MADISON – It took longer than expected, but the University of Wisconsin has finally found its future point guard.
On his official visit to campus over the weekend, IMG Academy senior guard D'Mitrik Trice gave his commitment to the Badgers and will join the program this fall. If that wasn’t enticing enough, the Badgers also offered and accepted the verbal commitment of Trice’s teammate in small forward Aleem Ford.
“We’re extremely excited,” Travis Trice Sr. told BadgerNation. “We’ve known for a while. D’Mitrik’s biggest thing was he was so excited about the offer and his game fitting well to the Wisconsin system. One of the things he wanted to do to get up there. He had a great idea what the culture is and what it looks like. He wanted to come make sure for himself and see it for himself. He was already sold on the system and the coaches and just wanted to meet the guys. He was not disappointed.”
The 5-11, 180-pound Trice picked Wisconsin over offers from DePaul, Ohio State, Vanderbilt and other schools that were showing interest. Trice is originally from Huber Heights, OH, and is the younger brother of former Michigan State standout Travis Trice Jr., but didn’t get recruited as highly because of his commitment to the school’s football team and only weighing 158 pounds at graduation.
“He’s work unbelievably hard,” Trice Sr. said. “His work ethic has never been questioned. He has always been an incredible worker. He goes to the classroom and just try to be a great person. He works hard at those things … His school would go so deep in the football tournament that it would affect basketball. They played a tough schedule and it would take him half a season to get his legs. It was his decision to go off to IMG Academy and solely his. The reasoning was he wanted to focus just on basketball and on his body. That’s what he’s done, and he’s Big Ten ready.”
A 6-7 forward who can spread the floor, defend and play inside or out, Ford had multiple mid-major offers and a power-five conference offer from Rutgers. He was considering taking an official visit to Butler next weekend and Michigan had shown some late interest.
“Those two guys are extremely close,” Trice Sr. said. “They’ve become best friends. We’ve spent a lot of time with (Aleem), and Aleem is like family. We’ve grown very fond of him. (Playing together) is something they’ve thought about halfway through the season that they would love to give an opportunity to play together. These guys are going to be great assets, and they’re getting the chance to come in and do it together.”
Wisconsin now turns its attention to the 2017 class, where it has one commitment (four-star shooting guard Kobe King) and three open scholarships.