Rated: Van Vliet is not currently ranked by Scout.com.
On Film: The 6-11, 203-pound Van Vliet has drawn comparisons in his game to Tayshaun Prince and Frank Kaminsky, the latter of which will excited Wisconsin fans more than the former because of what Kaminsky developed into during his senior season under the watchful eyes of the Wisconsin coaching and strength staff.
The size of Van Vliet isn’t nearly as impressive as what he does with it, as his movements are fluid and his shot – particularly his mid-range game – looks consistently solid. He can put the ball on the floor and shoot off the dribble, which is critical in a transition game. His best attribute right now is his perimeter game, where stats suggest he makes between 30 and 35 percent of his attempts.
From the film I’ve seen, Van Vliet doesn’t draw a lot of contact in the post, which prevents him from getting to the free throw line. According to stats from the U20 European championship last summer, Van Vliet had only four free throws the entire tournament. On the flip side, he was in the top three in 3-point field goal attempts.
Strength and weight gain will be important over the coming years, especially on the defensive end. Van Vliet’s size demands he plays at the center position on his team. While he blocks a lot of shots, bigger players have the ability to push him off his mark. However, he has good agility and mobility with his feet to allow him to guard different positions at any place on the court. He’ll turn 20 in July, which likely means he’s a far ways off from reaching his full physical potential.
Recruiting Impact: Sources indicated to BadgerNation that the Wisconsin coaching staff wasn’t thrilled with the level of talent that was in the Midwest in 2016, as there weren’t made high level prospects in UW’s traditional recruiting region. It was one of the reasons why UW was fortunate to get tipped off to Van Vliet after the most recent Final Four.
With Van Vliet’s commitment, Wisconsin has one available scholarship which it can use in either the 2015 or 2016 recruiting class (UW’s only senior next season – Jordan Smith – is a walk-on). The player on the top of their board currently is Maverick Rowan, a four-star small forward at Fort Lauderdale (FL) Cardinal Gibbons by way of Pennsylvania. Wisconsin has visited Rowan – rated the No.30 overall prospect in 2016 – a number of times.
The storyline with Rowan is he’s reportedly considering reclassifying to the 2015 recruiting class. Should he do that, the Badgers are hopeful to get him on campus next month for a visit and make a strong push to get him. Louisville is currently considered the favorite.
UW also likes point guard Amir Coffey from Minneapolis and small forward Sam Hauser from Stevens Point. The Badgers have offered Coffey, who has missed considerable time with a knee injury, and are currently monitoring Hauser, who they like but are still evaluating because of their lack of scholarships.
Quotable: “I’ve been watching and following Wisconsin since last season. I was immediately attracted to the program. It’s actually funny because a couple of months ago I told a close friend of mine that it would be a dream come true if the University of Wisconsin ever reached out to me. And here we are. It really is a dream come true and I think it is a perfect fit for what I’m looking for. It’s the best place for me to be the best I can be academically and athletically.”- Andy Van Vliet
Final Thought: Needing to replace a lot of pieces off last year’s national runner-up team, Van Vliet brings a nice combination for Wisconsin that will likely help the Badgers immediately. While there will certainly be a transition, having Van Vliet play a year of professional basketball (as an amateur) puts him ahead of the curve compared to a high school prospect. He easily can turn into an impact player – and a fan favorite – for the Badgers as early as this season.