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Wisconsin basketball recruiting: December update on 2014, 2015 Badgers basketball targets

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Henry Ellenson and Diamond Stone remain priorities, but with George Marshall's transfer, adding a guard or two quickly became important. As the Big Ten season gets underway, here's a quick update on how Wisconsin's basketball prospects have fared after their first full month of the season.

7-footer Josh Sharma is the latest big man to receive a UW offer for 2015.
7-footer Josh Sharma is the latest big man to receive a UW offer for 2015.

In an effort to expand our basketball recruiting coverage, we'll be making our Recruit Review series a bit more regular to keep you up-to-date with future Badgers -- and possible future Badgers -- as they perform on the high school stage.

Class of 2014

Signed LOI Committed (signed LOI)

Ethan Happ, 6’8" 195 lb – Rockridge (Ill.) HS

Happ has led Rockridge to an impressive 14-0 record on the season and a No. 1 ranking in Illinois class 2A. Rockridge won the Macomb-Western Holiday tournament, where Happ averaged 27 points and 12 rebounds over four games. He was also named tournament MVP. His play this season has sparked chatter by Illinois columnists lamenting Happ’s lack of an Illinois offer. Safe to say Bo Ryan got another steal.

Class of 2015

Top Offers Offered – Top Priorities

Henry Ellenson, 6’9" 250 lb – Rice Lake (Wis.) HS

Ellenson averaged 27 points per game for the month of December. In a big matchup against Diamond Stone, Ellenson scored 18 points to go along with 16 rebounds to lead Rice Lake to a victory. He also scored 34 of his team’s 49 points in a loss to Neenah and Badger target Matt Heldt. Rice Lake is currently ranked No. 3 by among Division 2 teams in Wisconsin.

Diamond Stone, 6’10" 250 lb – Whitefish Bay (Wis.) Dominican

Stone led Dominican to a 6-3 record and the No. 1 ranking in Division 4 during December. All three losses came against schools with larger enrollments. Stone played well against Ellenson, scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds -- right in line with his season averages of 20 points and 13 rebounds per game.

Longshot Offered – Long shot of committing

Leaving these two players in, although it looks unlikely Wisconsin will be in the running for either.

Charles Matthews, 6’5" 185 lb – Chicago (Ill.) St. Rita

Matthews missed a few games early with an ankle injury but has returned to help lead No. 13 St. Rita to a 5-3 record. He scored a season high 20 points against Kevon Looney and Milwaukee Hamilton in Honolulu at the Iolani Classic.

Carlton Bragg, 6’9" 220 lb – Cleveland (Ohio) Villa Angela-St. Joseph

VASJ is currently ranked No. 2 in Ohio and plays a challenging national schedule including a recent game against Bishop Gorman (Nevada) that was televised on ESPNU. In that game Bragg struggled against highly-ranked post players Stephen Zimmerman (6-11) and Chase Jeter (6-9) and scored only nine points.

Committed Elsewhere Offered - Verbal commitment to another school

Aaron Jordan, 6’4" 170 lb – Plainfield (Ill.) East

Aaron recently gave a verbal commitment to Illinois. He averaged 21 points per game during December highlighted by a 32 point outburst in the Pekin Holiday Tournament where he was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Other Offers Offered

Josh Sharma, 7'0" 215 lb – Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.) School

This four-star recruit was in Madison for an official visit last weekend to take in the Iowa game and became the most recent offered recruit. With Wisconsin "all in" on the recruiting of Stone and Ellenson it is a little surprising they offered another big man like Sharma. But with potentially six scholarships available for 2015 there is plenty of room to go after top level players. Sharma has averaged 12 points and seven rebounds playing a schedule that included a handful of games against college JV teams from the Ivy League.

Jarvis Johnson, 6’1" 185 lb – Minneapolis (Minn.) DeLaSalle

Johnson has helped DeLaSalle to 5-3 record, including a win over Charles Matthews and St. Rita at the Timberwolves Shootout last weekend. Earlier in December, playing head to head with 2014 Duke commit Tyus Jones, Johnson scored 15 points in a 63-73 loss.

Brandon Hutton, 6’6" 250 lb – Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle

De La Salle is off to a 4-8 record against a brutal schedule. In the Kreul Classic Elite Challenge, Hutton averaged 11 points per game (including 13 against 6’6" Mississippi State commit Demetrius Houston). His recruiting is picking up a bit with recent interest from Indiana. Hopefully the Badgers remain at the forefront; Hutton has really high potential as an aggressive wing player.

Other Offers Watching Closely

Marshawn Wilson, 6’2" 180 lb – St. Paul (Minn.) Hill Murray

Wilson has picked up where he left off on the summer circuit. He is leading Hill Murray with 23 points a game on the way to a 5-5 record. Wilson's recruitment has likely jumped in priority. With George Marshall transferring to South Dakota State and Aaron Jordan out of the mix, the Badgers will be picking up efforts recruiting back court players.

Sacar Anim, 6’4" 183 lb – Minneapolis (Minn.) DeLaSalle

With Stanford commit Reid Travis sidelined by a stress fracture, Anim has taken full advantage of the increased exposure averaging 16.5 points per game. Against St. Rita in the Target Center Shootout, Anim led all scorers with 29 points in 59-53 victory over one of Chicago’s best teams.

Matt Heldt, 6’10" 201 lb – Neenah (Wis.) HS

Wisconsin continues to keep tabs on Heldt and have to be impressed with his season thus far. With 19.2 points per game average, he has led Neenah to an 11-0 record and No. 3 ranking amongst big schools. Most impressively Heldt led Neenah past Henry Ellenson’s Rice Lake squad 60-49 in the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Shootout. However, the recent offer to Sharma might indicate Bo Ryan does not consider him a priority at this time.

New Interest New Interest

Roosevelt Smart, 6’3" 170 lb – St. Viator (Ill.) HS

Smart says the Badgers are pursuing him the hardest right now. With the recent need for another guard, an official scholarship offer seems likely. Smart has led St. Viator to a No. 13 ranking in Illinois and averaged 18 points per game. Smart is a three-star shooting guard, and has the size Bo Ryan seems to be targeting in the back court.