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Monday, February 1, 2010

Recruit Review: Jan '10

Since the month of January is officially in the books, what better time to post the first Recruit Review of the season? Wisconsin has a total of five committed players (three signed, two verballed) coming to Madison in the next two classes, and they stack up nicely position-wise.

Two of the seniors look particularly strong and all the players are enjoying some level of team success coming into the home stretch of the high school season.


:: You could put the senior season Duje Dukan has had so far up against any one in Illinois right now. Deerfield (18-1) finished the month of January on a 14-game winning streak, aided by Dukan's 33 points -- 16 in the third quarter -- against Hershey recently. The 6'8" Dukan averaged over 24 points and 10 rebounds for the month.

"We told him before the season, 'You're going to be a marked man in every game,' " Deerfield coach Bret Just said. "But he likes challenges, comes up big. Always. He causes problems for defenses, doesn't he? He can handle the ball, post up, hit three-pointers. We're lucky to have him."

Dukan has come up big in a few crucial games for the Warriors. He pulled down 25 rebounds in Deerfield's sweep of rival Highland Park this season and his 22 points, 11 rebounds and clutch free throws helped beat Central Suburban League powerhouse Glenbrook North, 56-52, on Jan. 14. Needless to say Dukan is the biggest reason Deerfield now sits atop CSLs' North division standings. The senior has thrown his hat into the ring for Illinois' Mr. Basketball as well as proving he can be a serious scorer down the road for Bo Ryan's Badgers.

:: Josh Gasser is averaging nearly 24 ppg this season for Port Washington (12-2), which is clinging to a one-game lead in the North Shore conference after Friday night's two-point setback at Germantown. The loss snapped an 8-game winning streak. Just a week prior, Gasser scored 28 pts in three quarters of play against Grafton, part of a four-game stretch last month when averaged over 30 ppg.

Gasser projects as a combo guard at the next level. He still loves getting to the line and remains one of the state's top free throw shooters. Gasser has posted three 30-point nights this year. He has positioned himself to make a run at Wisconsin's Mr. Basketball award if the Pirates play deep into the state tournament, despite playing in Division 2.

:: The Eau Claire North Huskies (10-5) have struggled through a mediocre start to the new year, dropping four of their last eight games. Evan Anderson is averaging around 10 ppg so far, with his season-high of 19 points coming way back in the first game of the season. The Huskies already trail Eau Claire Memorial by several games in the Big Rivers Conference. Returning to the state tournament will be a tall task.

By now everyone has given up on Anderson dominating high school force. He dropped off the Rivals150 list last fall and you would probably get 1:1 odds for Anderson redshirting next fall at Wisconsin. The big man continues to block shots on defense, but still struggles to produce against the junk defenses thrown at him on offense. Still, he will likely finish with the highest scoring average of his career. New head coach Aric Carpenter has slowly opened up North's offense and his team exploded for a 76-46 win over Rice Lake last week. Anderson scored the game's first eight points.


:: Wisconsin's most recent commitment came from point guard George Marshall, who has been compared to VCU great Eric Maynor. You usually find Marshall scoring in the teens and playing some pressure defense. The junior has missed all but two minutes of his squad's last three Chicago Public League Red-South games with a hip injury. He returned to action with nine points on Saturday to lead his Brooks Prep mates to a 23-point drubbing of Von Steuben.

Facing high preseason expectations, Brooks (18-7) stumbled out of the gates this year and the team struggled with turnovers at times. Two weeks ago, Brooks beat Nicolet in the Extravaganza thanks to the Marshall's own game-winner in the final 20 seconds. After a 12-game January, the Eagles now prepare for the tough CPL playoffs.

:: After transferring from Romeoville to nearby Bolingbrook this season, Devon Hodges sat out a few of his team's early games. He helped push the 'Brook past his former teammates in his second game even though he was not starting yet. Since then, Badger fans should be happy to hear that Hodges has made some steady improvement in his game, not the least of which is some consistency.

Hodges has had good games in defeat (19 pts, 12 rebs vs. Hales) before, but lately has picked up his scoring to help the Raiders snap a 4-game skid. In back-to-back wins against Hillcrest and Joliet, Hodges averaged 18 pts and 10 rebs for Bolingbrook. The wins put the Raiders (11-7, 4-2) back in the Southwest Suburban Conference Blue division race.


  1. I really enjoy your site. THANKS
    What do you think our chances are of getting
    1. Tokoto
    2. Plumlee

    I have feared that UW will be dangerously thin at point guard next season. Is there any chance The flawed Diamond could return? Who do you see as the back up point?

  2. 1. Tokoto is still so young, so a lot can change. The bluebloods are after him early and he will be hard to keep in state if he keeps improving. I'd give UW a 33% chance right now.

    2. Plumlee's family has a connection to the state, which got UW in the door, but I like the odds a lot less with him. He seems to like Virginia and Duke's position is still unclear. Not to mention the big 3 from Indiana (his home state) would all love to have him.

    There is zero chance of Diamond Taylor returning. He has enrolled at Southern Illinois.

    Walk-on W'Quinton Smith and incoming frosh Josh Gasser will backup Jordan Taylor next year. You are right that an injury could really hurt us at that position, since Taylor will be playing 35+ mpg. The strength will be the front court.

  3. Thanks for the reply.
    The reason I ask about Taylor is; I see he is enrolled but has not played this year. I thought that was a bit unusual with his skill set.
    I see Q as really stop-gap. Though some nice things have been written about him.
    What do you know about Wise? Is there any chance he can contribute?

  4. Taylor will have four years of eligibility starting next season.

    Agreed, Q is a stop-gap, a la Tanner Bronson. I do not anticipate Wise contributing in games any time soon.


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