Friday, April 24, 2009

Where Are They Now? Friday #4

This week's Badger is... Freddie Owens!

Most Badgers fans favorite memory of Freddie is probably his game winning 3-pointer with 1 second left against Tulsa in the 2003 NCAA Tournament to send Wisconsin to the Sweet 16 his junior season. The shot completed a comeback from 13 points down with only 4 minutes left in the game to win 61-60.

Since his graduation in 2005, Freddie has stayed involved in the basketball world. He played professionally for one season in Latvia, averaging 5.5 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists in 13 games.

He then moved on to coaching, starting with one season of guiding the Stay In the Game AAU team in Milwaukee. The next year, Freddie became an assistant coach at Adams State College at the D-II level in Colorado for one season, and is currently a graduate assistant at Iowa State, specializing in game day preparation, scouting, and film editing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Badger Showdown: Taylor versus Morley

This past Sunday, former Badger teammates Kammron Taylor and Zach Morley faced off in a battle of two of the worst teams in their league, LEB Gold. They certainly didn't disappoint, as they led their respective teams in scoring and Morley's Aguas de Valencia-Gandia Basquet emerged victorious 96-88.

Morley led all scorers with 29 points on 8 of 15 (5 of 8 from 3) from the field and 8 of 9 from the line. He also grabbed 5 boards, swiped 2 steals, and dished 1 assist.

Taylor scored 24 points on a less efficient 7 of 18 (4 of 6 from 3) from the field and 6 of 6 from the line, coupled with 2 boards, 2 dimes, and a steal.

Wisconsin Offers J.P. Tokoto

Earlier today, Bo Ryan offered a scholarship to Menomonee Falls 6'5" freshman swingman J.P. Tokoto. Tokoto is known for his great athleticism and well rounded game, as he is an adept shot-blocker, rebounder, and scorer. His offensive game consists mostly of a great mid-range jumper and points around the rim. Wisconsin is the first school to offer J.P. a scholarship, but he is garnering interest from Marquette, Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee, UCLA, Arizona State, Boston College, and Oregon State, among others.

His high school coach Ben Seibert and AAU coach Ritchie Davis have nothing but glowing reviews of his ability, character, and poise, especially for his age. Davis says, "J.P.’s best attribute as both a basketball player and a person is his willingness to listen and take instruction from adults whether it be his parents or his coaches. He is an extremely polite young man and that is certainly a reflection upon the values his parents stress on a daily basis. On the floor, he is easily the most athletic player in our program. His athleticism allows him to do things on the court that 99 percent of the rest of the players in Wisconsin cannot do. J.P. has an unbelievable passion for the game. He understands that he has been blessed with some very unique gifts and he puts in a lot of time and effort to make the most of those gifts. J.P. can score in a variety of ways. He has really gotten much better off the dribble the past two months as well as become more versatile on the blocks. Coach Ben Siebert and the staff at Menomonee Falls did a phenomenal job of helping him understand his strengths while also identifying those areas that need the most improvement."

Special thanks to Mark Miller and WSN for the news and quote.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Where Are They Now? Friday #3

Today's former Badger is... Jon Bryant!

After playing one season professionally for the CBA's now defunct LaCrosse Bobcats, Jon has been running a basketball camp in Minnetonka, Minnesota ever since.

Triple Threat Elite Basketball Training, as Jon has named it, aims to maximize each player's potential. The drills focus on ball handling, shooting, defense, positioning, and developing scoring ability. If any Badgers living in enemy territory are interested in more info, the website is here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Where Are They Now? Friday #2

Today's Badger is... Zach Morley!

The 6'8" forward, who has to date been Bo Ryan's only junior college transfer, has been playing for Aguas de Valencia - Gandia Basquet this season in the LEB Gold Spanish league. While the former mop head's team is struggling with a 7-20 record, he is the team's second leading scorer (14.0 ppg), leading rebounder (6.0 rpg), and leader in steals (1.4 spg).

Morley's best performance of the season came this past Valentine's Day, when he scored 25 points (on a very efficient 7/14 from the field and 8/8 from the line), grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out 2 assists, and picked up 2 steals in a 70-75 loss to Caceres 2016 C.B.

On April 19th, Morley is set to square off with former Badger teammate and Beirasar Rosalia star Kammron Taylor.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Warning!!! Cliche Title: A Diamond in the Rough

The other player joining Wisconsin's roster in the fall (he's actually arriving in Madison right after graduating to get a head start) is 6'4" 175 pound SG Diamond Taylor. Diamond is a very capable scorer and outside shooter, but is known even more so for his defense. His biggest weakness according to many scouts is his strength, but over the past year, he has bulked up by 25 pounds, and it shows if you compare a picture of him as a junior and one from this season. With his scoring ability, Diamond brings something that many have been clamoring for... another player consistently capable of driving and creating off the dribble. At 6'4", he's likely to play the 2 spot for most of his career, however, Bo has said he is versatile enough to play the 1 and the 3 also. The only question is, like with Bruiser, can he crack the rotation? My guess is no, since the depth of this upcoming team is in the backcourt. Maybe we will be pleasantly surprised and he's too good to keep off the court. But I just can't imagine a Bo Ryan team going 11 deep. It would be nice though... maybe then that press would be implemented, just kidding.

