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.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

On the Stove Top: 5/29

Prospect Profile pages have been added to Hoops Marinara for several Wisconsin recruits. The goal is to track some of the links, press and stats of those future Badgers who have verballed, but have not yet signed a LOI. For instance, the first two pages up are for the Class of 2009: Mike Bruesewitz and Diamond Taylor. Class of 2010 is on its way shortly. Reader comments are encouraged and the posts will be constantly revised to hold the most up-to-date material.

NBA trade talk heats up as draft approaches
The Michael Redd trade rumors are swirling. I have been saying for a year and a half that it would be in Milwaukee's best interests to get some value for Redd in a trade and it looks like now might be the time.

With Milwaukee GM John Hammond clearly open to any possibilities that will improve the Bucks and the Cavaliers still in dire need of a move to capitalize on LeBron James while he's around, Cleveland fans are clamoring for Redd, just as they did three years ago. The Bob Boozer Jinx blog at the Sports Bubbler is all over the Bucks fans' perspectives.

Now that Scott Skiles is at the helm, you can almost see the end of the road appearing on the horizon for one of the great pure shooters of the decade. I don't think the new coach/GM will tolerate Redd's inability to either make those around him better or play consistent defense. He is a great scorer and a reliable free throw shooter, but had a surprising knack for ill-advised shot attempts. Maybe Redd will throw some Joni Mitchell in our face when he does leave, but Milwaukee is going nowhere with Redd on the roster and that's the bottom line.

The Bratwurst speculated on recent comments by Charlie Villanueva indicating he might be the one moved this off-season. Brett Boyer discusses a wide range of trade options, some far more likely than others. In any event, the Bucks could easily decide to move it's upcoming first-round draft pick (#8) or swap with a trading partner. Since Brook Lopez' stock is plummeting, Boyer and others now see Russell Westbrook as a logical #8 pick due to his athleticism and defensive potential. But Boyer has advocated Alabama' junior Richard Hendrix as a big-time sleeper in this year's crop, someone the Bucks could target if they moved down in the June 26 draft.

The 6'8" Hendrix, who has not hired an agent, can rebound, block shots and shot a high percentage last season. He was one of several players who has impressed onlookers already at the Orlando pre-draft camp. No mention of Brian Butch, which could be a positive or a negative depending on your personal bias. It surprised a few people that Butch was invited to the camp, but the Polar Bear has at least continued to rebound.

Thoughts on the Maymon press conference
After all that has been said during the recruitment of Jeronne Maymon, it was refreshing to be able to watch video of him making his announcement and draw my own conclusions. A few things stood out:

- EDITED: Apparently my hearing was pretty bad last week. I listened to the audio several times before I posted and still couldn't figure out whether Maymon said he had been text messaging Wesley Matthews and Bob Gibbons for info on Buzz Williams. When I listened again, he was pretty clearly just talking about Matthews (see comments), which is a relief. In true NCAA fashion, I have applied a self-imposed slap on the wrist as punishment for my error.

- "If I stay my whole four years ..." Ugh. That's the antithesis of a Bo Ryan mantra in a nutshell. The posse, the family, the person--something--has made Maymon a big believer in himself. Thinking positively, that attitude probably has helped his game develop, knowing he the people around him have faith in his ability. But you certainly get the idea that he and his father feel spurned by Wisconsin and cannot wait to play against the Badgers.

- I honestly got the impression that Maymon put a lot of thought into this decision, but still really had no idea what to do. Maybe even as late as the morning of the announcement. Since this is a 17-year-old kid we are talking about, I am a big believer in Freudian-slip type statements and how Maymon spoke of text messaging Vander Blue was telling.

That uncertainty probably grips a lot of youngsters, so setting an arbitrary deadline might keep them from wasting more time agonizing over the decision that in many cases is win-win. Marquette expressed desperate interest and offered a location close to home and that was enough.

- The dad is ridiculous and holding up that "Jeronne + Marquette" sign was hilarious. Jeronne knows it too.

