Wisconsin Basketball Recruiting: Meet the Badgers' 2013 Class

Dave RadcliffeContributor IIIApril 17, 2013

Wisconsin Basketball Recruiting: Meet the Badgers' 2013 Class

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    The Wisconsin basketball program signed six players from the class of 2013.

    It's a promising class for the Badgers, who lost three starting forwards last season in Jared Berggren, Mike Bruesewitz and Ryan Evans. Wisconsin also lost a few bench players, leaving them with several spots to fill heading into next season.

    Considering the noticeable loss of talent in the frontcourt, it will be interesting to see if head coach Bo Ryan moves to a three-guard lineup and which first-year players contribute right off the bat.

    It's time to meet the Badgers' 2013 class and break down their strengths, weaknesses and projected roles.  

Vitto Brown, F

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    Breakdown

    Out of Bowling Green High School in Ohio, Vitto Brown received a 2-star rating from ESPN and a 3-star rating from Rivals. At 6'8" and 225 pounds, Brown had an excellent senior season, averaging 23.7 points and 13 rebounds per game. He signed on Nov. 14 (via UWBadgers.com).

     

    Strengths

    Brown is an excellent rebounder and can also hold his own on the defensive end. Based on the above video, Brown appears to have developed a 15-foot jump shot during his senior season, but he mainly scored from the post throughout his high school career. 

     

    Weaknesses

    While Brown is very athletic, he needs to develop into a more complete player and is still working on utilizing his athleticism to its fullest capability. 

     

    Projected Role

    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 because of the lack of depth at forward—maybe even a starting spot if Ryan sticks with three forwards in the lineup.

Riley Dearring, G

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    Breakdown

    Riley Dearring is a 6'4" guard out of Minnetonka (Minn.) High School who averaged 14.5 PPG in his senior season. Both ESPN and Rivals gave him a 3-star rating.

     

    Strengths

    Dearring was a bit of an early bloomer and had to adjust his game in high school, but he has a great feel for the game as a result. He's very versatile and can defend at the 1, 2 or 3 because of his quickness and athleticism. Dearring is also probably the best outside shooter of Wisconsin's 2013 class.

     

    Weaknesses

    At only 170 pounds, Dearring needs to build on his wiry frame so he can handle the rigors of Big Ten play. While he may be a good shooter, Dearring needs to be more consistent letting it fly off the dribble, and he has to move off the ball better to set himself up for better shots.

     

    Projected Role

    With so many returning guards, Dearring may be in line for a redshirt and likely wouldn't play much in his freshman season either way, but his shooting stroke and ability to defend multiple positions could change that, especially considering the shooting woes Wisconsin had last season.

Nigel Hayes, F

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    Breakdown

    The second prospect stolen from the Buckeye state, Nigel Hayes is a 6'7" forward out of Whitmer (Ohio) High School. A 4-star recruit and Top 100 prospect, according to ESPN, he received three stars from Rivals after averaging 16.2 PPG and 8.8 RPG his senior season.

     

    Strengths

    Hayes is a pretty good face-up shooter and has range back to the three-point arc. He can also score out of the post and rebounds well because of his length. Hayes also uses that length to disrupt and block shots on the defensive end.

     

    Weaknesses

    At 215 pounds, Hayes could stand to add some bulk to his frame as someone who needs to bang around in the post to gain position. Speaking of the post, Hayes is still developing his moves on the block.

     

    Projected Role

    Like Brown, it's entirely possible that Hayes sees significant minutes in his freshman season for the Badgers. The only returning forwards who saw decent playing time for Wisconsin last season were freshman Sam Dekker and sophomore Frank Kaminsky.

Jordan Hill, G

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    Breakdown

    Jordan Hill is out of Phillips Exeter Academy (New Hampshire), where he averaged 14.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 2.5 steals per game in his senior season. A 2-star recruit (per ESPN), he comes in at 6'3", 170 pounds. 

     

    Strengths

    Hill is an explosive player because of his ability to penetrate the defense off the dribble. His rebounding numbers are impressive for a guard, so despite his size, he doesn't appear to be afraid to enter the land of the giants.

     

    Weaknesses

    It's difficult to classify Hill as a shooting guard—he's more of an off-guard—because he has to work on his outside shot. Even though he has a nice burst, that didn't result in him creating much for teammates during his senior season, so shooting and facilitating are two areas of concern for Hill.

     

    Projected Role

    Like Dearring, Hill 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. Between Dearring and Hill, Hill is more likely to receive a redshirt.

Bronson Koenig, G

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    Breakdown

    Out of La Crosse (Wisconsin) High School, Bronson Koenig is a 4-star recruit (per Rivals) or 3-star recruit (per ESPN) depending on your scouting preference. He's a 6'3" guard who averaged 17.3 PPG and 4.0 APG in his senior season.

     

    Strengths

    Perhaps the most prized 2013 commit for Wisconsin, Koenig also received offers from both Duke and North Carolina and strong interest from Kansas. 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.

     

    Weaknesses

    His defense needs to come along, and that could be what prevents him from playing much immediately. Koenig can also have trouble beating his man off the dribble and handling with his left hand under pressure. At 180 pounds, it wouldn't hurt if Koenig put on some more muscle.

     

    Projected Role

    Koenig could wind up being a special player for the Badgers. He has the talent to contribute right away, so he probably won't redshirt even with the bevy of guards on Wisconsin's roster. Koenig could even assume the sixth-man role a la Dekker in his freshman season. 

Aaron Moesch, F

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    Breakdown

    A 6'7" forward out of Green Bay Southwest High School, Aaron Moesch is the sixth and final 2013 signing for Wisconsin. He received preferred walk-on status on April 4 (via Jim Polzin of the Wisconsin State Journal), averaging 18.4 PPG and 12.1 RPG in his senior season.

     

    Strengths

    Moesch has some upside because of his ability to handle the basketball and shoot from outside. He also has pretty good vision for someone of his stature, and that is in large part due to his high basketball IQ and ability to learn quickly on the court.

     

    Weaknesses

    His body isn't Big Ten ready, as Moesch only weighs in at 200 pounds. He made great strides between his junior and senior season and looks to be a player with more of a guard skill set than a guy who will battle down low. 

     

    Projected Role

    Adding Moesch isn't a terrible idea, considering the question marks the Badgers have at forward past Dekker and Kaminsky heading into next season. Still, it's unclear whether Moesch will ever contribute much at Wisconsin. Here's to hoping he one day becomes a feel-good story at Madison.