Diamond's Senior Season
Approximate Statistics
16 PPG
48% FG
39% 3PT
74% FT

Scout Profile
Rivals Profile
ESPN Profile
Recruiting Planet Thread


One of Wisconsin's true freshman on next year's team will be 6'7" forward Mike Bruesewitz. Mike, whose nickname is Bruiser, is mostly a power forward, but like the Badger he is mostly compared to, Joe Krabbenhoft, he is a very talented ball-handler for his size. His high school coach has basically said that Mike is another Krabbenhoft with better shooting form, albeit that's not saying much. He is a great defender and his team played defense similar to Wisconsin's, so he won't have to spend most of the first practices learning what Bo wants on defense. It should be interesting to see if he's talented enough to crack the rotation for next season. I'm projecting the team to be 9 deep already, I don't know if Bo goes to #10 or 11 (with Diamond Taylor).

Mike's Senior Season Statistics
17.3 PPG
9.8 RPG
2.6 APG
1.4 BPG
1.3 SPG
1.1 assist-to-turnover ratio
55.6% FG
34.5% 3PT
72.7% FT

Efficiency Stats
57.1% eFG
1.293 PPP
1.193 PPWS

Scout Profile
Rivals Profile
ESPN Profile
Recruiting Planet Thread
Interview from March 13th

Preseason Interview and Highlights
Road to State in 2008

Friday, April 3, 2009

Evan Anderson

Wisconsin other verbal commit from the class of 2010 is Eau Claire North center Evan Anderson. At 6'11" with a 7'4" wingspan and weighing in at 250 pounds, Anderson has an imposing figure. Despite his high rankings on the recruiting sites (#3, #5, and #6 C, #17, #29 and #37 overall), many Badger fans aren't too excited about him or at least the excitement that those rankings would normally entertain. I have a feeling that may be due to the recent centers recruited, namely Ian Markolf and J.P. Gavinski, that are perceived as recruiting "misses" and drawing similarities among them since Evan isn't averaging 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 8 blocks in his games.

However, Anderson has great attributes and skills that should not be overlooked due to a lack of impressive quantatives...

1) He has a slight temper. His high school coach has had to teach him to let things go when he's pushed, grabbed, etc. without a call. This mean streak is needed to be a great post player for the aggression to score through contact and grab rebounds.

2) He has great, great ability in positioning in the post on offense. He is extremely talented at keeping his defender on his back, keeping his hands high and wide, and keeping low to not get pushed out.

3) He is very strong. His AAU coach, Ritchie Davis, has said that at this point of his career, he is on par or stronger than Greg Stiemsma and definitely stronger than Brian Butch, Keaton Nankivil, and J.P. Gavinski.

His game stats, which aren't very in depth or complete, are weighed down by many factors. In the offense his high school runs, it makes Dick Bennett's offense like a run and gun with the team routinely scoring in the 30s and 40s. He isn't the focal point of said offense and was used more as a wall for seniors Tyler Brown and Andy Kleist to run around all game. The few times he's able to post up, he gets in great position to receive post passes but the guards aren't adept at entry passes or don't look for him. Second, in an effort to take advantage of his length and decent shot blocking ability, they run a 1-3-1 on defense, hurting his rebounding chances with no block out assignments. Lastly, he missed nearly half the season with an ankle injury. Luckily he is able to play AAU ball that can better highlight his skill, which is obvious considering his high regard in recruiting circles, scholarship offers from recruiting extraordinaire Bill Self/Kansas and Kentucky, and had growing interest from UNC and UCLA. He is rather raw offensively, but with a redshirt year, Anderson should be a great get for Wisconsin on both ends of the floor.

Approximate Statistics
9 ppg
6 rpg
3 bpg

Scout Profile
Rivals Profile
ESPN Profile
Verbal Commitment Article

Where Are They Now? Friday #1

This week's edition... guards posting up in the Swing offense!

As with the mid-range jumper in the game in general, a guard posting up and scoring off it in Wisconsin's offense has been a lost art. I can barely remember the last backcourt player to do on a consistent basis... Boo Wade. Clayton Hanson and Ray Nixon did a bit. But no one has since. But that many be due to the small size of the guards Wisconsin has had since. Boo was 6'4", Clay was 6'5", and Ray was 6'7". The guards since those three... Sharif Chambliss at 6'1", Kammron Taylor at 6'2", Michael Flowers at 6'2", Trevon Hughes at 6'0", Jordan Taylor at 6'1", and Jason Bohannon at 6'2".

But I'm optimistic that the former staple of Bo's unique offensive set may make a return to glory in the upcoming seasons. 6'4" Rob Wilson posted up and scored a few times in his limited minutes. Diamond Taylor is 6'3" and bulked up quite a bit over the past year. Heralded 6'4" Vander Blue definitely is capable of it when he comes to the Kohl. The four guards being recruited in the class 0f 2011 are 6'2", 6'3", 6'4" and 6'4" as sophomores in high school.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Recruiting Posts

Just as an FYI on my recruiting posts, I will basically just be gathering all the information I can find on a player. Unless I get adventurous in the fall, all information on a recruit I write myself will be second-hand unless a game is televised. The sources I trust the most at this point in time on the message board would be UWOle and builtbadgers. If anyone thinks of others that are trustworthy enough for me to take info from them for my recruiting compliations, feel free to send me a PM on the BadgerNation board.

New Posts

To anyone visiting from the BadgerNation message boards, I will be adding several more posts tomorrow once I'm done with my classes for the week around noon. I plan on collaborating with turomon on the pre- and post-game analysis next season, posting it on here and the board and will update at least twice a week, maybe daily with news links, although from May to October may be a little dead.