Bowling Green (OH) High School's Vitto Brown verbally committed Friday to play for the Wisconsin Badgers, giving UW its first big man in a 2013 recruiting class that desperately needed some size. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Bo Ryan and Lamont Paris teamed up to reel in Brown after visiting him at his home Thursday afternoon.
The 6'8", 215 lb. senior is by no means polished. Yet he has a gentle shooting touch, a good frame for a power forward, and long arms -- which could make him a valuable defensive piece. For comparison's sake, Marcus Landry came to UW as a 6'7", 215 lb. freshman in 2005.
Brown is also a very solid student (scored 28 on ACT; tutors other students) who fits the mold of what Ryan looks for in a recruit. Bowling Green coach Von Graffin shared with the Journal-Sentinel some of things that attracted Brown to Wisconsin, including academics. On top of that, Graffin gave us as a strong a quote as you'll find about UW's recent on-court success:
"Wisconsin is going to play in the NCAA tournament," Graffin said. "And he is going to go there and play for a Big Ten title every stinking year."
Boom. Roasted. Yes, you Minnesota.
Brown picked Wisconsin over Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa State, Kansas State and others. His stock has risen over the past year as he became the focal point of his high school squad, averaging just under 20 ppg and 12 ppg as a junior. On the summer AAU circuit, Brown has suited up for both Spiece Indy Heat and Ohio Basketball Club.
Check out B5Q's prospect profile page for Brown to see more video.
The Badgers turned up the heat on Brown after seeing him with his high school team at Wisconsin's team camp in early June and came away with an offer soon after. He then took an unofficial visit to Madison on June 18. Though he was did not visit Madison in late August as expected, Brown will likely make his official visit to Wisconsin within the next month.
And the Badgers are not done yet. With one scholarship remaining for 2013, Wisconsin seeks another big body to fill out the class. The top priority is Toledo's Nigel Hayes, who has included UW as a finalist alongside Minnesota, Stanford, and Ohio State. Hayes has taken official visits to the first Wisconsin (two weeks ago) and Minnesota (last weekend), but has not yet visited Ohio State, whom many consider the frontrunner. However, the Buckeyes are still recruiting high-end players like Jordan Mickey, BeeJay Anya, Devin Williams and Kyle Washington as bigs for one of their two remaining '13 scholarships, and Hayes' older brother recently transferred out of the OSU football program.
Wisconsin has also started talking with Bolingbrook (IL) forward Ben Moore.
Regardless of who joins him on campus, I see a lot of lobs from Bronson Koenig in Brown's future.
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