Not only do the Badgers take to the court again tonight, but the road to the state high school tournament begins with regionals across Wisconsin. With a couple incoming prospects playing and a recent offer to Onalaska's Matt Thomas in the 2013 class, Wisconsin's staff will have plenty of interest in the proceedings.
In Recruit Review we check in with committed Badger recruits in their high school seasons. With only two committed scholarship players in the next two classes, it's been relatively easy to keep tabs on the guys.
By now everyone knows about Sam Dekker, whose Sheboygan Lutheran team hosts Lena to open the Division 5 playoffs tonight. Future walk-on Zak Showalter's powerful, top-ranked Germantown squad earned a bye in Division 1 with an undefeated record, but we'll rundown his season as well. Meanwhile, junior Bronson Koenig is still recovering from a midseason thumb injury that ended his season prematurely.
Class of 2012
Way back on Nov. 9, Sam Dekker inked his paperwork and officially became a Wisconsin Badger before embarking on his senior season. Early highlights included Dekker's 3-pointer at the buzzer to take Sheboygan Lutheran's conference foil Oostburg to overtime. He scored 40 in an eventual loss, but finally defeated his conference foil two months later, something he'd never done before. In January, Dekker hit all 10 of his shots in a blowout win over Sheboygan Christian.
Dekker was nominated for the 2012 McDonald's All-American team but didn't make it. Instead, Dekker will play in two other high school all-star games this spring.
"I've got to move on. I was disappointed, but I'm over it now. Congrats to the guys who got in. I'll be watching them and talking to them. As for me, this just adds more motivation to become a better player. Being a competitive person, this drives me even more to never be satisfied."
After missing the cut, Dekker responded with one of the more remarkable performances in state history. He drove Lutheran to an 80-73 win over Random Lake with 58 points, including 17 in the first quarter. Dekker was a perfect 14-of-14 inside the arc, and made 15-of-17 from the free throw line in addition to 5-of-10 from 3-point land. Another win last Friday gave Sheboygan Lutheran (18-4, 15-1) its first outright Central Lakeshore Conference title in school history. Dekker leads the state in scoring at 32 ppg.
|11.22||Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran||77-71||W||45||16||-||-||-|
|12.05||Living Word Lutheran||82-31||W||24||-||-||-||-|
|1.06||Sheb. County Christian||86-48||W||29||15||5||-||-|
|2.17||Sheb. County Christian||75-52||W||26||-||-||-||-|
Zak Showalter will not be on scholarship when he arrives in Madison next fall, but he certainly could have been on scholarship elsewhere if he had wanted to be. His Germantown club has ripped through its competition like a buzzsaw this year, finishing the regular season 22-0 behind a special group of seniors. Showalter started off slowly, but went for a season-high 36 points on five 3-pointers against Homestead a month ago and will graduate as the all-time leading scorer in Germantown history. He's averaging 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game.
The Warhawks are vying to avenge last season's controversial loss to Appleton East in the state quarterfinals. They handed a powerful Dominican team its only loss of the season in December and crushed reigning Div. 2 champs Whitefish Bay twice, most recently when Showalter had five dunks en route to 31 points in late January. Germantown plays Friday night.
Class of 2013
The lone Badger commit in the 2013 class unfortunately won't be playing with his teammates Tuesday night. (Ed. note: Koenig actually did play Tuesday night). Bronson Koenig is still shelved with ligament damage in his right thumb and has not played since Jan. 6. He initially hoped to miss 4-6 weeks, but doctors encouraged Koenig to not risk further damage. La Crosse Aquinas -- the defending Division 3 champ -- was already depleted, having lost 6'5" junior guard Mike Conway for the season before the first game. The sixth-seeded Blugolds host 11th-seeded Viroqua tonight.
Prior to Koenig's injury, opponents were throwing tons of zone defense at Koenig to slow him down, with varying levels of success. He was averaging 23 ppg as a one-man show at times before the initial injury on Dec. 27, a game in which he surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career. He played through the pain until reaggravating the thumb against Onalaska and getting a cast put on.
|12.03||Eau Claire Regis||61-48||W||26||-||6|
|12.13||La Crosse Logan||50-63||L||18||-||-|
|12.27||Rockford (IL) East||77-67||W||22||-||-|
|12.28||Prairie Du Chien||48-50||L||18||-||-|