D'Mitrik Trice likes to think he knows his Big Ten basketball.
Although he currently plays basketball at IMG Academy in Florida, Trice grew up in Huber Heights, OH, (about an hour away from Columbus) and saw his older brother, Travis Trice, be a standout player for Michigan State.
So since he knows a good Big Ten school when he sees one, the 6-1, 177-pound point guard struggled to hide his excitement after picking up a scholarship offer from Wisconsin on Thursday.
“This is huge,” Trice told BadgerNation. “It’s everything I have ever dreamed of. I can’t even really explain it. It hasn’t even all sunk in yet.”
Having one available scholarship in the 2016 recruiting class, the Badgers’ valiant effort to sign a point guard in the fall fell short, getting turned down by three four-star prospects leading up to November’s signing period.
Now with two available scholarships in 2016 and four more for 2017, head coach Greg Gard has said previously the Badgers were going to do everything they could to find a 2016 prospect who fit what they were looking for, not excited about the alternative of rolling over another scholarship.
Trice started hearing from Wisconsin in the fall and said assistant coach Lamont Paris came down to watch a game. The Badgers continued to stay in touch, but things took a big jump forward when Paris and Gard came down to IMG Academy to watch him work out in an open gym on the first day of the live recruiting period.
“I really think they saw how I looked in person,” Trice said on why he felt UW offered. “That was the first time Coach Gard saw me in person. He had seen me on film and really liked what he saw and what I did. He said he really liked everything that I brought to the table.”
Wisconsin joins DePaul as the only offers Trice is aware of, but other schools are certainly interested. Ohio State’s coaching staff joined the Badgers in watching the point guard during the open gym, and Trice said he’s hearing from Memphis, Stanford and Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt.
It appears his gamble paid off by not signing his national letter of intent in the fall, turning down a handful of MAC offers in the process.
“I really did feel like the schools that were recruiting me, I could have done better,” Trice said. “I never had a chance to develop my body as well as I wanted to with me playing football in the fall. While other guys were doing basketball workouts, I was doing things with football team. Coming to IMG really helped me develop as a player.”
Trice averaged 12 points, seven assists and four rebounds per game. Since arriving at IMG in August, Trice has added “a solid 15 pounds.”
“I gained weight and got quicker, stronger and faster,” Trice said.
While the early signing period in November lasts only a week, the spring signing period starts April 13 and extends until August 1. That will allow Trice to take official visits to the schools who have offered and make his decision off that.
“That will be a big benefit to me for when I sign, because I think it’s all about getting on campus and seeing what the guys are about,” Trice said. “(My decision) would come directly off those visits.”