- Speaking of Bob Gibbons, his All Star Report website reports that Evan Anderson was named to the 16-U All-Tournament team at the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions this past weekend. They agree with me that Anderson could be a combination of some very recent UW big men:

"... Anderson (Eau Claire North, Eau Claire, Wis.) has a bit of Brian Butch’s skill set mixed in with Greg Stiemsma’s raw physicality. The end result could be the best big man to come out of Wisconsin in quite some time. Anderson did a great job finishing strong around the basket, controlling the glass, and knocking his opponents around defensively."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Jeronne Maymon Picks Marquette

Madison Memorial prep superstar Jeronne Maymon will take his game to the Big East Conference starting in 2009. The 6'6" forward was courted by many big-time college programs over recent months, but will stay in-state with the Golden Eagles, who Maymon says guaranteed him a starting spot when he arrives on campus.

Maymon's comments from this morning's press conference indicated that two factors drew him to Marquette: the ability to be a playmaker in new coach Buzz Williams' offense and the close location to his hometown. Considering how vocal Maymon's father, Tim, has been in the entire recruitment process, that is no surprise. Everyone will be watching to see if that proximity helps or hinders Jeronne.

Tim Maymon said recently that Jeronne nearly committed to Baylor right away after receiving his first scholarship offer in December. Previous chatter from the father seemed to imply Iowa State and Baylor had the edge, based on what they were "offering," possibly alluding to playing time. Even after the offers came in from some more prestigious colleges, after last week's visit to Marquette, Maymon was ready to make his final choice. So, in the end, his family did seem to have a big vote in where he attended. Jeronne's mother applauded the decision to stay close to home rather than ship out to USC, praised her son's mental toughness and now looks forward to a less hectic home.

Maymon sets Marquette up quite well to remain strong at the wing positions in the coming years. With the return of Jerel McNeal, the Big 3 of McNeal, Dominic James and Wesley Matthews will all ride off into the sunset after the 2008-09 season. Maymon and fellow 2009 recruit Erik Williams would appear to have the forward positions set, providing depth and star power behind the 2008 class that includes JUCO wing Joseph Fulce. Unlike the Badgers, the Golden Eagles still have three scholarships to hand out for Maymon's freshman season. One of those will likely go to Milwaukee Bay View guard Johnnie Lacy.

Today's announcement means that Wisconsin and Marquette continue to battle for the rights to the Madison Memorial pipeline. Both programs have one former Spartan on the current roster and another verbally committed. Other former Memorial players have wound up at North Dakota State and various state schools, including Jerard Ajami, who will attempt to walk-on at UW-Milwaukee after starring at D-2 doormat Northern Michigan.

Now all Maymon has to do is hit the books.

: : :

Since Madison Memorial players are the topic of the day, it's worth mentioning that UW commit Vander Blue had a nice weekend in Nashville's big AAU tournament. Blue teamed with slim Chicago point guard Anthony Johnson to lead the Illinois Warriors to a win the 16U championship at the Nike Memorial Day Classic. Each player totaled 39 points in the two final games of the tournament.

Now that Blue is a known commodity on the travel team circuit, look for more comments like the following analysis from

"Blue is a well built and athletic guard who hits the boards with a vengeance and has a feel for making plays off the dribble. Johnson is a slick ball handler and scorer but doesn't have the physique and athleticism of Blue."

Must be nice to be Memorial head coach Steve Collins.

Despite the high praise for Blue, Rivals still is showing no love for Wisconsin's incoming group of recruits. The Internet recruiting website did not list the Badgers among its revised Top 30 Recruiting Classes for 2008. Just based on sheer size (5) of the class for a reigning conference champion, I was thinking maybe Wisconsin would get a mention, as some other programs in recent years. However, the "almighty" 5-star recruits appear to be driving these rankings.

Boasting two 4-stars, two three stars and one relative unknown (Evans), there is no doubt in my mind that even on paper Wisconsin's 2008 class is better than USC's (#20) and Duke's (#27) and equal to Kentucky's (#21) at a bare minimum.

Removed the following prospects from the recruiting sidebar:
: : : Class of 2008
C Kyle Rowley, Lake Forest IL {reclassified & signed w/Northwestern}
: : : Class of 2010
G Lenzelle Smith, Zion IL
PG Lavonte Dority, Chicago IL [+] [+] [v]
PG DeAndre McCamey, Chicago IL
PG Kenny Stevenson, Chicago IL
SG Flavien Davis, Milwaukee WI
SG Alex Rossi, Winnetka IL
F Cody Larson, Sioux Falls SD
F Chip Rank, Cedarburg WI
SF Marquis Mason, Madison WI
C Paul Bunch, Chicago IL
PF Calvin Godfrey, Milwaukee WI
PF Fred Heldring, Winnetka IL
PG Josh Gasser, Port Washington WI

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Big Ten Fans Rule The Roost

For all the heat the Big Ten conference takes for experiencing a down cycle in on-court quality, the fans are still supporting their teams at a record pace. Wisconsin led five Big Ten teams that placed among the nation's top 25 in average home attendance for the 2007-08 season, according to the Big Ten Network.

