Visit Bucky's 5th Quarter Get fresh Badger content from me at Bucky's 5th Quarter.
Subscribe to the new RSS feed Subscribe to my RSS feed from the new site.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pending Sanctions and Simmering Talent

BREAKING NEWS: Before getting into the recruiting topic today, it looks like the other shoe is about to drop on Kelvin Sampson at Indiana. The school will announce allegations of major men's basketball violations sometime Wednesday morning. The allegations involve Sampson lying about improper phone calls. However, it will not affect the Hoosier's postseason this year unless Indiana self-imposes sanctions, according to the report filed by Andy Katz.

We now return to our regularly scheduled program ...

: : :

Despite all the praise heaped on Wisconsin's coaching staff for locking up its 2008 class early, it doesn't look like the Badgers got the jump on the other schools for anyone in the Class of 2009.

Top prospects Jamil Wilson and Royce White have faded from the forefront as far as national hype and rankings go. It's temporary, of course, since they are both still Top 10-caliber small forwards. Each of the talented juniors has been rumored to be headed some place other than Madison, as in Marquette (Wilson) and Minnesota (White). Milwaukee Pius XI senior Korie Lucious is also said to be putting his two cents for Michigan State into Wilson's ear. And if Wilson is serious about playing both volleyball and basketball collegiately, Wisconsin is one of many schools out of luck.

It's too early to believe that is set in stone, especially with the lengthy list of suitors Wilson and White are maintaining. As is typical, not much real information leaks out about Badger recruits before they verbal. But the silence, in this case, is deafening.

I fear a letdown. After so much talk about how talented the area ballplayers are in 2009, there is no indication that Wisconsin has a good chance at one, let alone several. The most recent new names to pop up in recruiting circles is Mike Bruesewitz out of Minneapolis. The name came out of nowhere, based on a few nice games and the big schools taking notice. But to me, it's more evidence of the current Badger staff gearing up to play it safe yet again.

I can see it now. No offense to these talented young men, but here is the class I hope Wisconsin avoids:
-SF Mike Bruesewitz, MN
-PF Unknown Offered When UW Gives Up On Someone Else, XX

Commitments from such players would certainly fill roster needs on paper, but lacks a certain dynamic that could take the Badgers to the next level. If this ended up being the case, I would be in favor of spending another 2008 scholarship on swingman Isiah Nunn and going with only two scholarships in 2009.

Six months ago, the best-case scenario for UW fans was verbals from Wilson, either White or Rodney Williams from Minnesota and Joseph Bertrand in '09. Wisconsin had been one of the first programs (if not the first big-time school) hot on these fellows' respective trails. Diamond Taylor from St. Joe's in Chicago replaced Bertrand on the "Ideal List" when the latter committed to Illinois. With White and Williams seemingly out of the picture due to Tubby Smith's presence or academic issues, Jack Cooley and Tyler Griffey took center stage at the power forward position. Even I was shocked when the two white, suburban power forwards chose Notre Dame and Illinois right away over Wisconsin.

Lo and behold, Williams' name has surfaced again as a possibility and some have speculated that improved grades are the cause. I wouldn't get my hopes up for actually signing a spectacular athlete like Williams, but how long would Wisconsin be willing to wait on a guy like that? The chances are slim when they start offering lesser players scholarships; those players are more likely to quickly accept an offer.

However, in my opinion, a quality three-man class is still possible, with or without Williams -- he would be the icing on the cake. Letting go of Wilson, the ideal commitments look like this from my vantage point:
-SG Diamond Taylor, IL

A bumper crop from our southern neighbors to be sure. Howard Moore would finally earn his keep on the the home turf that way. With two bigs coming in next fall and Evan Anderson looming in 2010, missing out on Rowley would not be a big deal. Prosser and Taylor might be equally tough to land, but I'm hoping Wisconsin can at least sign one of the two. Add both and it wouldn't matter who the third player in the class was.

If things should fall through with Taylor, could UW possibly be interested in Chris Colvin? The staff has apparently kept in touch enough to maintain moderate interest from this quietly rising point guard prospect. Colvin has a handful of big programs after him at this juncture. Although Wisconsin doesn't necessarily need another lead guard for '09, it would be an opportunity to snag a highly-rated recruit that would solidify the backcourt instead of settling for a second-tier big man.

Looking ahead to 2010, Wisconsin should have three more scholarships available with the departures of Landry and Krabbenhoft and Mickey Perry's abandoned schollie. I trust Bo's ability to reel in Anderson from the Northwoods, leaving two offers with which to speculate. We're talking nearly three years down the road by the time that class would actually hit the floor, but it's never too early, right? At least when you have another pair of solid wing players in-state, like Flavien Davis and Vander Blue ...


  1. Mike Bruesewitz is the man. Hater.

    GET EM

  2. Sorry, had to delete your second comment. I'm glad you went to prom with Mike, but no profanity please.


Do you like the NCAA tournament's new 8-team "first-round" format?

What should Wisconsin do with the newly vacated scholarship?

Poll: Who will win the Big Ten?

Poll: Who was Wisconsin's first-half MVP (thru 16 games)?

Poll: How Many Regular Season games will wisconsin win in 2009-10?