Finke Drawn In by Wisconsin Atmosphere

Making his second visit to the University of Wisconsin's campus, Champaign (Ill.) Centennial junior forward Michael Finke was impressed with the enjoyable atmosphere that Badgers' fans created.

MADISON - When he visited the Wisconsin campus in early August (a visit that yielded him his first BCS scholarship offer), Champaign (Ill.) Centennial junior forward Michael Finke allowed himself to envision what the atmosphere and environment would be like if he played in front of a packed house.

On Saturday, the 6-9, 200-pound Finke got an idea, taking an unofficial visit for the Badgers' nonconference football game against UTEP.

"The whole stadium and all the fans were into it, especially at the end of the third quarter when they did the ‘Jump Around,'" Finke told Badger Nation Saturday. "It was crazy to see them all getting into it. There were times of the game when all the students were doing things to enhance the atmosphere and make the game more enjoyable. It was fun to watch. I had a great time."

Going to the game with his parents and his brother, Finke spent most of the game with the Wisconsin coaching staff and spoke with head coach Bo Ryan at halftime. Since getting the offer, Finke says he talks to assistant coach Gary Close often and had Ryan and Close come down to Champaign on Thursday to watch him in an open gym.

"That showed that they cared," said Finke. "They knew I was coming, but them coming to watch me means a lot to me. There is something about Wisconsin that it just feels like a family. Everybody is so tight together and it brings everybody together. It's like the football game. The students start cheering and everybody gets involved. It seems like a really good environment."

Finke picked up his Wisconsin offer in early August and since that picked up an offer from Iowa, attend Purdue's elite camp in Indianapolis and visited Illinois. He's attended games at Illinois and Iowa and will attend Purdue on October 6.

Finke also has offers from Green Bay, Illinois-Chicago, Eastern Illinois, Loyola, North Dakota State, Nebraska-Omaha and others, but says the Badgers and the Hawkeyes are at the top.

"Wisconsin might have a little bit of an edge right now," said Finke.

Finke has also been talking to Missouri and Tennessee, and feels he is in no rush to make a decision before the start of his junior season.

"I am still gathering information," said Finke. "I am not in any rush. But if there is ever time I feel I found the right school and the right spot I'll commit."

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