Even in his new role, Greg Gard can still make an impact recruiting in the state of Minnesota.
Continuing to pull prospects from a talent-rich Midwest state, Wisconsin added a verbal commitment from Lakeville North power forward Nathan Reuvers Wednesday, making him the second addition to the 2017 class.
"The people that I stopped and talked to during the day just made it seem like a really special place," Reuvers told BadgerNation, adding that the purpose of the visit was to commit in person.
Rated a three-star prospect, the 6-10 Reuvers picked up his offer in March after Gard - an interim head coach at the time - and associate coach Lamont Paris traveled to watch one of his regular season games. At the time the Badgers were his first power five conference offer and his 15th overall.
Since then he’s added 10 more, including scholarships from Illinois, Minnesota and Northwestern. He also had offers from Creighton and Marquette, but the Badgers stayed aggressive with him from the start.
"They recruited me harder than anyone," Reuvers said. "The whole staff flew out to my house last month (for an in-home visit). The education piece was big, too. Also they told me I was their No.1 guy they wanted."
Juxtapose to Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino, who offered Reuvers after Wisconsin did, never had an in-home visit with him and rarely called him. And considering the constant off-the-court problems the Gophers have been dealing with, Reuvers wasn't a fan of the program's culture.
Leading his team to a runner-up finish in the state tournament, Reuvers averaged 20 points, eight rebounds and four blocks per game his junior season.
"(Wisconsin) basically (will) use me at multiple positions," said Reuvers, who could possibly play the three or the four. "They want to use my versatility to score many different ways."
Although Wisconsin only has one current Minnesotan on the roster in Alex Illikainen, Gard has successfully recruited players like Jared Berggren, Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor out of the state.
Along with La Crosse (WI) Central four-star shooting guard Kobe King, Wisconsin has two commits in the 2017 class and two scholarships remaining.
Scout’s Ryan Easterling analysis of Reuvers from the Battle of the Lakes tournament in Minneapolis over the weekend
Reuvers is a long and lanky post that is skilled around the hoop. He can stretch the defense with his perimeter shooting to out beyond the three point arc. He definitely hasn’t seen a shot he doesn’t like as he gets shots up with even the slightest room. I would like to see him move the ball from time to time to create better looks.
Reuvers flashes spin moves in the lane with quality footwork and a soft touch around the rim. He hit the offensive glass well for second chance points. Reuvers will need to add strength going forward, especially in college. One of his most underrated strengths is how he runs the floor with ease. Reuvers has a lot of potential skill to work with and is a high major prospect.