Wisconsin Picks Up Senior Forward

With four inked commitments to Wisconsin's 2008 basketball recruiting class, it appeared Wisconsin was looking to add one more scholarship player. On Monday night, that player became Arizona prep forward Ryan Evans.

Although Bo Ryan probably wishes he was in San Antonio as a Final Four participant and not as a spectator, the Wisconsin head coach has got to feel pretty good tonight about securing another recruit for his 2008 signing class.

Ryan Evans, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound forward from Hamilton H.S. in Chandler, Arizona, said Monday that he has accepted Wisconsin's full scholarship offer and will join the Badgers for the fall season.

Evans, who can not officially commit until the start of the late signing period (April 16 to May 21), becomes Wisconsin's fifth scholarship player for the 2008 season, joining Jared Berggren, Ian Markolf, Jordan Taylor and Robert Wilson in a Wisconsin uniform.

"Looking at all my options, Wisconsin felt like the right place for me," Evans said. "I have family ties to the area, my mom is from (Wisconsin) and we are a Big Ten kind of family."

Those options, according to Evans, included Big Ten competitors Illinois and Purdue, as well as west-coast schools Pepperdine and Portland State.

Leading the Hamilton Huskies with an 18.4 points scoring average and adding 7.3 rebounds per game, Evans led his team to a 21-11 record in the Arizona 5A Fiesta League. Some of his season highlights include scoring 32 points against Mountain Pointe H.S. (from Phoenix) and one of his five double-double performances on the year, a 26 point, 13 rebounds game against Mesquite H.S. (Gilbert, Az.).

"Whatever I can do to help the team is what I like to do," Evans said when asked what the strong point of his game was. "That was one of the things that I liked about Wisconsin, the swing makes everyone involved in the game and goes toward the team's success."

Evans, who said assistant Howard Moore was his primary recruiting contact, saw first hand the success the swing offense can bring, as he made an unofficial visit to Madison on March 5th.

Sitting in the Kohl Center stands, Evans saw the Badgers dominate offensively (scoring 77 points) and defensively (allowing 45 points) over Penn State, clinching a share of the Big Ten title.

"The atmosphere was incredible and watching them play was real impressive," Evans said. "I can't wait to be able to play in front of those fans."

A projected three-star athlete, Evans, at 6-foot-6, is a lot like Wisconsin post players Brian Butch and Jon Leuer in the sense that he is naturally effective around the rim but can still step out and successfully hit the outside shot and can defend multiple types of players because of his length and agility.

At 185 pounds, however, Evans concern right now is getting to Madison in June and start bulking up his body.

"Weight is an issue for me right now, which is why I am looking forward to coming in June and getting to work," Evans said. "I am looking forward to being a Badger."

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