It is always interesting how things can turn around so quickly. This time last week, it seemed as if Wisconsin would not be able to land a high-profile recruit with the indecision around Bo Ryan's retirement. Today, we are still celebrating Kobe King's commitment.
For those who missed the news (or don't spend obscene amounts of time following recruiting news like myself), King, a four-star shooting guard from La Crosse, Wis., announced his commitment to play for the Badgers on Wednesday. So what does this mean for Wisconsin? What does King bring to the team, and where does Wisconsin recruiting go from here?
What does King bring to the Badgers?
King is the first player of Wisconsin's 2017 recruiting class and presents an incredible start for the Badgers. King ranks as the No. 16 point guard, according to 247Sports' composite rankings, and the No. 78 overall player in the class.
King has tremendous upside with his ball-handling and shooting skills, so his value will only rise with time. Since he's still only a rising junior, he has not received ample attention. Over the next two years, don't be surprised if King becomes a top-50, even top-30 prospect nationwide.
Sam Dekker was a first round draft pick - new Wisconsin commit 2017 SG Kobe King has that type of potential if he reaches ceiling #BADGERS— NY2LA SPORTS (@ny2lasports) September 17, 2015
King handles the ball with excellent precision for a 6'4 shooting guard and can always score off the drive. He has a knack for finishing through contact and drawing the foul. Furthermore, he is a solid knockdown jump-shooter. He has a very soft touch around the rim, and on his shot. King can finish off balance shots, or in very tight situations, which will serve him incredibly well at the next level.
At Wisconsin, King will most likely serve as the primary two guard, possibly as soon as his freshman year. Jordan Hill will be the lone senior guard for the Badgers. However, behind him will be Brevin Pritzl, who'll be a junior. Pritzl will have -- if all goes well -- most likely progressed into the team's go-to guard by then. Still, King has the potential to make a huge impact immediately. The idea of a Pritzl-King combination at the one and two spots is thrilling just to think about. The two could play an inside/out game: Pritzl the threat from deep, King penetrating the middle of defenses.
King first popped up on Wisconsin's radar this past summer at the NY2LA Summer Tournament. Shown above are some highlights. You can see how King more than impressed the scouts in attendance.
What does this mean for Wisconsin recruiting?
Not only does King add great talent to the Badgers, his decision to attend UW has the potential to influence other high-profile recruits. The most immediate player who could be swayed to attend Wisconsin is Luke Loewe, another breakout guard hailing from Ripon, Wis. Loewe and King happened to play on the same AAU team this summer, the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. The two make a very dominant combination. Loewe is a great outside shooter, while King drives to the basket with ferocity. The pair knows the ins and outs of each other's game and could make a big impact at the collegiate level. The Badgers have not offered Loewe yet, but based on his impressive summer performance, one may not be too far away.
Beyond Loewe, King will help solidify one of the most important stretches in Wisconsin's basketball future. With his decision to play for the Badgers, King signals to other recruits that even with the possibility of Ryan's departure Wisconsin will still be a national contender in the coming years.
Now that King made his statement, hopefully other recruits will follow suit and join him at Wisconsin. One spot remains for the 2016 class and three remain for 2017. (Ed. note: 2016 point guard JaQuori McLaughlin is on his official visit to Wisconsin his weekend. Wisconsin is in his top three along with Utah and Oregon State.) Only time will tell, but King's commitment may have just jump-started Wisconsin's recruiting again.