The release of these figures confirms the Big Ten's status as one of the premier basketball conferences in all the land, with consistent support from fans and athletic departments across the board. Many quality basketball programs around the country may have the ability to sell out every game, but do not have the matching commitment or resources from the university to maintain state-of-the-art facilities. The reverse is also true in other cases. The Big Ten has the best of both worlds. Together the 11 conference teams averaged 12,978 fans per contest, easily out-pacing the SEC's average.

Badger fans packed the Kohl Center for all 18 regular season home games, for an average sellout crowd of 17,190, good enough for seventh nationally. It marked the fifth consecutive season that UW has announced a full crowd for every home game. Wisconsin has consistently placed in the top ten for attendance since the Final Four season of 2000, thanks to increased capacity at the Kohl Center.

Indiana improved to reclaim the ninth spot in the rankings. Illinois (#11), Ohio State (#12) and Michigan State (#17) also placed among attendance leaders. Almost a thousand fewer fairweather Buckeye fans attended OSU games this season without Oden and Conley, while the putrid Illini still had the benefit of playing of in front of a packed house at Assembly Hall, much like the Spartans in East Lansing.

See: 2006-07 attendance numbers

: : :

After reigning in a giant JUCO project and another impressive 2009 prospect, Indiana may have another 2008 recruit in its sights. Emmanuel Negedu is being released from his LOI at Arizona and will take a closer look at the Hoosiers. However, if Tom Crean wants to stay alive in the Jamil Wilson sweepstakes (or in the running for any other 2009 player for that matter), any further scholarships extended for 2008 must be to an incoming senior who has already sat out a year or is coming from a non-Division I school. Highly unlikely. (ed: Problem solved!) The other option? Cross that bridge when you come to it and run off an incoming 2008 recruit after one year of play. Two candidates would be Matt Roth or Tom Pritchard, who were already committed to Indiana when Crean hit the scene.

Draft Lottery Puts Bucks In Ominous Position

Eighth overall pick a familiar crapshoot
So, in a two-horse race, those underachieving Chicago Bulls won the top pick in the 2008 NBA Draft and the mysteriously bad Miami Heat secured the #2 pick. That sets up a dream combo for each team of getting an immediate impact player that also happens to patch a major hole in the roster. Michael Beasley can fill the void of interior scoring and muscle that has been lacking for years in Chicago. With the second pick, Miami can give Dwyane Wade a dream backcourt running mate in Derrick Rose who will also defer to Wade at crunch time.

When the smoke cleared Tuesday night at the draft lottery, Milwaukee was left holding the #8 pick, one slot lower than anticipated based on the team's record. General manager John Hammond should know what to expect out of that spot: it will not be a superstar player. The 8-hole should sound vaguely memorable to Bucks fans, as the team has drafted from that sport three other times in the last 16 years with mixed results. Twice when Milwaukee has selected eighth, it got talented but mediocre players who were both shipped out of town very early in their careers, either due to injury (T.J. Ford, 2003) or simply being squeezed out of the lineup (Todd Day, 1992). It is interesting to note, however, that the only All-Star drafted from the 8th position in the last 20 years (Vin Baker) was back in 1993 by Milwaukee.

Besides Baker, Andre Miller (1999) has been a borderline star throughout his career, including a career-best scoring average this past season in Philly, but he has also made many stops around the league over the last decade. Rudy Gay appeared to make major strides in his second season and may soon join Baker, Miller and Rex Chapman at the head of the class for #8 picks.

Expanding the search to all players picked between seventh and ninth over the last 20 years might raise your hopes a tad. Including Baker, seven of those players have either been selected to at least one All-Star team or named Rookie of the Year (Damon Stoudamire, 1995). Luol Deng and Andre Iguodala figure to add to that list in the near future. Other players like Miller, Gay, Brian Grant, Jamal Crawford and Rony Seikaly have been solid contributors originating from picks seven through nine. So in 20 years, I count 15 successful picks out of a possible 60 from that general area, mostly due to a lot of talent from the ninth slot. So the Bucks have a 25% of landing a legit NBA player from that position.

