Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Badgers' new Bruiser

Bo Ryan got his first commitment for the class of 2009 this week, a kid named Mike Bruesewitz from Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights, Minn. Looks like Minnesota, Iowa, Purdue, and Washington State were among the other schools after the Bruiser (easy nickname, right?).

Apparently he's a three-star kid, per Rivals, whatever that means. There's a good discussion on the commitment on Heavystarch's message board, here.

From what I've read, the kid's coach compares him to Krabby, which isn't bad, right? And guys who Bo signs and stick with the program for their entire college careers always end up contributing - even Jason Chappell.

Not sure how to feel about this. It's a pretty early commitment, and it sounds like this guy plays roughly the same position as Jamil Wilson of Racine, a much higher priority for us — in-state kid who's a national recruit, ranked #33 on Rivals' class of '09 list. I like the fact that he's smiling in this mug shot, not trying to look tough.

The thread mentioned above compares this to the situation we were in when Jerry Smith had a press conference scheduled to announce his intentions to attend Wisconsin, but canceled after we go a commitment from Jason Bohannon. That's the way I understood it as well, and when Smith committed to Louisville, it cleared the way for Trevon Hughes to make his way to Madison.

But ... last March at the Big Ten Tournament a smart person told me that it wasn't J-Bo's or Pop's commits that squeezed out Smith — it was J.P. Gavinski's. J.P., if you recall, committed really early in that class, which left room for only two of the three very good guards who wanted to come to Madison. Balance is one thing, and you always need height, but just think about how potent we'd be with Hughes-Bohannon-Smth right now.

So my point is, early commitments aren't bad, as long as they don't keep you from grabbing some higher-hanging fruit.

At the least, it keeps us viable in the Twin Cities even as Tubby builds his fence. Any of our Minnesota friends see this kid play or hear anything about him?

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