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Wisconsin basketball: Milwaukee transfer Austin Arians commits to Wake Forest

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Hometown interest appeared to be generating for the Madison-area native and former Edgewood standout before he committed to Wake Forest.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE – Monday, 9:45 AM CT: Initially reported by CBS Sports' John Rothstein and later by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Panthers forward Austin Arians committed to Wake Forest on Sunday.

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It appears a Madison area native has caught the attention of Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard.

Milwaukee Panthers forward Austin Arians, granted his release from the men's basketball program last month, has been offered by the Wisconsin Badgers, per a report from Badger247's Evan Flood on Sunday. Flood noted Arians' former AAU head coach, Justin Litscher of the Wisconsin Swing, informed him of his former star's new opportunity.

Arians will graduate from Wisconsin-Milwaukee, according to a report from ESPN's Jeff Goodman back in March, which would allow him to play immediately for the 2016-17 season.

Litscher also told Flood that the Badgers are in contention with rival Minnesota, along with Wake Forest and Utah for Arians' services.

The 6'6, 200-pound forward, a Stoughton native and Edgewood High School graduate, has averaged over 11 points per game the past two seasons, including a career-high 11.4 points per game during the 2015-16 season on 39.6 percent shooting (35.3 from three-point range). In 2014-15, he shot 46.6 percent from the floor on 292 attempts.

If Arians departs, he'd follow former teammate Akeem Springs, who transferred to Minnesota last week, and would leave a very depleted Milwaukee Panthers men's basketball program in strife after head coach Rob Jeter was fired in controversial fashion after the season.