Wisconsin doesn't usually sign the McDonald's All-American types. Bo Ryan and his staff tend to consistently recruit three-star athletes, occasionally landing a four-star kid, rarely raising eyebrows on the national recruiting scene.
That said, the results have spoken for themselves. Under Ryan, the Badgers have been the model of consistency, winning three Big Ten titles, never finishing with less than 19 regular season wins or lower than fourth in the conference.
The classes of 2011 and 2012 are no exception to the rule. Neither class appears anywhere near the top of the rankings at Rivals, ESPN or Scout, but expect UW to continue to contend for Big Ten championships.
The biggest get in either group is Sam Dekker, a 6-foot 7-inch swing from Sheboygan. He's a top 50 player in his class according to ESPN and a top 100 according to Rivals.
"The Dekker family was told at some point that Sam was the type of player Bo Ryan had waited 30 years to coach," Phil Mitten of Bucky's 5th Quarter said. "He's the total package. Dekker has great size at 6-7 for someone who can lead the break, finish at the tin and drain threes."
Mitten said he wouldn't be surprised to see Dekker start immediately.
The prize of the coming winter's freshmen is Jarrod Uthoff, a power forward from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Uthoff is another player ESPN is high on, ranking him no. 88 in his class. Rivals has him at no. 149.
Mitten projects him as a player similar to Robbie Hummel.
"Skill-wise, the slender Uthoff is ready. He brings some things to the table, i.e. court vision (and) passing, that Wisconsin could really use right away," he said. "However, his strength and weight will be the determining factor since the Badgers need help up front."
Joining Uthoff in Madison next season will be Frank Kaminsky, George Marshall and Traevon Jackson.
"The 2011 class will provide depth and a foundation for the future backcourt with a true point in George Marshall and a muscular combo guard in Traevon Jackson," Mitten said. "Wisconsin also brings in more versatile frontcourt players to replace Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil. Both Jarrod Uthoff and Frank Kaminsky need to add weight, but their skills are made for the swing offense."
Perhaps the most intriguing of the bunch is Kaminsky. A 6-10 center from the Chicago suburb of Lisle, Ill., he began to grow into his body during his last year of high school. At times, he even ran the point for Benet Academy.
"He truly is the biggest wild card in the class -- the difference between more fourth place finishes and winning a Big Ten title or two down the road," Mitten said. "I think Kaminsky will be a solid piece by the time he's a junior."
Marshall is a 6-foot point guard from Brooks Prep in Chicago and Jackson is a 6-2 shooting guard from Westerville, Ohio.
"I am not overly enamored with Jackson, yet, but I do think his potential as a perimeter defender is something to get excited about," Mitten said. "Marshall is a really quick guard with a nice mid-range game and I really hop that (Ryan) allows him to get out and run a bit more with Dekker down the line."
There is one more scholarship available in 2012 after the Badgers missed out on J.P. Tokoto, the top player in the state according to wissports.net. Tokoto will play at North Carolina.
For more information on Wisconsin basketball recruiting, check out Bucky's 5th Quarter's recruiting hub and scholarship grid. Follow Phil Mitten @hoopsmarinara and Bucky's 5th Quarter @B5Q.