h=315]

Expect to hear a lot about the high-profile freshmen at Kansas and Kentucky this season, especially since they figure to dominate the 2014 NBA Draft.

Kansas phenom Andrew Wiggins made his debut Tuesday night in an exhibition game, going for 16 points and 6 rebounds, including this highlight-reel, two-handed dunk, in a 97-57 exhibition victory over Pittsburg State.

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Andrew Wiggins' first shoe deal could be worth $180 million.

So says a couple of sneaker industry experts who spoke to Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report.

"From what I'm hearing, (Adidas) is really high on him," an industry source told Zwerling. "I've heard a range for sure, from like $140 to $180 million for like 10 years. That's a big deal for a kid coming out of school because most rookie deals are probably like four years."

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Comparing Andrew Wiggins to LeBron James is patently unfair to the Kansas freshman.

Especially since James is on record saying,?"I want to be the greatest of all time. And that's my motivation.... It's not simple, but for me it is. That's my mindframe."

Yet in this day and age, comparisons between James and Wiggins will inevitably be made.

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After committing to Kansas last May,?Andrew?Wiggins did not respond to a text from head coach Bill Self for three days.

That was one nugget that emerged from ?Luke Winn's cover story on Wiggins in the latest edition of SI.

The news is consistent with Wiggins's low-key personality. He is generally shy with the media and allowed just one reporter at his announcement press conference -- Grant Traylor?of the local paper.?

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NBA GMs and scouts will be flocking to see a handful of loaded college teams during the 2013-14 season.

Kentucky and Kansas games figure to be heavily populated by NBA scouts, with several other schools also getting major attention.

"You could almost cover the [bleepin] lottery if in the preseason you go to Michigan, Michigan State, Kansas Kentucky," one Western Conference NBA GM told SNY.tv. "I mean you basically almost got the lottery covered."

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College basketball season tips off Friday with a slew of games -- and perhaps nobody is happier than Jon Rothstein, who has kept us posted on the countdown all summer...on a daily basis.

With that in mind, here are five key storylines entering the 2013-14 college basketball season.

1. KENTUCKY'S DREAM TEAMKentucky's roster includes four players projected as first-round picks in the 2014 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com, and three others picked as first-rounders in 2015.

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Andrew Wiggins and Team Canada could get one of four wildcards to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain in February, FIBA announced Thursday.

"FIBA will reveal which four national teams will receive the wild cards at its Central Board meeting on the weekend of 1-2 February 2014 in Barcelona, Spain," the organization said.

Canada failed to qualify for the World Cup, which runs Aug. 30-Sept. 14, after it was eliminated in qualifying by Argentina earlier this month.

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Kentucky pledge Karl Towns Jr. has qualified for the World Cup with the Dominican Republic team, while Canadians Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett could get shut out.

The 7-foot-1 Towns Jr. out of St. Joe's-Metuchen went scoreless Sunday but the DR qualified for the?2014 FIFA World Championships in Spain with an 86-78 victory over Uruguay at the 2013 FIBA America Championship in Caracas, Venezuela. The Dominicans are coached by Kentucky assistant Orlando Antigua.

"He is so happy to be a part of history," Karl Towns Sr. told SNY.tv.

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NEW YORK -- For the past several years, Canada has been losing some of its top prep basketball talent to American powerhouses like Henderson (NV) Findlay Prep, Huntington (W.V.) Prep?and Newark (N.J.) St. Benedict's Prep.

Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 pick in this year's NBA Draft and Tristan Thompson, the No. 4 pick in 2011, both finished up at Findlay Prep.

Andrew Wiggins, the presumed No. 1 pick in 2014, graduated from Huntington Prep.

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