Wisconsin now has two open scholarships for 2014 and four in 2015. While adding another player for 2014 seems like a long shot, having six spots to fill in 2015 seems equally unlikely. Bo Ryan and staff could put someone like Zak Showalter back on scholarship.
Either way, high school state tournaments are in full swing and some important Wisconsin recruits are headed to the Kohl Center this week. Others are involved in state tournaments in Minnesota or have recently concluded their season. Here are a few updates and game info for guys to keep an eye on.
Class of 2014
Ethan Happ, 6’8" 195 lb – Rockridge (Ill.) HS
Unfortunately, No. 1 ranked Rockridge (28-1) was upset in the sectional final by Bloomington Central Catholic, 56-55. But Happ did not go quietly, putting together a do-everything third quarter in the losing effort which play-by-play announcer and WRMJ Sports Director Jim Taylor said was the best individual quarter Happ has played in his entire career. Happ scored 29 points to go along with 19 rebounds and seven blocks in his final game as a Rocket. The senior averaged 26 points and 11 rebounds for the season and is on the ballot for Mr. Basketball in Illinois, the only small school player with that honor.
Next up: Illinois Mr. Basketball announced March 28
Class of 2015
Henry Ellenson, 6’9" 250 lb – Rice Lake (Wis.) HS
Since we last checked in with Ellenson in early February he has set Rice Lake's single-game and career scoring records -- in the same game, with Bo Ryan in the front row. Henry led top-seeded Rice Lake (22-2) to the WIAA state tournament at the Division 2 level, averaging 31 points over four games to reach Madison.
In Division 4, Stone has also powered his team to a berth in the state tournament semifinals at the Kohl Center. Stone helped Dominican (23-3) advance by scoring 25 points and grabbing 12.5 rebounds per contest throughout the four-game sectional. The crowning moment may have been in the section final when Stone had 22 points, 15 boards and five assists in a 66-42 victory over fellow top-seed Lourdes Academy.
Carlton Bragg, 6’9" 220 lb – Cleveland (Ohio) Villa Angela-St. Joseph
The regional semifinal originally scheduled for tonight between Villa Angela-St. Joseph (19-7) and Canton Central Catholic has been postponed to Thursday due to weather. Bragg missed two weeks in February with a broken toe, but scored 29 points his last time out. Like Charles Matthews, Bragg will be a big challenge for the Badgers to land.
Next up: Thursday, March 13 at 6:15 pm vs. Canton Central Catholic (15-10)
At Canton Fieldhouse - Canton, Ohio
Brandon Hutton, 6’6" 250 lb – Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle
Hutton recently gave a verbal commitment to Iowa.
Josh Sharma, 7'0" 215 lb – Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.) School
Sharma's season at NMH (24-10) came to an end in the semifinals of the National Prep Championship, losing to Brewster Academy, 61-84. Sharma has exploded onto the scene this year with profiles in the Boston Globe and YouTube highlights punctuated with thunderous dunks. He was named to the All-NEPSAC AAA Honorable Mention team and averaged 10 points, 6.4 points and 2.8 blocks.
Jarvis Johnson, 6’1" 185 lb – Minneapolis (Minn.) DeLaSalle
DeLaSalle (23-3) is one of the premier teams in the state of Minnesota and will look to capture their third straight Class 3A state championship. As part of those title runs, Johnson has been named to the All-Tournament Team the past two seasons and looks to add another in 2014. Johnson averaged 11 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists during the section qualifier. DeLaSalle destroyed St. Paul Central, 81-48, on Wednesday morning, thus advancing to meet Jon Leuer and Jordan Smith's alma mater, Orono.
Marshawn Wilson, 6’2" 180 lb – St. Paul (Minn.) Hill Murray
Wilson scored 31 points in a season-ending first round section loss by one point to Simley in double overtime. On the season he averaged 23.5 points and 7.4 rebounds for Hill Murray (16-11). He was also named to the Second Team Twin Cities All-Metro squad. With a good spring, Wilson could very well be in line for one of UW's newly available scholarships.
Sacar Anim, 6’4" 183 lb – Minneapolis (Minn.) DeLaSalle
Anim has his seen scoring contributions dip slightly with the return of Stanford commit Reid Travis. However, he still averaged over 11 points to help DeLaSalle advance out of the section. Anim could be one to watch with the six scholarships Wisconsin has open for 2015. Along with Jarvis Johnson, Anim will be back in action Thursday afternoon as the favorites in the Minnesota state 3A semifinals.
Matt Heldt, 6’10" 201 lb – Neenah (Wis.) HS
Heldt still seems to be a backup option to Ellenson and Stone. He has Neenah (25-1) headed to Madison for the state tournament, so the coaching staff will have a first hand look to evaluate his talents on the big stage. In the four games to qualify for state, Heldt averaged 17 points including a big 24-point, 11-rebound performance against Marshfield in the sectional final.
Roosevelt Smart, 6’3" 170 lb – St. Viator (Ill.) HS
After Wisconsin started showing interest, Smart has really come on. He averaged 16 points on the year, including a 33-point showing in a sectional semifinal victory over Zion-Benton. Smart was 10-of-13 from the field, including 5-of-7 from the three-point line. St. Viator's (23-6) season came to an end facing top-seeded Stevenson and Jalen Brunson, but Smart finished strong with a 17-point, seven-rebound outing.