Wisconsin basketball recruiting: Ethan Happ signs with Badgers

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The early national signing period for basketball opened Wednesday and UW's lone 2014 recruit finally signed on the dotted line.

Before most of the current crop of Wisconsin freshmen had made their college choice, Ethan Happ had his heart set on being a Badger. Since verbally committing to Wisconsin back in June 2012, other prospects came and went, but Happ was an unheralded rock that the coaching staff knew it could build around.

Wednesday was the beginning of the national signing period for the 2014 class and Happ finally had his day, signing and submitting his National Letter of Intent earlier this morning.

Happ was excited to take another step toward becoming a Badger, telling Scott Burgess of ChicagoHoops.com that "it feels great to sign the papers and make it official."

The 6'8 senior forward at Rockridge (Ill.) High School is a tough, versatile competitor who averaged 23 points and 10 rebounds to earn first-team all-state honors last season. Happ also added three assists, three steals and three blocks per game.

On the AAU circuit, Happ routinely ran the point for Quad City Elite. After fighting off injury and illness, Happ put together a great finish to his summer that had scouts wondering if he was an eventual NBA player. Comparisons have been made between Happ and Sam Dekker. While his offensive skills might lag behind Dekker's, Happ might be a better rebounder than Dekker was coming in. Happ will try to equal Dekker's feat of leading his small school to a state title in his final game.

More on Happ from Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan:

His versatility and ability to play numerous positions will be a great addition to our roster. Offensively, he can handle the ball, shoot, pass and rebound. Perhaps the most exciting element is his work ethic and desire to improve.

True to form, Ryan was quick to point out Happ's academic success in the university's release, noting Happ sports a 3.75 GPA.

Happ took his official visit to Wisconsin on Oct. 12 for the Northwestern football game.

Check out how Happ has progressed in these video clips, from the summer before his junior year ...

... to this past summer as a rising senior:

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For more Wisconsin basketball coverage, follow Phil on Twitter @hoopsmarinara.

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