Varsity - The Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics

Varsity - February 7, 2013

Varsity is the free Official Digital Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics, covering Badgers football, basketball, hockey and more each week.

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THE VOICE M AT T LE PAY • VOIC E OF T H E B A DGERS Bo continues building for the future, too W ith all the attention on football signing day, I thought this might be a decent time to update Badger basketball fans on the recruits who will be joining the team next season. The class is five members strong, and as much as the coaches have to focus on the present, they also keep an eye on the future. In a recent chat with UW associate head coach Greg Gard, it appears all five are enjoying good seasons, although guard Riley Dearring's senior year has been interrupted by a broken bone in his hand, which has had him sidelined the last couple of weeks. "He had been playing extremely well," said Gard. "He is playing on a really good team at Minnetonka." Gard describes Dearring as "Very unselfish. He needs to put on some weight, but east and west, he is pretty quick with the ball. He is really smart. He knows where to go with the ball, what to do and what not to do." In addition, word is the 6-foot5 Dearring possesses a textbook jumper. ●●●● After starring at LaSalle High School in Pasadena, Calif., Jordan Hill is attending Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and Gard says the 6-3 guard is "primarily their second or third ball handler. He is their best perimeter defender." Gard describes Hill as a hungry player, "a guy we kind of compare to Michael Flowers in terms of what we feel he can do down the 16 » VARSITY FEB R UA RY 7, 2013 road." He has a motor that is pretty edgy. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. I think he will be further ahead of most freshmen in terms of what we want defensively." ●●●● The front line players coming to campus next season are from Ohio. Vitto Brown from Bowling Green, and Nigel Hayes of Toledo. "Vitto is a little bigger," says Gard. "He's 6-8, probably 225 or 230 pounds. Nigel has the same body type, but probably is not quite as tall." (Hayes is listed at 6-7) "Their wingspan is longer than their height, which is always a good thing, and both have frames that ― down the road ― can just be massive for us." "Nigel can go inside or outside. Vitto is probably closer to a 5 (center) right now. He will have to develop into more of a 4 (power forward). "They will be two exciting guys to watch develop. ●●●● Finally, there is McDonald's AllAmerica nominee Bronson Koenig, the 6-3 guard from La Crosse Aquinas High School. Gard says Koenig has "great vision. Great court sense. Shoots it really well. A phenomenal de- fender. He has really done a great job on some of the better players in the La Crosse area, and he has shut down some pretty good guys." While being cautious not to hype a player to excess, and reminding everyone that the coaches need to see them all in practice next season, Gard believes Koenig will "have a great chance to be in the mix next year." The world of recruiting never really stops. There is the constant search for the next great fit. While the Badgers of today continue through a rugged Big Ten schedule, they understand how the head coach embraces the "precious present." Still, every now and then it can be fun to look down the road. Since that is going on with football this week, why not take a peek at the future of Wisconsin basketball? Now, let us get back to this season. As the second half of conference play rolls on, there is plenty to keep fans interested in current events.

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