Friday, April 30, 2010

Breaking News! Wisconsin wins appeal in Brust's favor!

This morning, the 11-member faculty committee voted in favor of waiving the rule restricting Mundelein, IL guard Ben Brust from receiving a scholarship from any Big Ten school other than Iowa. This is great news for Wisconsin as it is perceived that he is a Wisconsin lean at this point and the rule was the only thing stopping him from becoming a Badger. The UW representative on the committee, law professor Walter Dickey, was unable to comment on this specific case, but had this to say in regards to the rule,"the basic rationale behind the rule is to try to both support the national letter of intent and to prevent coaching or raiding (players). That is important to us within the conference. (But) every rule can’t ever cover every possible situation. I think one way of looking at it is you’ve got to uphold the rules no matter what. And I think another view, which is mine, is that if rigid and mechanical adherence to rules that don’t advance their purpose, (it) undermines the legitimacy of the rules. The other thing that has to be foremost here is student welfare. It is a free country. Although the conference has an interest in putting sound limitations on it, we should never forget that the welfare of the young people is what this is about.” I don't think it could be said better. Well done faculty committee.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wisconsin Offers Damarcus Harrison!

Okay, I'm like 2 or 3 months late on this one, but Wisconsin has offered 2011 6'5" G/F Damarcus Harrison of Christ School in Asheville, North Carolina, with a hometown of Greenwood, South Carolina. He is a teammate of another Badger recruit, Marshall Plumlee. Harrison is a very athletic, but also is a great three-point shooter also, as evident by his 49% accuracy from beyond the arc this past season. For his junior campaign, he averaged 11.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.3 steals per game on a team that features at least 4 other Division 1 recruits. Man is the class of 2011 loaded! I'd gladly take any 4 of the guys we still have offers out on.

Scholarship Offer to Ben Brust!

6'2" guard Ben Brust of Mundelein, IL has somewhat recently been released from his Letter of Intent to Iowa due to the firing of head coach Todd Lickliter.

Here's where the trouble sets in. The Big Ten has a rule stating that once a player signs a Letter of Intent to a Big Ten school, he/she may not receive a scholarship at another Big Ten school if they choose to transfer. Wisconsin's basketball team is familiar with the rule, as when Sharif Chambliss transferred from Penn State to Wisconsin and finished his senior season as a Badger, he was without a scholarship per the rule. Brust has appealed the rule himself and been denied by the conference. Wisconsin, being the apparent front runner for his commitment, has now filed an appeal, which will be decided on by a faculty member from each member institution. For it to be successful, 6 out the 11 members must be in favor of overriding the rule. While I'm not holding my breath, as the article states, there is a mild precedent for it. Less than 4 years ago, Alex Legion was a highly touted guard that had signed a LOI to play for Tommy Amaker's Michigan Wolverines. When Amaker was fired, he reopened his recruitment and signed with the Kentucky Wildcats. After being in Lexington for a semester, Illinois appealed and was granted a waiver of the rule so that Legion could receive a scholarship when he transferred to Illinois.

As for Brust as a recruit, he's a great shooter that put up more than 25 points per game as a junior and senior at Mundelein High School. From all the write-ups and videos of him that I've seen, he seems to be another Jason Bohannon, which I'd gladly welcome.

Highlight Video #1

Highlight Video #2 (featuring Duje Dukan too)
Highlight Video #3
Highlight Video #4
Highlight Video #5

Devon Hodges Decommits

Two days ago, 6'7" forward Devon Hodges reopened his recruitment, nixing his verbal commitment to be a part of Wisconsin's 2011 freshman class. Several reasons have been voiced, involving Hodges being recruited as a 4 instead of a 2/3, making sure he didn't choose Wisconsin just because his father is a Wisconsin fan, and negative comments made about Hodges on Wisconsin message boards. As for not wanting to be recruited as a 4, I don't really believe that a good reasoning on his part. In Wisconsin's swing offense, the differences between a 2, 3, 4, and 5 is very, very slim. If he has the ability to become a big 2, Bo will produce it. Marcus Landry was similar in skill set and body type in high school, and came into UW as an undersized center and left as a legit 3, good enough to earn an NBA contract. Alando Tucker came in as an undersized power forward and left as an All-American small forward, good enough to be a first round draft pick as a 2 guard.

Lastly, if the Vander Blue saga hadn't made it abundantly clear that recruits and their families read message board postings about themselves/their sons, this certainly reinforces it. I've always posted under the mantra of "if you wouldn't say it to the person's face, don't write it". It's quite obvious many people don't follow the same logic. Saying something that is constructive criticism is okay, but negative hyperbole that's based upon a youtube video or season statistics that don't live up to your standards don't do anyone any good.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ian Markolf leaves basketball team

In another surprising event since I've last posted, 7'0" sophomore center Ian Markolf has decided to leave the basketball team to focus on his academics. He plans on finishing his degree here at the University of Wisconsin, but not continue to play hoops. During his time as a Badger, Ian scored 2 points on 1 for 1 shooting and dished 2 assists in 9 minutes over 6 games. We appreciate your hard work as a player and representative of the university Ian, and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

With Ian's departure, this leaves a scholarship open for next season. The obvious options are to give it to a walk-on and/or use it on the loaded 2011 class or find another 2010 recruit, preferably a guard.

Badgers in the pros!

First things first, several former Badgers have made some moves in the pros...

Brian Butch = after being dumped by his team in Greece, Butch was picked up by the Bakersfield Jam of the NBDL, were he was named to the All-Star team, All-Star Game MVP, and Impact Player of the Year, given to the best player who didn't start the season in the league. The Denver Nuggets took notice and signed him to a contract for the playoffs and a non-guaranteed deal for next season.

Greg Stiemsma = After being named NBDL Defensive Player of the Year for his league-leading 3.6 blocks per game, Greg was called up to the Minnesota Timberwolves roster.

Michael Finley and Marcus Landry = Finley requested a release from his contract with the Spurs and was promptly picked up by the Celtics. Landry was traded to the Celtics.

Alando Tucker = Due to a lack of playing time after being traded from the Suns to the Timberwolves, Alando requested to be released from Minnesota. It was granted and he has not been signed by another team as of now.

Kirk Penney = Due to his Australian league ending, Penney joined former Badgers Joe Krabbenhoft, Greg Stiemsma, and asst coach Tanner Bronson on the Sioux City Skyforce for the last few games of the season in the NBDL.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm Back!

Well after letting the smoke clear from the horrid Cornell game and just forgetting about the blog for a while, I'm going to update all my links, write some stuff on new recruiting targets, and the like.