Badgers Make 2012 Move

With one scholarship opening for the 2012 recruiting class, the debate has been whether Wisconsin would extend or bank its scholarship moving forward. That answer became a little clearer Thursday, as head coach Bo Ryan and his staff are heading into the July evaluation period with their eye on one specific player.

MADISON – With only two scholarships available for its 2012 recruiting class, the Wisconsin men's basketball coaching staff wanted to be selective and loyal. The Badgers extended an offer to Menomonee Falls forward J.P. Tokoto early in his high school career and once his AAU teammate, Sheboygan Area Lutheran forward Sam Dekker, took UW's other available scholarship, Wisconsin was adamant of not offering any other prospect, showing to Tokoto that he was ‘the guy.'

Once that situation played out against Wisconsin, the Badgers coaches were patient with their second offer, waiting until July's open evaluation period to either offer another player or bank that scholarship for 2013. Now it's apparent UW is looking to fill the void, as the UW staff reportedly extended an offer to Sioux City (IA) East center Adam Woodbury.

The 6-foot-11, 220-pound Woodbury - a four-star center rated No.16 in the country by – holds offers from California, Creighton, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Stanford, Utah, Virginia and Wake Forest. The Badgers are coming late to the party, but according to Woodbury's AAU coach Hank Huddleson with the Martin Brothers, Woodbury is not ready to discount anybody.

Badger Nation talked with Huddleson Thursday afternoon to find out more about Woodbury.

Badger Nation: Wisconsin is coming late to the party in terms of Woodbury's recruitment, but can you talk about the relationship the Wisconsin coaching staff has with him and your program?

Huddleson: I've known Bo for a long time. I've known Gary Close. I've known Greg Gard. One of my former players, Jason Bohannon, played at Wisconsin. I know those guys really well. I know a year ago, they were recruiting Marcus Paige and the other scholarship was for JP. When JP decided he wasn't going to Wisconsin, I think Wisconsin kind of had to go with the best available at they obviously think Adam is good enough to play for them.

I know Coach Ryan had a good conversation with Adam but I mean, I don't know how much they have talked or have seen him in person. I know they saw him last year on the AAU circuit and they usually have someone at the Iowa High School state tournament. I don't know how many times they have specifically seen him.

Do I think they can build a relationship? Yes, but they are late to the process. I don't know if it will hurt them, but I know Adam is a loyal kid. I think that will have some play in his final decision.

Badger Nation: What schools have been talking to him the most that you are aware of? Has it been the two in-state schools with Iowa and Iowa State?

Huddleson: Iowa State, not so much, but he's talked a lot about Iowa. He's talked about Cal, Stanford, Minnesota and Nebraska. Texas A&M had called and Duke, North Carolina and Kansas had called as of late, but none of those three have offered. Illinois has called about him. He's gotten a lot of looks from a lot of different people.

I wish he would narrow it down, but I don't think he's ready to at this point. I know he's going to make a decision, based on what he's told me, before his high school season starts. When exactly, that part I don't know. I don't think he has a clear-cut leader, but he's talked about four or five schools more regularly than others.

Badger Nation: Having coached him, he seems pretty athletic for a big guy and I am curious what you think his real strengths are when you watch him play?

Huddleson: Adam is a kid that has continued to improve each and every year. The thing that I think sets him apart now compared to a couple of years ago is that he doesn't allow things to effect him emotionally as much, which is part of the maturation process. He runs well, he passes well and he gets a knock on not being athletic at times. But he's gone from a kid that tried to dunk once and awhile last year to a kid that tries to dunk a lot more and going through people. He shoots fadeaways and is more aggressive going to left after working on it … and anything would be an improvement from what he shot at the free throw line this past year. So, I have got no complaints with Adam.

Badger Nation is scheduled to talk with Woodbury this afternoon.

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