University of Wisconsin men's basketball coach Bo Ryan announced Thursday that high school seniors Joe Krabbenhoft, Marcus Landry and Phillip Perry have signed national letters of intent to attend the University of Wisconsin and play basketball for the Badgers beginning in the fall of 2005.
The national early signing period began Wednesday and continues through Nov. 17. Wisconsin has one more scholarship available that it could use next year, but is expected to "bank" that scholarship for use with its 2006 class.
"We are extremely excited to have these three young men joining our program," Ryan said in a press release. "They all have the potential to be very good players here at Wisconsin and are extraordinary people from terrific families. It is wonderful to see all the enthusiasm and excitement they have for this university and the people here."
Wisconsin's recruiting class was the only Big Ten class to make Scout.com's top 25, coming in at No. 23 in the nation. The star of the class is Krabbenhoft, a 6-foot-7, 215-pound guard/forward who is considered the best recruit going to any Big Ten program.
"Wisconsin fans will love watching Joe play," Ryan said. "He brings a ‘lunch pail and hard hat mentality' with him to play every time. His toughness, relentlessness, and high basketball IQ is something our staff fell in love with the first time we saw him play."
Krabbenhoft, ranked No. 63 overall and the No. 18 small forward in the nation by Scout.com, averaged 21 points, 12 rebounds and four assists as a junior at Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls, S.D. He missed the start of his junior season while recovering from a stress fracture in his left foot and missed the end of that campaign after breaking his left foot.
Prior to the injury, he led his team to the state tournament, scoring a school-record 37 points in the sectional game. A first-team all-state selection as a sophomore, he was a second-team choice last year. He is a two-time all-city and all-conference performer.
"His game is very diverse and he has the ability to play multiple positions in our system," Ryan said. "We're looking forward to working with Joe and are very excited to be the staff that will be able to help him develop both on and off the court."
Krabbenhoft spent the summer recovering from the broken foot, receiving treatment from the same Madison specialist who worked with Badger sophomore forward Alando Tucker. The injury has healed to the point where Krabbenhoft can play competitively, as he did last week in a tournament in Middleton, Wis.
One of the top two recruits in the state of Wisconsin and the No. 80 player in the nation, Landry is a 6-7, 210-pound forward from Vincent High School in Milwaukee. Last year he averaged 13 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks while earning Associated Press first-team all-state honors. He also led Vincent to the 2004 WIAA State Tournament and was an all-conference selection.
"Marcus plays with a relentless attitude that we absolutely love," Ryan said. "As he continues to improve and develop, Badger fans will undoubtedly have some exciting moments watching Marcus."
At a press conference announcing his verbal commitment to Wisconsin in August, Landry said he expected to play small forward for the Badgers.
"He has the athleticism and demeanor to be a terrific defender at virtually every position," Ryan said. "His offensive game is developing and improving at a rapid rate that will allow him to play multiple positions for us in the future. Marcus will be fun to coach and watch progress during his career at Wisconsin."
"Mickey" Perry, 6-2, 165, considered a top 125 prospect, was an honorable mention all-state selection last year at Proviso East High School. A native of Maywood, Ill., Perry averaged 18.5 points, five rebounds and four assists as a junior. The combo guard was named team MVP and was an all-conference selection.
"Mickey brings a scorer's mentality to the table," said Ryan. "He can shoot the basketball extremely well and is improving his strength and ability to score in a variety of ways. He has an enthusiasm and passion for this university that is second to none. We're looking forward to helping Mickey continue on his path of development. His basketball IQ is very good, thus allowing him the capability to play multiple positions on the perimeter. We're very excited to have Mickey as a member of our basketball family."
Ryan was pleased with the overall makeup of the class.
"Our coaching staff did a tremendous job identifying, evaluating and recruiting each of these fine young men. The relationships that have been built between our staff, our current players, along with Joe, Marcus and Mickey, and their respective families have been fantastic," Ryan said. "Joe, Marcus and Mickey all have a burning desire to be Wisconsin Badgers and to experience success both on and off the basketball court during their upcoming college careers."