Happiness All Around in the Dearring Camp

Needing less than a week to mull over his first BCS offer, De La Salle (MN) junior forward Riley Dearring becomes the second verbal commitment of Wisconsin's 2013 recruiting class, a decision him and his AAU coach couldn't be happier about.

MADISON - After being extended a scholarship offer from the Badgers on Sunday night, it took 6-5 De La Salle (MN) junior forward Riley Dearing less than a week to figure the Badgers was the best fit for him. On Thursday, Dearring became Wisconsin's second verbal commitment of the 2013 recruiting class, joining La Crosse (Wis) Aquinas guard Bronson Koenig.

"I'm very excited to be a Badger," Dearring told Badger Nation. "I watch them all the time. There a great school and I'm looking forward to getting on campus and starting my college career."

Playing AAU ball this summer with Net Gain Sports, Dearring's coach Marquise Watts approved of the decision, saying, "Dearring is extremely excited to be a Badger. Riley told me that this was one of his best days of his life so far he's ecstatic to be a Badger."

Dearring also had offers from Illinois State, Northeastern and Drake, but none of those schools could compete with what the Badgers had to offer. Dearring has been in contact with Badger coaching staff for over three years, which meant he was understandably pleased when the Wisconsin staff finally came through with an offer after watching him play in Mequon last weekend.

"I was excited when the Badgers offered me," Dearring said. "I felt like it was a good fit for my family and me. I've known the coaching staff for a while now so it felt really good to get that offer from the Badgers."

It was a well deserved offer from Watts' perspective, as he knows Dearring has been working hard to get attention from the bigger schools.

"When Dearring was offered by the Badgers he felt that his hard work was paying off," Watts said. "He also felt great that somebody recognized him and his talents that somebody thought he was good enough to play big time college basketball. Like I said he saw it as validation that his hard work was paying off."

Although Dearring has to continue to improve his game on the court, both he and his AAU coach know what he has to improve on in order to be a successful Big Ten player.

"Riley is a very talented player," Watts said, "but right now he has to be able to learn to keep his hands up tighter on defense. The biggest thing with Riley is will he be able to improve his strength. Will he be able to get strong enough so he can be able to compete with the other players in the Big Ten."

"I know besides getting stronger that I also need to become a better ball handler as well," Dearring added.

If anybody can help Dearring improve his game over the next four to five years it will be head coach Bo Ryan. As Badgers fans know, Ryan has a great track record of making his player's better basketball players then they were the day they step foot on the Wisconsin campus.

"If you look at Coach Ryan's track record when it comes to coaching his players, they all get better," Watts said. "I can expect the same from Riley that he will become a much better basketball player once he leaves Wisconsin."

"Only time will tell how I improve my game," Dearring added. "But I expect to get stronger and become more confident in my ball handling, and just overall becoming a better basketball player because Bo Ryan and his coaching staff do a great job of developing there players during there college careers."

Although Dearring may have room for improvement in his game, he definitely has the traits to become a successful Big Ten player.

"I say one of my strengths is my versatility both defensively and offensively," Dearring said. "I can shoot the ball well, I'll be able to spread the floor and be able to knock down shots and I can get to the rim. Also I have a pretty good mid-range game and I do a good job of getting my teammates involved."

Added Watts: "Riley is an extremely skilled basketball player. He can shoot the ball well when he sets his feet and has a good quick release. Riley also has a high basketball IQ, which is good and it will help him right away when he gets to the college level. He just continues to make smart plays out on the floor. He's the typical Wisconsin basketball kid that will succeed under coach Ryan. I also think at the college level he should be able to defend two to three positions. I think he'll do some great things on the wing for the Badgers but most importantly he's a great teammate."

The Dearring family wanted to discuss his latest offer from the Badgers before he committed and the family couldn't be happier for his decision.

"My family is very excited a lot of my family is from Wisconsin," Dearring said. My father and my grandparents are from Wisconsin so they are probably more excited for me that I'm a Badger then I am."

"His father told me he was very happy for Riley cause he knows that's what Riley wanted was to go to Wisconsin," Watts added. "His father said it was his decision and if Wisconsin is where you want to go then you might as well not waste any time. So not only is it a win for Riley but it's a win for Riley's family, as well."

Dearring has put in a lot of work over his high school and AAU career so he can become a better basketball player. Dearring and Watts have seen the hard work pay off.

"I've become a better student of the game because I know I'm not the strongest guy out on the floor so I have to learn the best ways for me to score and how to get my teammates involved in the game," Dearring said.

"Riley is probably one of the most heralded kids we've had in our AAU program," said Watts. "I've coached some good guards in the past but he has kept on working to try and get better. He's never satisfied. He's built his game around his strengths so he can be as effective as possible when he's on the court."

The Badgers aren't only getting a skilled kid who has what it takes to become a successful Big Ten player but a high character kid, as well.

"They can expect to be introduced to a good basketball player but a better human being he's well liked by everybody on our team," Watts said. "He's a gym rat he loves the game, and he wants to get better and he will do whatever it takes to improve his game."

According to Watts, Dearring has been playing well so far through the July evaluation period: "He's been shooting the basketball well, has been doing a good job of attacking the glass to get rebounds, and getting his teammates involved in the games. You can tell that Dearring is having fun right now playing the game of basketball."

Dearring could not be more thrilled that he's now officially ended his recruitment and he hopes that he can continue to add to the history of the Badger basketball program.

"I liked the history of Wisconsin basketball," Dearring said. "I also liked the coaching staff. I know they can teach me a lot. They've always won, they are consistently ranked, and they make the tournament each year. There's a lot to like about the program."

"Dearring told me that he loves that they are a consistent winner and that he loves the facilities at Wisconsin and he has a great feel for Madison," Watts said. "Also assistant coach Greg Gard has been watching him play since his freshman year. Riley has a lot of respect for him and those two have formed a good relationship so far."

The Badgers have between two and three scholarships available for 2013.


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