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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Breaking The Seal On '09: Mike Bruesewitz

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Wisconsin secured a verbal committment from Minnesota's Mike Bruesewitz late last night. Bruesewitz is a 6'7" junior at Henry Sibley High School in the Minneapolis area whose coach compares him to Joe Krabbenhoft. His school's official fight song? On Wisconsin.

The commitment from Bruesewitz could be viewed as good or bad, depending on your tastes. While I've never seen him play, Bruiser fits the bill physically and even has the ready-made nickname straight out of high school like Krabbenhoft did. If Bo Ryan indeed has found Krabby 2.0, it's unfortunate that the kid will have to learn from scratch, since Joe will graduate next season before his red-headed replacement arrives. Despite his shortcomings scoring-wise, no one would be opposed to getting another four years of Krabbenhoft-like effort and production.

As I've said before, though, there is a fundamental stubbornness to Bo Ryan that infiltrates his style, whether it be managing his rotation, his defensive philosophies or in this case, recruiting. Unlike Krabbenhoft, Bruesewitz is not regarded as a four or five-star player. He had offers from a couple of high-majors and a mid-major. By suddenly making Bruesewitz a priority, the Badgers are basically saying they are giving up on at least one of the following players: Jamil Wilson, Royce White, Rodney Williams, and Jordan Prosser.

Recent reports have Wisconsin in good standing with Illinois guard Diamond Taylor. If Taylor were to verbal next, you'd have one spot left for 4-5 really good prospects. What if Wisconsin also offers SG Jacob Jenkins from Kentucky? Bo then risks being officially out of the running for any of the more sought-after forwards before the jockeying even heats up. What is worse is that Wisconsin was hot on the trail of those aforementioned blue-chippers as early as anyone in the country.

More importantly, UW is sending a message to its Midwestern competitors that the program takes what it can get and does not need to be reckoned with when it comes to top regional recruits. But on the flip side, Wisconsin doesn't seem to mind getting out-muscled for big-time athletes. That is where the stubbornness seeps in. It seems even a little arrogant that the current staff will not wait around for a top recruit to take his time with quite an important decision. As if not jumping at the chance to commit to Wisconsin suddenly makes that player "a bad fit for Bo's system," as some would have you believe. It's a fine line between due diligence and failing to covering your own caboose.

For what it's worth, getting Bruiser as the first 2009 commit probably means the end of Isiah Nunn's chances of landing in Madison in 2008. Downsizing to one more available scholarship in '09 at this juncture would be ridiculous.

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Speaking of recruits, the incoming 2008 Badgers are beginning the journey to possible high school championships in their respective states. I whould be able to keep pace with the updates for all four players, so stay tuned, as things are just getting rolling.

- Ian Markolf had 13 points to help his San Antonio Churchill team defeat Austin High to open Class 5A Bidistrict play on Tuesday night. Churchill will play San Antonio Taft this weekend. Taft beat Churchill by two points in the first game of the year. The winner will probably play highly-ranked San Antonio Madison, which also beat Churchill earlier this season.

- Garfield Heights, led by Rob Wilson, recently clinched on a conference title as a first-year member. Wilson teams with Carl "Tay" Jones to lead the Bulldogs into action on Friday, Feb. 22 in the Division 1 Warrensville Heights District bracket.

- Minnesota does not start their playoffs until March. Jordan Taylor's Benilde St. Margaret's squad is in Class AAA, as are Jared Berggren's Princeton Tigers. Bruesewitz and the Sibley Warriors will compete among the largest schools in Minnesota in the Class AAAA tournament.

1 comment:

  1. great insights. you should get an RSS feed and blog more.


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