Can any 2013 recruits have an impact like that of Sam Dekker in their freshman season?
Last week, the Wisconsin Badgers rounded out their six-man recruiting class, bringing the roster total to 17 players heading into the 2013-14 season.
It's a promising looking class, and considering how Wisconsin is losing its three starting forwards from this season, a few of the incoming freshmen—especially those who play the forward position—may be asked to contribute right off the bat.
As for the guard commits, playing time may be a little harder to come by. Sophomore Josh Gasser will return from a torn ACL while junior Ben Brust, sophomore Traevon Jackson and freshman George Marshall, who were all in the eight-man rotation this year, will also be back.
Let's get to know the 2013 recruiting class and statistically analyze each player's final high school season.
Height: 6'8" — Weight: 225 pounds
High school: Bowling Green (Ohio)
2012-13 statistics: 23.7 PPG, 13.0 RPG
Given a 2-star rating by ESPN and a 3-star rating by Rivals, Vitto Brown could very well find himself in Bo Ryan's rotation in his freshman season. He is an excellent rebounder and can also hold his own on the defensive end.
As you can see in the video, Brown developed a nice little 15-foot jump shot in his senior season, but mainly scored in the post during his high school career.
Does all of this sound familiar? He's almost a carbon copy of Ryan Evans, who recently completed his final season at Wisconsin. Obviously, fans hope that Brown can develop into a more complete player than Evans, and Brown is still working on utilizing his athleticism to its full capabilities.
His numbers are eye-popping, and throughout his time in Madison, Brown should develop into a very nice player for the Badgers. Look for him to compete for a rotation spot right away.
Height: 6'4" — Weight: 170 pounds
High school: Minnetonka (Minnesota)
2012-13 statistics: 14.5 PPG
A bit of an early bloomer, Riley Dearring had to adjust his game in high school and become more of an outside shooter. With 3-star ratings from both ESPN and Rivals, Dearring has a good feel for the game but needs to build on his wiry frame.
His versatility is what could help Dearring break into the rotation at some point in his college career. He can defend at the 1, 2 or 3, and it's his quickness and athleticism that allows him to do so.
It's just a matter of Dearring getting big enough to handle the rigors of Big Ten play and becoming a more consistent player overall. With so many returning guards, Dearring may be in line for a redshirt and likely wouldn't play at all in his freshman season either way, but his shooting ability could be what helps him eventually break through.
Height: 6'7" — Weight: 215 pounds
High school: Witmer (Ohio)
2012-13 statistics: 16.2 PPG, 8.8 RPG
Somehow, someway, the Badgers went into Ohio and kept Nigel Hayes away from the Ohio State Buckeyes. A top 100 prospect from the 2013 class and a 4-star recruit according to ESPN, Hayes was a top priority for Ryan and Wisconsin, and they got their man.
Like Brown, it's entirely possible that Hayes sees significant minutes in his freshman season for the Badgers. He's a pretty good face-up shooter, can score out of the post and rebounds well. Hayes also uses his length to disrupt on defense and block shots.
The only returning forwards who saw decent playing time for Wisconsin last season were freshman Sam Dekker and sophomore Frank Kaminsky. It will be interesting to see if Ryan goes with a guard-heavy lineup or continues to start three forwards, because that would potentially mean Hayes earns the starting nod for the Badgers next season.
Height: 6'3" — Weight: 170 pounds
High school: Phillips Exeter Academy (New Hampshire)
2012-13 statistics: 14.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.5 SPG
Given a 2-star rating by ESPN, Jordan Hill is the second off-guard to make this list along with Dearring. It's difficult to classify Hill as a shooting guard because he has to work on his outside shot, but he is already an explosive player thanks to his ability to penetrate the defense.
His rebounding numbers are impressive for a player of his stature, and like Dearring, he could be in line for a redshirt because he must put on more weight. As a guard at Wisconsin, Hill will need to develop his shot considering how often the Badgers shoot the three, but his burst may result in him being more of a creator.
Creating isn't something Hill did much of in his senior season, however, so shooting and facilitating are two areas he will have to improve on if he wants to one day break into the starting lineup for the Badgers.
Height: 6'3" — Weight: 180 pounds
High school: La Crosse Aquinas (Wisconsin)
2012-13 statistics: 17.3 PPG, 4.0 APG
Perhaps the most prized 2013 commit for Wisconsin, Bronson Koenig will be the only Wisconsinite to join the Badgers under scholarship next season. This is rather surprising considering how Koenig received offers from both Duke and North Carolina and strong interest from Kansas.
He was given a 4-star rating by Rivals and a 3-star rating by ESPN. If you watched him in the Division III high school state tournament this year, you can tell that Koenig is college-ready simply based on his overall demeanor on the court.
Koenig could ultimately become the guy who always has the ball in his hands with the shot clock winding down because of his incredible vision and pull-up jump shot.
His defense needs to come along, and that could be what prevents him from playing much immediately—combined with the good depth Wisconsin already has at the guard position. So even though Koenig is arguably the top Wisconsin commit, it will be tough for him to earn playing time early in his college career.
Height: 6'7" — Weight: 200 pounds
High school: Green Bay Southwest (Wisconsin)
2012-13 statistics: 18.0 PPG
Rounding out the Badgers' 2013 recruiting class, Aaron Moesch received preferred walk-on status from Wisconsin on March 1 (via Phil Mitten of Bucky's 5th Quarter).
Adding Moesch isn't a terrible idea considering the question marks the Badgers have at forward past Dekker and Kaminsky heading into next season. His body isn't Big Ten ready, and it's unclear whether or not Moesch will ever contribute much at Wisconsin, but he has some upside because of his ability to handle the ball and shoot from outside.
He even has some decent vision for a big guy, although he would fall more into a small forward role at the college level. His improvement between his junior and senior season is what helped put Moesch in this position, and we'll see if he can become a feel-good story throughout his tenure at Madison.