Some mock drafts are still projecting Eric Gordon as Milwaukee's selection while sees the Bucks taking another tall, skinny foreigner. Yikes. At, Kevin Love is the pick, although the foreignor was the consensus #8 acccording to their collection of the web's numerous mock drafts.

The Sporting News likes Gordon at that spot too, but Sam Smith sees trade possibilities lining up better for the Bucks. The trade angle would not be surprising, as Milwaukee has seemingly done everything in its power to avoid making mistakes in the draft by giving away its draft picks. In the nine drafts since the Dirk Nowitzki trade of 1998, Milwaukee has only made five first-round selections and in 2004, the Bucks had no picks at all.

In other draft-related fun, has gone all the way back to the mid-1980s to rank the top picks from the entire lottery era. For what it's worth, Detlef Schrempf edges Ron Harper as the greatest #8 pick of the lottery era.

This South Florida Sun-Sentinel article could have been an interesting behind-the-scenes account of draft lotto. Instead I was left completely baffled. The story describes the ping pong process tension without explaining how it works. Thus, I had to snoop around to refresh myself on how the ping pong ball combinations do their magic.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Wisconsin Still A Football School

The Wisconsin State Journal ran a sidebar in Sunday's paper detailing the financial expenditures of each UW sports program, accompanying an article that highlighted a few of the low-budget success stories.

With the escalating success of the men's basketball team, Bo Ryan has made a Kohl Center ticket a tougher find than one to Camp Randall. However, follow the money and you'll find that football still reigns supreme in the Badger State. Though both Ryan and head football coach Bret Bielema both reportedly earn a $400,000 base salary, Bielema's $900,000 in additional multimedia package revenue dwarfs Ryan's $550,000 package of the same kind.

The multimedia revenue figure for Ryan was raised significantly after the 2006-07 season in which the Wisconsin reached their first ever #1 ranking. It seems a bit peculiar that the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported at the time of Ryan's raise that he would be guaranteed $1.25 million for this past season, whereas the WSJ breakdown showed only $950,000. The $300,000 difference appears to come from a previous deferred-compensation agreement that is also being honored, though I am not sure why or how that number is not reported. I'm not sure what's missing in that equation, but it is clear that no one on either staff is hurtin' for cash.

Every assistant coach in football and basketball is paid more handsomely than any other head coach in the athletic department, except for the aforementioned big wigs and those leading the men's hockey, women's hockey and women's basketball teams. Offensive coordinator Paul Chryst ($300,000) is one of the state's highest-paid employees. If you were wondering, both Greg Gard and Gary Close pulled down $137,902 last year and Howard Moore earned a measly $102,566.

Speaking of Close, shortly after he was passed over for the head coaching position at Drake, former Iowa basketball player Jess Settles wrote in to the Des Moines Register with a fiery defense of Close. That open letter was then followed by this rather thoughtful column on Close in the same newspaper. Wisconsin is clearly lucky to have still have Close on staff, whose temperament may make him the perfect coaching compliment for Bo Ryan's bench.

Other numbers released in the article were for the 2006-07 season. The men's basketball team spent only $55,254 on its recruiting, compared to $177,170 for the football team which must cover many more players. However, travel costs for that season were nearly identical for the two teams.

What's cooking:
- Derrick Rose is gaining steam as the top overall player on this year's draft board. The updated simulator seems to favor D.J. Augustin for the Bucks ... T.J. Ford, the sequel?! Nooooooo!!
- Rob Hernandez relates the recent flap by a high school track and field star to Doug Chickering's vision of the impending curse of young elite athletes.
- From the "They Said What?" Department - Recruiting Desk: Rodney Williams is still claiming an offer from Wisconsin, Jordan Prosser still really likes Wisconsin and '08 G Jacob Jenkins has an offer from the Badgers "on the table." High comedy.
- Don't forget to check out the Senior Salute over at for this past season's four seniors.
- A list of state players still ballin' overseas, plus some nice additional links and commentary at Badgercentric.

