As Greg Gard looks to continue the culture of Wisconsin basketball from all of the Bo Ryan success along with what this team was able to accomplish this past year, he received two commitments yesterday from players who will hope to impact the program in 2016-2017. Point guard D'Mitrik Trice and forward Aleem Ford both come from the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The two of them visited the campus in Madison on Saturday and committed to Coach Gard and the Wisconsin Badgers that day.
Here's a breakdown of each of the players and what they could bring to the table as the Badgers look to continue to be a force in the Big Ten.
To go along with what really is an awesome name, Trice has got a really nice skill set. The name is certainly familiar to a lot of you, he's the younger brother of former Michigan State Spartan Travis Trice. At 5'11", he will seemingly step in as a back up to the only other true point guard on the roster for the Badgers, Bronson Koenig, who will be a senior in 2016-17.
Trice won a state title playing for his father Travis Trice Sr. at Huber Heights Wayne High School. As a coaches son and coming from a definite basketball family, there's little doubt that he knows how to handle the point guard position and can control a game from that spot. At IMG Academy, which is a post-graduate program, Trice averaged 16.2 points and posted 6.1 assists.
He has all the makings of a leader in athletics, he was a two sport star in high school as a dual-threat quarterback and had his choice of which sport he would pursue at the college level. He was the #71 point guard in the class and the #22 ranked player overall from the state of Ohio. He had interest from other D-I programs, including Ohio State and Vanderbilt.
Aleem Ford comes into Wisconsin at 6'7", 180 pounds and as the #65 small forward in the country and #21 player from the state of Florida. Ford is a very athletic small forward that can slash, cut and penetrate to create opportunities for himself or for his teammates.
He shows an ability to hit outside jumpers, which every team in America would welcome more shooting, but his biggest strength seems to be his athleticism and having a knack for being in the right spot at the right time for offensive rebounds, put backs and hustle plays in general.
If I was forced to compare him to somebody on Wisconsin's current roster, I'd probably say he's most like a taller but just slightly less bouncy version of Khalil Iverson, who brought fans out of their seats plenty of times this past year with displays of his own ridiculous athleticism. Ford turned down offers from Rutgers, Butler and a few mid-majors to commit to Wisconsin
As the only two recruits that the Badgers have coming in for the 2016-17 class, Trice and Ford will be looking to have a productive four or so years in Madison. Trice could possibly allow Coach Gard to take Koenig off the ball occasionally if he plays the two of them together, and Ford will almost certainly be more of a depth option and could see a redshirt this season.
These are two good pieces for Coach Gard and the Badgers to continue to develop their culture in Madison. They've got a good thing going with a great basketball tradition at their back and great prospects for the future. If Nigel Hayes returns for the Badgers, this could be a very special first season on campus for both Trice and Ford.