MADISON – It appears no guard wants to play for the University of Wisconsin in 2016.
Despite coming off back-to-back Final Four seasons and offering the opportunity for early playing time, the Badgers have seen three four-star point guards (JaQuori McLaughlin, Payton Pritchard as and Xavier Simpson) turn down Wisconsin for various reasons.
Minutes ago, Garfield Heights (OH) three-star combo guard Frankie Hughes passed on the Badgers in favor of Louisville, leaving Wisconsin’s one vacant scholarship in the 2016 recruiting class still available three weeks from the start of the early signing period.
As of today, Wisconsin doesn’t have a committable scholarship out to any 2016 prospects. With the Badgers ideally wanting to find junior Bronson Koenig’s replacement in this class, here are some seniors who have been recently tied to the Badgers.
Maishe Dailey - Beachwood (OH) High School
Dailey received over a dozen offers during the July evaluation period but they are all of the mid-major variety. Recently announcing he was reclassifying to the 2017 class, Dailey now has seen a number of Power Five schools show interest, especially Big Ten schools Illinois, Michigan (he visited for a football game earlier this month) and Purdue. However, both Rutgers and Wisconsin have been in contact with him for the 2016 class.
Wisconsin contacted Dailey’s head coach last week and associate head coach Greg Gard is expected to visit the school this week, although Dailey said today he doesn’t know when. At 6-6, Daily brings immediate size and length to the position. More importantly, he says he has a lot interest in Wisconsin.
Kobe Gantz – Lancaster (PA) McCaskey
If Gantz’s test scores were higher, he would likely have offers from a lot of schools, including Wisconsin. Instead he only has a handful of mid-major offers. Gard has been in contact with Gantz for some time, and Gantz was impressive at Wisconsin’s team camp over the summer. A UW offer would be huge for Gantz but it’s all academic at this point.
Justin Thomas – Indianapolis (IN) Pike
The 6-0, 175-pound Thomas averaged 13.1 points, 3.7 assists and 2.9 steals his junior season but hasn’t drawn much attention on the recruiting circuit, only holding an offer from Western Illinois. Another prospect Gard has reached out to this month, Thomas isn’t opposed to signing in the spring after his senior season.
Trevor Anderson – Stevens Point
A current commit to Green Bay, Anderson averaged 23 points and 5.4 assists as a junior to lead his team to a WIAA Division 1 state championship. He also broke the school’s all-time scoring record earlier in the season, which had stood since 1972. Andersen reportedly had a walk-on offer from Wisconsin but choose the Phoenix, who made him a priority instead of a plan B.
“I think I can bring leadership and just a mentality that we are not going to lose and we are not going to accept losing,” Anderson told the Stevens Point Journal after committing. “As soon as I get on campus, I’m going to try to get everyone in the gym and just be a gym rat. Constantly in the gym working.
“I’ve been overlooked forever. Being a 6-2 guard, I get overlooked everywhere I go. I think they understand that and I want to come in with a chip on my shoulder.”