Alexander Takes in Wisconsin

One of the biggest prospects in attendance this weekend for No.19 Wisconsin's tilt with No.3 Ohio State, five-star sophomore center Cliff Alexander got another positive experience in Madison.

MADISON - The day before he was heading up to Madison for his first Wisconsin basketball game, all Cliff Alexander wanted to see was a good game between two schools high on his offer list. He wasn't disappointed.

Alexander – an early five-star center and No.3 center in the country by – sat closely by on Wisconsin's busiest recruiting weekend of the year when the Badgers took on No.3 Ohio State.

"The atmosphere was great and I enjoyed talking to coach Bo Ryan," Alexander told Badger Nation Saturday. "The Kohl Center is great and the campus is pretty cool to and I love the coaching staff."

At 6-9 and 230 pounds, Alexander sticks out in a crowd, one of the reasons Wisconsin offered so early in the 2014 recruiting cycle. One of four high school sophomores with a Wisconsin offer, Ryan made it clear to Alexander that he would have been a welcomed addition against the Buckeyes.

"Ryan said that he could have used me against Sullinger," said Alexander, referring to Ohio State's big sophomore that caused headaches for UW. "I talked to coach for a while and talked to some of the players. If they shoot a little better, they win."

Ryan has been spending plenty of time lately recruiting Alexander. In the much publicized Jan.23 matchup at the Whitey Young Shootout in Chicago, Ryan watched Alexander's Curie HS went up against Scout's 2014 No.1 center Jahlil Okafor and No.6 PF Paul White for Whitney Young HS (two other players with UW offers). Alexander responded to the challenge by guarding Okafor and still managing 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

"The relationship with the coaches has been going pretty good," Alexander said. "I'm glad they saw me play Whitney Young. Coach (Ryan) just said I need to call more often because he can't (because of NCAA rules)."

In addition to Alexander, Wisconsin welcomed 2013 targets Matt Thomas and Gavin Schilling, 2014 targets Ted Friedman, Kevon Looney and Rashad Vaughn and commits recruits Bronson Koenig and Sam Dekker.

"I talked to Kevon and Sam and they are pretty cool," Alexander said. "Sam was telling me it's a fun atmosphere and that I would love it out there."

There was a time when Alexander thought he might have to give up basketball due to a heart condition discovered last January. It turned out to be nothing too serious, a huge benefit to his high school team and to college coaches. Heading into the spring, Alexander claims offers from DePaul, Florida State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

"The season is going real well," said Alexander. "We just finished the regular season off 20-1. I averaged 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks."

Alexander has no more planned visits until after the high school playoffs.

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