Rivals150 Rankings: The Breakdown

When released its final Class of 2008 rankings, the Big Ten sat fifth among conferences with 16 of the Top 150 recruits. That number is especially interesting because of how much talent the region produces. There are a total of 30 players from states that contain a member university (I begrudgingly included Pennsylvania even though Penn State is nowhere near the dominant basketball program in the state). The breakdown is as follows:

2008 Rivals150 Recruits: 16
Michigan State: 3
Minnesota: 3
Ohio State: 3
Purdue: 2
Indiana: 2
Wisconsin: 2
Iowa: 1

Players-by-State in 2008 Rivals150: 30 (2007: 41)
Ohio: 9 (8)
Illinois: 7 (7)
Indiana: 4 (8)
Pennsylvania: 3 (8)
Iowa: 2 (0)
Michigan: 2 (6)
Minnesota: 2 (2)
Wisconsin: 1 (2)

As you can see, Ohio produces far too many high-caliber players for the Buckeyes to keep all to themselves each year. And it is true, the Fightin' Illini truly were slacking off in that department in recent years--including this class. Thirdly, it truly was a down year for top-flight high school talent in Wisconsin and Michigan ... yet UW and MSU managed to steal some recruits from surrounding areas. That is how you avoid rebuilding phases.

Despite losing out to Indiana for Verdell Jones, Minnesota claims two of the players who moved significantly higher in Rivals' most recent rankings. Tubby Smith successfully recruited one of the league's top soon-to-be-freshman centers in Ralph Sampson's son of the same name.

On the whole, though, the Big Ten schools are getting worked over by their out-of-conference peers in their own back yards lately.

The conference wrapped up just three of the 25 five-star prospects in the Class of 2008, according to Rivals. Ohio center B.J. Mullens moved up to the top spot in the 2008 rankings and will join guard William Buford at Ohio State. Michigan State will receive the services of another highly-rated big man, Delvon Roe. Had Devin Ebanks and Terrell Holloway each stayed committed to Indiana, the conference's haul this year actually would have been a big improvement over 2007, when it landed only two of the 28 five-star prospects.

With the departures of Indiana's D.J. White and Ohio State's Kosta Koufos, there are no menacing big men returning to the Big Ten. Brian Butch's graduation leaves Goran Suton as the most skilled player 6'10" or taller. Penn State's Jamelle Cornley, at 6'5", is one of the league's most effective returning power players. Is this what they mean by "a down year"?

The timing could not be better I suppose. Wisconsin's perceived weakness next season also will be in the frontcourt, where their only true pivot players have virtually no experience. Luckily, though Mullens, Roe and Sampson may immediately become a few of the conference's best big men, none appear too talented for a disciplined team effort from the Badger defense, with or without a real center.

Last season, the Badgers had the luxury of having two very capable seniors at center that happened to be legit aircraft carriers. Looking forward to 2008-09, Wisconsin's most effective post player, Marcus Landry, will be undersized at 6'7". Freshmen Jared Berggren (6'10") and Ian Markolf (7') may compete with redshirt sophomore J.P. Gavinski (6'10") for a spot in the rotation. But considering the difficult transition to collegiate defense, none of the three may crack it if the more athletic sophomore Keaton Nankivil (6'8") can fill in suitably.

If none of the young big men stand out as able to contribute immediately, Bo Ryan will have to look elsewhere on his bench to give Landry and Nankivil a rest. Finding someone to pick up those minutes will be one of the program's more interesting storylines of the summer and fall. Kevin Gullikson (also 6'7") will be back--albeit without a scholarship--and he should be able to provide stretches of decent play while the young guys adjust. For all we know, wiry Jon Leuer (6'10") could bulk up and see increased minutes down low rather than on the wing. Leuer showed that he can be is an offensive weapon in the Big Ten, but not yet as a back-to-the-basket type. As Leuer found out, a hot start does not guarantee you a spot in the rotation at the end of the year, so he should have as much motivation as anyone to earn minutes any way he can this season.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Keeping Tabs on Big Ten Transfers and Indiana's Rebuilding Project

Big Ten experiencing more costly defections
You know the offseason is in full swing when the transfer announcements are flowing freely. Last year, four Big Ten programs (Indiana, Purdue, Michigan St. and Minnesota) each had one player defect to a different school. Chris Lutz (PU) and Maurice Joseph (MSU) were the only ones you may have even heard about.

