A lot has happened in the last six weeks, so catching up on the action for all the Badger recruits is a daunting task. I did a bit of research and humbly offer some quick recaps below.
:: Though senior Diamond Taylor scored only eight points back on Jan. 17 when Bolingbrook (IL) lost to St. Ignatius and another potential Badger recruit Nnanna Egwu, 66-63, he bounced back with 19 points in an overtime loss to Homewood-Flossmoor. Since then, the Raiders have not lost, starting their streak by blowing out Andrew, 84-50. Yet Taylor has struggled somewhat in that time. After fighting off an illness earlier this month, Taylor's missed front end of a bonus free throw situation nearly cost his team a victory in one game.
More recently, the 6'3" guard scored a game-high 14 points and 11 points, respectively, as Bolingbrook clinched the SouthWest Suburban Blue Conference title last weekend. A #3 seed in the Oswego (East) Sectional was the team's reward. Bolingbrook (18-6, 7-1) beat Stagg by 24 on Saturday, when Taylor chipped in nine points.
Opposing coaches appear to be throwing junk defenses at Sibley to prevent Bruiser and his front line teammates from getting revved up. This trend has limited Bruesewitz's scoring. He averaged nine ppg in a recent three-game stretch, but bounced back with 16 points in Sibley's win on Tuesday to end a nice stretch of home games (7 of 8). The Warriors (22-2, 14-0) dominated South St. Paul, 77-27, and have two remaining road games before tournament play begins in Minnesota, where Hopkins is the heavy favorite in Sibley's division.
:: The sight of Vander Blue attending Marquette games and rumors of him wavering in his verbal commitment to the Badgers seem like distant memories now. Though Blue had a relatively quiet night, Madison Memorial (19-1, 17-1) wrapped up another Big Eight Conference title by beating Madison East, 56-45, Thursday night in the biggest city basketball game in years.
After slipping against East back in January, the Spartans reeled off nine straight wins -- only one of which was by less than 20 points. A month ago Blue exploded in the second half against Verona to lead the team with 22 points in 57-34 win. That has been the lucky number for Blue, as he scored 22 points against crosstown rival LaFollette and another 22 when Memorial pinned 98 points on Madison West. The Spartans then came from behind to beat Beloit, 66-58, with Blue scoring 13 points. He followed that up with another 21-point performance the next game out. Blue's season-long streak of double-digit scoring games came to an end last Tuesday when the bench was emptied early in a rout over Janesville Parker. Memorial is currently ranked #20 and #24 by a few national polls and earned the top seed in its sectional.
Opposing defenses tend to collapse on North's huge front line, which seems to have been effective. The best case scenario for Anderson in a Wisconsin uniform is looking more and more like a Stiemsma-like impact. Not bad in the end, but also a few years of not much as his college game develops. The Huskies (13-7, 9-4) have won three games in a row, starting with wins last Thursday and on Monday, to run their record to 5-2 since Anderson's return. Last night, North defeated River Falls as Anderson scored 11 in the second half.
:: From the tone of the article, it sounds like Devon Hodges fouled out of a game earlier this year that featured a preposterous 87 free throw attempts. Romeoville made 22 of 37, while surrendering 37 points from the stripe to Plainfield North. Like Taylor, Hodges also missed a game recently when he sat out with the flu. However, the lanky sophomore was a terror on defense while leading the Spartans with 17 points in a 76-74 overtime loss to Plainfield South.
It's unclear whether Hodges was one of the Spartans who missed last Tuesday's game for missing a practice. More likely, Hodges just had an off night and was not mentioned in the article. Either way, Hodges was back in time to grab 12 rebounds in Romeoville's latest set back to Plainfield Central. Romeoville (11-14, 7-7) grabbed a #12 seed in the middle of the Frankfort (Lincoln-Way North) Sectional for the upcoming state tournament before its seniors carried the team to victory in the regular season finale versus Minooka.
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- The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel just did a nice story on the progress of Wisconsin's two 2009 recruits.
- For the second time ever, not a single McDonald's High School All-American is headed to a Big Ten school this fall. The last time the Big Ten got shut out was 2005.