Wisconsin signed four recruits last month for next fall's freshman class and has Sheboygan junior Sam Dekker verbally committed for the following year as well. With the basketball season in full swing now, it's time for an update on the high school scene.
Class of 2011
Listed at 7'0" on Benet Academy's roster this season, the story of Frank Kaminsky mirrors that of Jon Leuer in that he was once a 6'3" freshman who grew seven inches by his junior season. Now a senior, Kaminsky is again teaming with Northwestern-bound guard David Sobolewski to provide a great 1-2 punch for the Redwings. Benet (4-0) is ranked No. 4 in the state of Illinois and faces No. 16 Notre Dame in an early ESCC showdown on Friday.
Benet opened its season three weeks ago with a win and a double-double from Kaminsky. The senior center followed that up with a monster 20-point, 14-rebound, three-block performance as the Redwings rolled to a second easy victory. Then Kaminsky was named MVP of the Hinsdale South Tip-Off Tournament one game later after a 21-11 double-double helped his team to a tourney title over the host school. Badger fans hoping for a Leuer clone will not be discouraged by above average shooting and ball handling. Even when he is not hitting shots, like against St. Patrick's, Kaminsky is snatching up boards and altering game plans with his size in the paint.
Jarrod Uthoff scored 29 points in his season debut for Cedar Rapids Jefferson, a 75-20 victory in which he added 10 rebounds. The 6'8" forward is certainly a strong Mr. Basketball candidate for Jefferson at a time when Iowa high school hoop talent is on an upswing. Uthoff played little more than half of the team's next game, a 66-49 win, but still managed 25 points and five blocked shots.
George Marshall leads the Brooks Prep Eagles for the fourth straight season. He sparkled in Brooks' opening 74-41 blowout over Dyett last week, notching 22 points and six assists in addition to six steals. The Eagles have a new coach this season in former Whitney Young star Bobby Locke. The Chicago Sun-Times named Marshall a player to keep an eye on when they predicted a fourth-place finish for Brooks in the loaded CPL-Red South division. Brooks has a lot of talent, including another solid lead guard in Mike Powell. It will be interesting to see how the point guard duties are split between Powell and Marshall this season.
Westerville South was one of the most dominant boys basketball programs of the last decade in central Ohio, posting a 160-65 (71.1%) record. Traevon Jackson aims to make a smooth transition into the current decade during his senior season, which tipped off Saturday with an 81-42 win over Groveport-Madison. Part of the process will be improving South's postseason résumé. Last season the Wildcats ran out to a 22-0 start only to fall early in the playoffs to Marion-Franklin. Westerville South plays again tonight against rival Westerville Central.
Class of 2012
Sam Dekker has made the biggest splash of any UW recruit thus far by torching Sheboygan Lutheran's first two opponents for 75 points. The first victim was WIAA Div. 4 runner-up Green Bay NEW Lutheran, against whom Dekker scored 36 points just before Thanksgiving. The well-rounded performance helped to assuage fears that Lutheran doesn't face any decent competition. To top himself, Dekker next unloaded a career-high 39 points and 12 rebounds on Cedar Grove in a 64-50 win. Sheboygan Lutheran (4-0) went on to beat Elkhart Lake, even though an opponent held Dekker under 20 points for the first time this year, and Living Word.
|Green Bay NEW Lutheran||74-58||W||36||8||6||3||1|
Bo Ryan appears to be holding the team's final 2012 scholarship out until the bitter end for Menomonee Falls swingman J.P. Tokoto. Sophomore point guard Bronson Koenig of LaCrosse holds the only 2013 offer from Wisconsin right now and he is seeing his recruitment pick up much like Tokoto's did.
Have you seen any of Wisconsin's recruits play in person? Do you live in the same area and think you might attend a game in the future? Let us know! Send me your first-hand impressions of these future Badgers for consideration.
*Note: Updated with Jackson's stats and a missing line for Dekker. See comments for updates from other December results.