While Michigan and Illinois will welcome in two highly-regarded players at the start of 2009, and Penn St. a third, this latest offseason has been particularly unkind to the Big Ten's talent level so far. A total of nine players are expected to transfer out of the conference and continue their collegiate careers elsewhere. That total gives the Big Ten the highest average transfer rate of any major conference (per member - Big East has 12 so far out of 16 schools). If last year is any indication, there are more announcements to come. After the 2006-07 season, the BCS conferences lost many more players, yet the Big Ten easily had the fewest departures.

More alarming is that many of the names this year were significant contributors to their teams previously. Scott Martin averaged almost 22 minutes and 8.5 points per game as one of the heralded Boilermaker freshmen. Tony Freeman led Iowa in scoring and assists as a shoot-first point guard, and Michigan's Epke Udoh easily topped the league in blocks (2.9/g) while playing 26 min/g. And I have not even mentioned Indiana yet ...

Revamping the Indiana roster
The most obvious victim of this flurry of transers is Indiana, which only has itself to blame. Tom Crean inherited a tough situation from Kelvin Scampson. Crean is no stranger to seeing players bolt from his program for different pastures, but losing the following would be difficult for any team to overcome:

- best player graduates to the NBA (D.J. White)
- as expected, freshman phenom jumps to the NBA (Gordon)
- top returning scorer and second in assists dismissed (Bassett)
- top returning rebounder and leader in assists dismissed (Ellis)
- two frontcourt rotation players graduate (Stemler & Mike White)
- a senior-to-be post player was asked not to return (Thomas)
- freshman post transfers (Holman)

That leaves four returning players, and only two previous 2008 recruits who decided to stick with the Hoosiers. In reality, Crean had nothing to lose by keeping Bassett and Ellis off the team. The community's expectations are now at rock bottom and Crean gets to trumpet a perceived "cleaning up" of the program in academics and attitude.

So now Crean is doing what he does best: selling his program. Three new players have bought in so far, with undoubtedly more on the way. He even stole a recruit from Tubby Smith's grasp when Verdell Jones verbally committed on Monday. Not only was Minnesota shocked about the choice, but Hoosier Nation seemed a little confused too.

I would expect Indiana to be in the market for one or two of this year's transfers, depending on how it wants to spend its plethora of open scholarships. Otherwise, there are many different routes the Hoosiers could go with its roster. I think walk-on Kyle Taber should probably get rewarded with a senior-year scholarship for what he's put up with in the last year (ed: apparently Taber was awarded a scholarship last fall). Expect Crean to sign a star JUCO big man that can help immediately and maybe even a third JUCO if another 2008 recruit is not signed. If all that happens, IU would have 1-2 more scholarships left for the 2009 class and then use the 2-3 expiring JUCO/transfer scholarships for its 2010 class.

Luckily, Indiana got a free pass on its low Academic Progress Report score and will not suffer an additional loss of scholarships in light of "significant improvement." Wisconsin scored a passing grade in the 50th-to-60th percentile; Purdue apparently already dealt with its impending APR penalty during the past season, while Ohio State already knew it was in line to lose a schollie. Retaining a full arsenal--for the moment--should allow Crean to go after players like Jamil Wilson with renewed fervor until the NCAA sanctions, if any, drop.

One player Crean doesn't seem to be going after is Jeronne Maymon, who has finally seen his production translate into a cache of offers from high-majors. But when you see how demanding his father appears to be, it easy hard to understand why some schools, like Wisconsin, kept their distance. But I'm still pleased for the kid's sake that he has apparently hit the big time. He has played for several AAU clubs already and most recently was dominant for the Illinois Bobcats at the Speice Run N' Slam tournament, where said Maymon "punished opponents all weekend long." I hope Jeronne's dad let's him take enough time off this summer to attend those summer classes we've heard so much about. Or maybe Tennessee, USC, Marquette, Baylor and Iowa State told them not to worry about that ...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Evan Anderson's Decision Wraps Up 2010 Class

With Vander Blue committing to play for Wisconsin earlier in the week, Evan Anderson snapped up the last tentative scholarship for 2010 by verballing in favor of the Badgers late Saturday night.

Only a sophomore, Anderson was already one of the most sought after high school players from Wisconsin in years, rivaled only by Brian Butch and 2009 prospect Jamil Wilson in terms of national interest. Anderson reportedly chose Wisconsin over programs like Kansas, Kentucky and Boston College. An impressive score for Bo Ryan ...

