When Greg Gard was given the job as the Wisconsin Head Men’s Basketball Coach on an interim basis on December 15, there was understandably some question. Gard had never been a head coach in college basketball before and was entering the head coaching job at a program which has had as much success as any in the Big Ten over the past decade.
Gard quickly answered the question of “can he coach” by leading the Badgers to the Sweet 16, and exceeding all expectations on the court.
Now Gard is quickly proving he also answers the question of “can he recruit”. Already Gard had landed a pair of top 100 recruits in the class of 2017, and now on Monday evening he landed a top target in 2018 in Tyler Herro.
Herro, who is from just outside of Milwaukee, is a major get for Gard. Not only is he the top ranked player in the state of Wisconsin, but he is also the type of kid that Gard had to work hard for.
Marquette made an extremely strong run at Herro, and for a time actually seemed to be the leader in his recruitment. Also schools such as Arizona, Xavier, DePaul, Creighton, Florida, Nebraska, and Purdue also offered Herro a scholarship.
In the end though, it was Wisconsin that was able to get an early pledge from Herro following an unofficial visit to the school over the weekend.
Herro is one of the best pure scorers in the class of 2018. He is an excellent outside shooter, but he is more than just that. Herro can get into the lane some off the dribble, and then also has a very good mid-range jumper.
More than anything, Herro is just a competitor. He is someone who never backs down, and is always playing at the highest level he can.
While he has work to do on the defensive end, and will need to continue to get quicker with his first step, there is no substitute for the way he can put the ball in the basket.
For Gard, like it was under Bo Ryan, a key is going to be controlling the best players in Wisconsin and Minnesota. In the class of 2017 he showed he can go into Minnesota and land top talent. Now in 2018 he is showing he can get the best from his home-state of Wisconsin.
In less than 12 months time, it seems that Gard has answered the two big questions surrounding him when he got that job, and that is great news for Wisconsin fans as the train continues to keep on rolling in Madison.