North Carolina duo of Hoard and Wiggins turning heads
While beating down a path to High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan Christian to get a look at 2018's No. 30 ranked junior Jaylen Hoard, college coaches have made a pleasant discovery. Hoard's junior teammate Aaron Wiggins can play too. Now the duo is racking up offers.
A 6-foot-8 import, Hoard has been the initial draw after averaging 22.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game playing for France during last summer's Fiba 17U World Championship. He's backed up that hype according to Wesleyan head coach Keith Gatlin.
“Jaylen is a great kid and really studies the game," said Gatlin. "He’s a very skilled player. He’s 6-foot-8 almost 6-foot-9 and he can play the one or the two if we need him to. He's just a skilled guard. We are going to play everywhere, like a Scottie Pippen point forward type.”
Hoard certainly has genes that help him out. His father Antoine played at Murray State while his mother Tia played at Washington. Since arriving in the States at the end of the summer, Hoard has picked up offers from the likes of Arizona, California, Providence, Wake Forest, Maryland and Oklahoma State while Kentucky and N.C. State have also been in to see him.
He's yet to take any visits and college coaches don't even have his cell phone number so all communication has been through his parents and coach Gatlin. Clearly, there is no rush.
“I think there’s been an adjustment period for him," said Gatlin. "He’s closing that gap real quick. He came over this summer and got in the gym with Theo Pinson, Montay Brandon and some of my former players. It was very good for him to get a good start.
"He’s very talented now, but he’s going to be incredibly next year. He will have a year under his belt and that he gets to play with Aaron Wiggins is going to help."
With many coaches coming in to see Hoard, Wiggins has seized the moment and put himself on the map in a major way.
The 6-foot-6 small forward has seen his recruitment totally blow up in recent weeks as Arizona, California, Maryland and Providence have all offered the three-star junior. Gatlin thinks he's just scratching at the surface thanks to newfound confidence.
“Aaron is the real deal," said Gatlin. "He’s 6-foot-6, he's long and he can handle it. He can shoot it too. He has confidence from playing with Team Charlotte in the summer.
“He feels likes he belongs now and he’s taking advantage of it.”
Currently, neither Wiggins or Hoard have any plans for unofficial visits in the near future and they are focused on school and getting in the gym to round out their games.