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Wisconsin basketball recruiting: New offer in 2018, Badgers make cut for Rowan, Rakocevic

Wisconsin forged ahead on the recruiting trail with a new offer in 2018, while some of its older targets inch closer to a decision.

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Despite the somewhat jarring news of Bo Ryan's upcoming farewell tour of a season, the staff is keenly aware that the recruiting world never stops spinning. So it's not surprising that Wisconsin has already extended another offer since Ryan's announcement. Who the player was might have been unexpected however.

Looking ahead to the 2018 class, rising sophomore Isaiah Kelly from Augusta, Georgia was the recipient of UW's first post-camp scholarship offer on Tuesday. Not overly athletic for a 6'6 wing, Kelly is already a crafty finisher around the rim and a good passer for such a young prospect. He had a monster freshman year at Augusta Christian and is fielding interest from Connecticut, Kansas, Marquette, Maryland and UCLA among others. Xavier has also offered.

Though Kelly was reportedly hampered by injury at Wisconsin's advanced camp last weekend, he apparently did enough to impress the coaches and was rewarded when he stuck around for an unofficial visit afterwards. Kelly had a decent run in the spring with Atlanta XPress 15U and he also attended the Pangos All-American Camp.

Badger targets trimming lists

Maverick Rowan is still working towards becoming a 2015 recruit rather than a 2016 recruit and recently eliminated Louisville from consideration, according to Scout's Evan Daniels. Rowan will decide between St. John's, North Carolina State and Wisconsin. St. John's has been charging hard for Rowan since the hiring of Chris Mullin, who played with Maverick's father Ron in the 1980s.

Though the Johnnies were looking tough to beat here even before Bo Ryan's retirement news, it will play a big role in Rowan's decision, which he expects to make in August.

Meanwhile, 2016 big man Nick Rakocevic is also down to 10 schools and Wisconsin made his list again. Indiana, Iowa, Miami, Texas and UCLA are some of the other big names among the Chicago native's finalists.

In both the Rowan and Rakocevic cases, Wisconsin feels like a school destined to be considered up until the final days, but never seriously a leader to win the recruitment. A commitment from either player would use up all Wisconsin's currently available scholarships through the 2016 class.

Marquette continues pushing for in-state talent

I was hoping La Crosse Central guard Kobe King would come away from advanced camp with the first Badger offer for 2017, but he got one from Marquette instead. Like Rowan, King has had plenty of positive things to say about Wisconsin's program in interviews and on Twitter over the last six months. Being an in-stater, this offer is no cause for panic, as the Badgers will definitely be a big factor in King's recruitment.

King was one of two promising young talents to get attention from Marquette this week. Joey Hauser, younger brother of recent Golden Eagle pledge Sam Hauser, also received an offer from Wojo. The younger Hauser is a stud 2018 forward out of Stevens Point with similar measurables as Isaiah Kelly. Given the early offer to Kelly and the passive recruitment of Hauser's brother, it appears as though UW will be playing from behind if it wants to land a Hauser.

Wisconsin and Marquette will continue to butt heads more often with Wojo in Milwaukee than they did when Buzz Williams was bringing in transfers and JUCOs. The Golden Eagles are projected to have seven Wisconsin natives on the roster for the 2016-17 season.


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