Koenig Sees a Special Group

Watching the Wisconsin recruiting class develop over the past 13 months, La Crosse (Wis.) Aquinas senior point guard Bronson Koenig likes the group the Badgers have put together, especially after spending time with Vitto Brown, Riley Dearring and Jordan Hill last weekend.

MADISON - Ending his recruiting process more than a year before the beginning of his signing period, La Crosse Aquinas point guard Bronson Koenig anxiously awaited word of who his future classmates would be in Wisconsin's 2013 signing class.

Watching the class develop like any other Wisconsin fan, Koenig has no early complaints about getting the chance to play and get to know Bowling Green (OH) forward Vitto Brown, Minnetonka (MN) forward Riley Dearring and Phillips Exeter (NH) guard Jordan Hill, as all four of them spent last weekend together on campus for the first time.

"I'm really happy, even though I don't really know them that well yet," Koenig told Badger Nation. "I thought they were really cool guys and I can see us playing well together. I can see us becoming really good friends and teammates."

With everyone on their official visits except Koenig, the group took in Wisconsin football's 31-14 victory over Illinois and started building the foundation.

"It was a relief not to recruit those guys, knowing that those guys were already coming," said Koenig. "It was nice to be able to sit down and get to know each other."

Dearring was the second commit in the class (pledging to the Badgers in July) and has crossed past with Koenig before.

"I've played against Riley in the past at camps because I've been to camps (in Minneapolis)," said Koenig. "He's always been a really good player. I've played against him in the AAU circuit. I really like his game. He's a good shooter and just a solid player that coach Ryan will be able to develop really well in a couple years once he get stronger."

Koenig also briefly played against Brown (the most recent commit to Wisconsin in September) on the AAU circuit.

"We played against each other this last summer," said Koenig. "He looks like he has a really solid body and the coaching staff told me he is really skilled an athletics on the court. I think he is another one of those guys that will develop really well."

The only player Koenig wasn't familiar with was Hill (who committed in early August), who played prep basketball in Pasadena, Calif., before heading to the northeast to play in a college prep school. That hasn't stopped Koenig from getting to know Hill, as well as Brown and Dearring, through Twitter.

"It's been pretty nice that we're all on Twitter," said Koenig. "We all talk every now and then."

Koenig is still wearing his recruiting hat, as the four-star point guard has continued to talk to Toledo (OH) Whitmer forward Nigel Hayes. Hayes took an official visit to Wisconsin for the season opener, is the only senior with a valid offer from the Badgers and has been getting a sales pitch from Koenig.

"I called him the other night last week and we talked for quite a bit," said Koenig. "He said he likes Wisconsin and everything, but I haven't talked to him since he got back from Ohio State. I am not really sure where we are with him right now. I'll probably call or text him soon."

With plans to lead his team this season to its second state championship under his guidance, Koenig plans to take his official visit to Wisconsin on Oct.20 for the Minnesota game. He also hopes to shake off a nagging turf toe injury that he suffered when he scrimmaged with the Badgers prior to the Northern Iowa-Wisconsin football game.

The one benefit of the injury as allowed Koenig to work solely on his upper body.

"I've been lifting for nine straight weeks," said Koenig. "I'm almost 185 now. I'm trying to get more athletic and stronger. I am going to try and get in shape by running some hills and get ready for the start of the season."

After missing most of last season with a torn ligament in his thumb, Koenig is ready to start competing with a chip on his shoulder.

"I feel like I have a lot to prove this year, especially since I didn't feel I had a chance to play last year," said Koenig. "This summer didn't go as well as I hoped it would, so I am pretty hungry to get back on the court. I feel like I have a lot to prove since people haven't seen me play, and I haven't played up to my full potential for a long time."

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