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Monday, July 19, 2010

Uthoff's Choice: Wisconsin

Cedar Rapids' rising star Jarrod Uthoff finally decided tonight that he needed to leave the comfort of home in Iowa to find a perennial winner whose style fit his strengths, choosing Bo Ryan's Badgers instead of the home state Hawkeyes, Cyclones or Panthers.

And then Uthoff hopped on a plane at the Eastern Iowa Airport to skip town, just to be safe.

Okay, that's not entirely fair. Uthoff is heading to Las Vegas to hoop with his Iowa Barnstormers AAU team. But this undoubtedly will give Iowa fans flashbacks to Jason Bohannon choosing Wisconsin over his dad's alma mater. Except in this case, Iowa State and Northern Iowa are probably just as disappointed too. All three programs held a wild card in their proximity to Uthoff's home town -- he acknowledged all along that distance would be a factor in his decision. I guess the three-hour drive to Madison is manageable.

Iowa appeared to have a great chance at Uthoff in recent days as a centerpiece of its rebuilding efforts under new coach Fran McCaffery. Uthoff, an all-state pick last season, never tipped his hand during this process however.

Uthoff's commitment closes the book on UW's 2011 impressive recruiting class. In true Bo style, the group is well-rounded, but not highly-rated nationally. The skinny 6'8" senior-to-be at Cedar Rapids Jefferson can fill either forward spot next to PF/C Frank Kaminsky, while the class' backcourt is set with George Marshall and Traevon Jackson. Though Uthoff's stock just recently took off this summer, he could wind up as the best-rated prospect of the four.

On the Stove Top: 7/18/10

Summer League Wrap-Up
The Vegas Summer League concluded Sunday and the biggest surprise has to be Marcus Landry reappearing with the New York Knicks after his stint with Indiana in the Orlando session. Landry fared much better with his old crew, even getting loose for 14 points and a baseline stuff against Toronto.

Meanwhile, Joe Krabbenhoft and Greg Stiemsma finished up Sunday as the sixth men for their respective teams, but there wasn't much tangible production to show for it. To his credit, Krabby finished with a solid +/- and six boards in his finale.

But the highlight of the week has to be Stiemsma sparring with DeMarcus Cousins last Wednesday. See for yourself how Stiemsma responded to Cousins' elbow to the throat in the Wolves-Kings game ... let's just say nothing's changed with ol' Stiemboat. But good for him.

Milwaukee's top pick, Larry Sanders, also put himself on the map with the league, especially point man Brandon Jennings.

: : :

Recruiting Countdown
July has taken on greater significance on the recruiting battlegrounds now that there is no live April evaluation period allowed. The second July evaluation window opens July 22nd and some major Wisconsin targets will be making their school decisions in the next two weeks.

Unfortunately, the Badgers are not widely considered the favorite for Cedar Rapids (IA) Jefferson senior Jarrod Uthoff or Medina (OH) junior Kenny Kaminski. The versatile Uthoff wants to make his decision on Monday before heading out to his next tournament. He's sensitive to the fact his family wants him to stay close to home, which may compel him to choose one of the three Iowa schools in his final six.

Kaminski is considered a Michigan State lean and his recent comments do nothing but reinforce that sentiment. The 6'7" sharpshooter counts Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio State among his finalists and will announce his destination on July 31st (or soon after). It's pleasantly surprising that UW jumped into the final mix lately even though Kaminski admits he "really [hasn't] talked to them that much."

[2010-11 NCAA Recruiting Calendar]

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ex-Badgers Get Into Summer League Swing

The Orlando Summer League session ended Friday, which means Marcus Landry's shot at the NBA next season may now be out of his control. A five-game stint ended with a DNP - Coach's Decision. It will be tough for Landry to break through with the Pacers because Indiana boasts two of the more impressive wing players in the summer league so far in rookies Paul George and Lance Stephenson (who sat out this morning's game due to injury).

Landry shot well in a blowout loss Tuesday, but in general struggled with 3-point accuracy and defending the wing, as evidenced by some of his foul totals. He averaged 7.3 ppg in 14.5 mpg.

While the Orlando league wrapped up, the Las Vegas summer league was just tipping off, which meant action for former Badgers Brian Butch and Trevon Hughes. Butch, who signed a contract with the Denver Nuggets late last season, already posted 8 points and a +/- of +21 earlier today. After bouncing around post-draft workouts, Hughes is fighting for PT with the Houston Rockets summer league team.

If you were wondering what happened to Joe Krabbenhoft, he's out in Vegas too. In fact, Scott Schroeder wrote up a nice summary of Krabby's D-League experience that led to his presence on Portland's summer league roster.

Krabbenhoft and Greg Stiemsma (Minnesota) won't start play for a few more days. Links to the players summer league statistics can be found on the Badgers in the NBA tab.

See also: July 11 post on Bucksketball

Prospect Profile: Kenny Kaminski

Kenny Kaminski, F
6'7" :: 215 lbs.
Class of 2012
Medina (OH) HS [team site]
AAU: Indiana Elite / Team Pride

Scout: 3 Stars * * * (#24 PF)
Rivals: 4 Stars * * * * (#77 overall)
ESPN/Scouts, Inc. grade: 90 (#32 PF)

2010 Honorable Mention All-State (Div. 1)
2010 Second Team All-Northeast Inland District

Recent Press
7/8: Day 2 and 3 at the Adidas Invitational - The Hoosier Scoop
3/14: Avon Lake continues remarkable run - The Chronicle-Telegram
2/12: Medina's boys basketball team has no trouble with Garfield Heights -
2/4: Dominant first quarter propels Battling Bees -

The Verbal
No verbal commitment

The Hype
Ohio State AAU Recap - Rivals (6/7/10)
All-Ohio Sweet 16 tournament recap - ESPN (5/24/10)
Double Pump: Friday - Rivals (4/17/10)
Q & A: 2012 Medina forward Kenny Kaminski - Inside the Hall (3/30/10)

Interview: Kentucky Hoopfest: Kenny Kaminski (7/11/10) - Vimeo
Interview: Kaminski 'leaning' toward Michigan State (5/18/10) - Courier-Journal
Interview: Adidas May Classic: Kenny Kaminski (5/15/10) - Vimeo

Sophomore: 2009-10 (Medina) -

Additional Info
Team Schedule :: :: The Chronicle-Telegram


Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Look Ahead: Leuer's Draft Stock

UPDATE (7/8): Jon Leuer is one of 20 collegians named by USA Basketball to the USA Men's Select Team to train against the national team later this month.

Let the record show that in the summer prior to the 2010-11 season, Wisconsin senior Jon Leuer was generally accepted as a projected second-round pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Leading writers at two mainstream portals, Fox and ESPN, came out with their own early looks at next year's draft class. Jeff Goodman has Leuer going 55th, while the 6'10" forward was one of the 68 players to watch on Andy Katz's list, saying Leuer "has pro skills."

Full-time draft website has had Leuer going in the mid-to-late second round for a while now. Somehow hardly has Leuer in the top 50 among returning seniors for next season. That is, well, crazy.

Leuer averaged 15.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 1.3 bpg with great percentages (52/39/72) during his injury-shortened junior campaign. You could just as easily compare his combined physical profile and scoring prowess to recent first-rounder Craig Brackins from Iowa State as you could to undrafted Mac Koshwal of DePaul. Except that Leuer would be entering the league as a 22-year old graduate. Sure Leuer is versatile and has a better touch from the outside, but rest assured, scouts will be looking for more rebounding from this Badger big man on his farewell tour.

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

What should Wisconsin do with the newly vacated scholarship?

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