Wisconsin’s incoming recruiting class marks the first group of freshmen since 2000 that was not gathered by Bo Ryan.
Greg Gard undoubtedly exhibited the ability to recruit top-tier talent in his first full attempt at recruiting as the Badgers’ head coach. In fact, all three of Gard’s signees were given four-star ratings by ESPN.
Though a number of very dominant players went to Wisconsin during Ryan’s tenure, he wasn’t able to land three four-star recruits in one season in each of his last six years as head coach. The fact that it only took Gard one try do so is saying a lot about his recruiting power.
Gard’s top recruit, Nate Reuvers, is listed under ESPN’s top 100 at No. 84. Reuvers is a 6-10 power forward from Lakeville, MN that received interest from Clemson, Creighton, Illinois, Minnesota, and Northwestern. As a junior, Reuvers averaged 20 points and eight rebounds per game.
Scout, Rivals, and 24/7 Sports also gave Reuvers a four-star rating in addition to ESPN. 24/7 Sports also lists Reuvers as the second best player in Minnesota.
Reuvers was a tremendous addition to Wisconsin and is an ideal fit to compensate for the loss of Nigel Hayes and Vitto Brown—two starting forwards from 2016-17.
Though Reuvers is clearly the top recruit in the class, the additions of guards Kobe King and Brad Davison should significantly benefit the Badgers as well.
King —a 6-2 Wisconsin native—led La Crosse Central to a state championship during his senior season and was named Mr. Basketball in Wisconsin. The versatile, athletic shooting guard had a monster season and only lost two games with La Crosse. King finished the 2016-17 season averaging 27 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game.
Davison, who played basketball near Reuvers at Maple Grove High School, began receiving a lot of Division 1 interest after dominating AAU ball in the summer before his senior season.
The 6-3 point guard received scholarship offers from Michigan, NC State, Butler, Northwestern, Dayton, and 15 other D-1 programs. The slick guard scored 16 points per game, collected 4.4 rebounds, and dished out 4.1 assists as a member of the Howard Pulley AAU team.
King and Davison will provide a lot of compensation over time from the losses of starting guards Bronson Koenig and Zac Showalter.
It’s safe to say that Wisconsin has a dangerous incoming recruiting class. Whether it is off the bench or in the starting lineup, the trio of recruits should immediately impact Wisconsin in a positive manner.
Though he won’t be eligible to play next season, the Badgers have also added UW-Green Bay guard Trevor Anderson.
Before a fractured back ended Anderson’s freshman season at UW-Green Bay, the guard averaged 9.8 points, 2.9 rebounds. and 2.7 assists in 20 games. The former “Mr.Basketball” in Wisconsin also scored in double figures in 10 games last season, including a 23-point outing against SIU-Edwardsville.
Regardless of the fact that Anderson is ineligible next season, It would not be surprising if he found his way into the starting lineup in two seasons. At that point, Reuvers, Davison, and King may already be starters as well.