The Badgers have had the luxury over the past four years of being one of the larger teams in the nation, with numerous players like Butch, Greg Stiemsma, Jason Chappell, Jon Leuer and J.P. Gavinski all standing 6'10" or taller. Because several of those players (add Dave Mader to the list) were not real threats offensively, people don't realize how fortunate UW has been just having those options out on the floor. By adding Anderson to 2008 signees Jared Berggren and Ian Markolf, Wisconsin ensures that this facet of its roster remains strong.

Anderson can be a defensive presence in the middle, a la Stiemsma, and develop his go-to post moves in the next two years. He will never be a Polar Bear-level outside shooter and he knows he needs to work on his perimeter game. Think of Anderson as a combination of several recent Badgers: the shot-blocking ability of Stiemsma, knowledge of some moves on the block (Gavinski) with athleticism closer to Chappell. That's pretty decent for a player not yet a junior in high school.

Amazingly, with the recruiting classes pretty much set for the following three seasons, Wisconsin has a glimpse of what a Badger starting lineup could look like four years down the road. Both Anderson and Blue fill big areas of need in their class and figure to be prominent pieces for UW as early as 2011.

Potential starting lineup, 2011:
PG - Jordan Taylor, Vander Blue
SG - Diamond Taylor, Wilson, Blue
SF - Robert Wilson/Ryan Evans
PF - Mike Bruesewitz, Berggren, Evans
C - Jared Berggren, Evan Anderson, Ian Markolf

Prospect Profile: Evan Anderson

Evan Anderson, C
6'11" :: 250 lbs.
Class of 2010
Eau Claire (WI) North HS
AAU: Wisconsin Playground Warriors

Scout: 4 Stars * * * * (#16 C)
Previous: 5 Stars (#2 C > #3/#13 overall > #6/#17) > 4 Stars (#8 C/#45 overall > #10/#70 > #13 > #14/#90 overall)
Rivals: 3 Stars * * *
Previous: 5 Stars (#5 overall > #2 C/#21 overall) > 4 Stars (#3 C/#37 overall > #11/#96) > 3 Stars (#149 overall)
ESPN/Scouts, Inc. grade: 93 (#8 C/#100 overall)
Previous: 90 (#2 C/#14 overall) > 86 (#3/#24) > 97 (#5 C > #4/#29 overall) > 93 (#6/#84)

2010 Honorable Mention All-State (Div. 1, WBCA)
2010 First Team All-Big Rivers Conference
2008 Second Team All-Big Rivers Conference

Recent Press
6/19: Middleton's Everson delivers South a win at the line - WiSJ
7/3: Recruit continues summer offensive - JSOnline
6/30: Evan Anderson: Future Badger Big Man - Box of Mess
12/14: Anderson out 4-6 weeks with ankle sprain - Eau Claire Leader-Telegram
11/26: 2010 recruit Anderson still growing as a player - WiSJ
8/20: Adidas Nations Experience: 2010/11 High School Prospects - DraftExpress

The Verbal
Eau Claire North's Anderson gives verbal commitment to play for Wisconsin - (5/3/08)
Anderson commits to UW: 'I knew what I wanted' - Cap Times (5/4/08)
UW lands big catch
- JSOnline (5/4/08)

The Hype
Real Deal 2010 standouts - (4/28/08)
Marquette, Wisconsin make cut for Eau Claire North's Anderson - (9/13/07)
The next big thing - JSOnline (4/15/06)
AAU Player Profile - WI Playground Warriors (2006)

Highlights: SportScene 13* (1/22/10) - WEAU *FF to 2:55 mark
Game: Wausau West 50, Eau Claire North 38 (12/30/09) -
Interview: 1 on 1 with Evan Anderson (8/09) - Full Court Preps
Interview: Evan Anderson Interview (8/7/09) -
Interview: Anderson on the road to recovery (12/15/08) - WEAU
Highlights: Evan Anderson Highlights 1 (5/20/08) - Rivals
Interview: One-On-One with Evan Anderson (5/11/08) - WEAU
Interview: Eau Claire North HS project (2007-08) - YouTube (ed: goofy)

Senior: 2009-10 (North) -
Junior: 2008-09 (North) -
AAU: Mr. Basketball Invitational (July 3-6, 2008) - WI Playground Warriors
AAU: Reebok Summer Championships (July 22-26 , 2008) - WI Playground Warriors

Additional Info
2009-10 Schedule :: Leader-Telegram :: WEAU Prep Sports


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?