With Wisconsin making a run to the Final Four last season, many Badger fans assumed an instant top-20 recruiting class would follow to set UW up for an unprecedented run of success. However, if you follow recruiting at all, you know that is not how these things work. High school kids are fickle and need time to make their decisions.
The Badgers are known as being a deliberate team on offense, and they take the same tact with their recruiting strategy. They added four-star in-state shooting guard Brevin Pritzl back in May, but have been involved with some top prospects and like I said, they don't make decisions quickly. They are wined and dined (not literally unless you are Kentucky) and have many schools offering, so it behooves them to wait until closer to signing day to make a choice.
Ever since Wisconsin offered Illikainen late in August, they have been right at the top of the list for the lanky stretch four out of Grand Rapids, MN. With Illikainen on campus in Madison this weekend, many recruitniks were convinced that he would pledge to play for Bo Ryan's Badgers and that conviction turned out to be prophetic.
Early Sunday morning (at least for those of us who worked until 5 am Sunday morning) Illikainen picked Wisconsin over Iowa as the place he would like to continue playing basketball. He also held offers from Iowa State, Indiana, Minnesota, Creighton, Maryland, Nebraska, Oregon, and Providence.
We will have more about the impact this has on Wisconsin's recruiting class and 2015-2016 season tomorrow.