Testing the UW Waters

Looking to narrow his impressive scholarship list down in the coming days, 2011 power forward Jarrod Uthoff needs all the help he can get to make his decision. Thinking about Wisconsin, Uthoff took about as close of a look as he possibly could last week.

MADISON - With one scholarship left to give in the 2011 recruiting class, the University of Wisconsin basketball team has its eyes locked on another big man to fit into its mold of success.

Why speculate with how Jarrod Uthoff could fit in with Wisconsin when the 6-foot-8, 200-pound power forward can make the short drive to play pickup basketball with the current roster?

Making his second visit to campus from Cedar Rapids (IA), Uthoff spent the better part of last Wednesday playing pickup basketball with the likes of Jon Leuer, Duje Dukan, Ben Brust and the rest of UW basketball squad.

"I really enjoyed playing with the guys," Uthoff told Badger Nation. "It was a great experience for me. All the guys seem like real nice guys and then can certainly play basketball."

His event in Madison would seem outlandish a couple of months ago, but Uthoff's recruiting has grown by leaps and bounds since he finished his junior season at Thomas Jefferson High.

Starting with scholarship offers from Albany (NY) and Northern Iowa, Uthoff's play with the AAU Iowa Barnstormers has seen him net offers from Butler, Creighton, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State and Wisconsin.

"It's been pretty crazy. I never expected this recruiting thing to be so crazy like this," he said. "I took a lot of visits, went out to a lot of campuses that my high school coach had sent out game tape to and had a lot of coaches come out and watch me. When I visited and they met me for the first time, they decided to offer."

That reoccurring theme was the norm by the time Uthoff made his first trip to Madison to tour the campus, see the facilities and sit down with Assistant Coach Gary Close and Head Coach Bo Ryan in his office.

"I had no idea that they were going to offer, so it kind of took me by surprise by Coach Ryan," Uthoff said. "He is a really funny guy, but I know he can be serious on the court."

An All-State selection as a junior, Uthoff averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds per game, earning Area Player of the Year honors. Uthoff shot 55 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line for a Jefferson H.S. team that qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 1999.

A forward that can attack the post or hit the perimeter jump shot, Wisconsin is one of the many schools hoping to be on Uthoff's final five list, which he plans to iron out in the next couple of days.

"I am really not sure of the schools on my list," said Uthoff, who wants to make his decision this summer. "It's going to be very tough. There are a lot of great schools that have offered me. They are all great options."

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