Earlier in this blog I wrote about UW’s inability to land elite guards, despite the succcess that UW’s guards have had. At the time, several criticized my knee jerk reaction. Well, let’s pause and review where we are at. UW has moved forward from the Vander Blue experience and has completed its 2010 class by adding a pair of elite shooters from Illinois in Ben Brust (formally of Iowa commit status) and Duje Dukan. Brust and Dukan were late risers. Dukan rose as much as anyone in the 2010 class, he is an elite shooter and offensive performer. I am personally very excited about the prospects of both athletes.
Moving forward: UW has tried repeatedly to land that elusive athletic wing to their fold. They have completed a really good 2011 class which consists of a point guard in George Marshall, a combo guard in Traevon Jackson, a late rising power forward in Frank Kaminsky, and the highest rated player in the class forward Jarrod Uthoff. All of these young men are clearly “Wisconsin People”, they each bring some very exciting things to the program, and as a badger fan, I’m looking forward to them carrying on the Bo Ryan tradition of winning.
Missing anything? Yeah, wing athlete, shooting guard. Where are they? Well, UW certainly tried to land such players. They were in on one of the best in Mychael Henry who eventually decided on Illinois despite UW being in on him the earliest. What has become clear in UW recruiting is that they have a very clear ideal. The people they recruit must be:
- good students
- quality people
- hard working
These are great traits! But unfortunately what has become obvious is that UW will not play the AAU game that so many coaches do. This has probably limited to a degree their ability to land a certain type of player. They will not work with “handlers”, they prefer a certain style of recruitment that doesn’t involve schmoozing on the AAU circuit. What has me perplexed is why they are able to land fine forward and point guard prospects…but that 6-6 wing athlete is absent?
This brings us to JP Tokoto of Menominee Falls. JP is a top 15 player in the class, arguably the best athlete in the class and a player with a world of upside. How will his recruitment go? Where will this wing land? Will he follow Vander Blue, Jerry Smith, Wesley Matthews and others out of UW’s grasp? We shall see. One thing seems obvious if the Tokoto circle wants handlers and AAU coaches to handle things, it seems unlikely that he ends up at Wisconsin.
No comments yet.