Editor's note: Kobe King committed to Wisconsin on Wednesday night. Here's our story; we'll have more analysis to come. Below is the original article published Wednesday afternoon.
Despite the fact that 2015-16 basketball season hasn't even begun yet, it is never too early to start lining up the future of the program. The 2017 recruiting class is especially important for Wisconsin, as four scholarships will become available. Furthermore, 2017 may be the Badgers' first recruiting class of the post-Bo Ryan era. It will become essential that Wisconsin fills up each spot with the very best talent they can possibly land. With that said, the Badgers already have their eye on three very intriguing prospects.
Quick Stats: 6'4", 175 lb shooting guard
Currently the apple of the Badgers' eye, Kobe King heads the 2017 prospect list for Wisconsin. King, the first and presently only player to receive an offer from Wisconsin, is a four-star shooting guard from La Crosse, Wisconsin. According to 247Sports, King ranks as the 16th best shooting guard, and the 78th best overall recruit in the 2017 class. Last season, King averaged 15.6 points per game, while earning First Team All-Conference honors.
King possesses excellent handles and a solid jumper. He can finish through contact and also converts his shots off the dribble. He also has good court awareness, especially for only being an incoming junior. As a 6'4" shooting guard with great ball handling ability, he has impressive upside, which will only continue to grow the older he gets. King would fit nicely into the Wisconsin system, thanks to his solid offensive fundamentals. He would most likely fill the two spot, but if necessary could be play the one. The Badgers would have a solid backcourt with a Brevin Pritzl, and King combo. Fortunately, the 247Sports Crystal Ball already predicts King will choose the Badgers.
Quick Stats: 6'3", 170 lb point guard
Also a native of Wisconsin, Luke Loewe is a lesser known homegrown prospect. However his lack of notoriety will not remain much longer. One look at his most recent mixtape and anybody can see a future diamond that has yet to be fully uncovered. This past season Loewe led Ripon High School to a 21-4 record, while averaging 18.6 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game, and 3.7 assists per game. He also earned First Team all-league honors for the second consecutive season.
Loewe, an unranked point guard, has excellent court vision, passing ability and motor. He distributes the ball to his teammates with near perfection every time, with impressive punctuality. Loewe also knows what is the 'smart play' thanks to his solid on court IQ. Even as a point guard, Loewe is a deadly shooter, averaging 51.4 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from beyond the arc. Lastly, he sprints the floor and crashes the glass with endless ferocity.
Loewe just returned from an unofficial visit on campus this past weekend, and is working toward earning an offer from the Badgers. If he chooses to attend Wisconsin, Loewe would most likely replace Bronson Koenig as the primary point guard. His skills at the one will only improve with time, and has the potential to be a great anchor for the Badgers' backcourt.
Lastly as an added bonus, Loewe and King play on the same summer league team, and make quite a duo already. It would be exciting to see what the two could do together at the next level.
Quick Stats: 6'8", 210 lb power forward
Theo John is an impressive up-and-coming power forward from Champlin, Minnesota. Unfortunately, the Badgers have yet to offer him. However based on his current track, he should earn a well-deserved scholarship from Wisconsin sometime soon. The four-star big man sits as the No. 102 overall player in the 2017 class, and the No. 20 power forward. During the 2014-15 season, John averaged 8.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and an impressive 3.6 blocks per game.
Do not let the rankings or the numbers fool you, John is an excellent player on both sides of the court. He has a very soft touch around the rim, and can finish with both hands. His post footwork is extremely solid, and knows how to position his body to create space under the basket. On the other side of the court, John protects the hole with terrifying intensity. As stated above, he averaged almost four blocks per contest as only a sophomore. His wingspan and vertical leap makes John a very intimidating defender. For the Badgers, John could help provide stability in the front court alongside players such as Ethan Happ, Alex Illikainen, and Andy van Vilet, helping to return the Wisconsin front court to an elite level down the road. John has already visited the Badgers once this year, and hopefully will again in the future. His Crystal Ball predictions point to Minnesota now, but those can change in a matter of seconds.
If the Badgers could land at least one of these prospects, they will be on track to continuing the tradition of success within the basketball program. Just one of these players, combined with the impressive 2015 recruiting class, could set up quite a formidable team in the apparently far, but near future.