Saturday, November 29, 2008

Diamond and Bruiser

Basketball's early signing day passed several weeks ago without much fanfare. Diamond Taylor and Mike Bruesewitz made official their intentions to play for Wisconsin, which pleased me.

It's a solid two-man class. In Taylor, you have a combo guard, the kind we need more of on our roster. In Bruesewitz, you have a forward who can bang inside or play a little on the perimeter. Both seem to be good fits for Bo Ryan's Swing offense, and after signing two 7-footers last year, adding perimeter depth makes sense.

The Big Ten Network's coverage of signing day didn't spend much time on our guys, other than to say that it was fitting that a guy nicknamed "Bruiser" would end up in Madison, and another play on words involving Taylor's first name. Overall it seems like a pretty blah year in Big Ten recruiting, with next year being pretty big. With Evan Anderson and Vander Blue in the fold, we're poised for a great class.

Two other things:

-It appears Jamil Wilson has narrowed his three to Michigan State, Texas, and Oregon. Apparently Marquette has been jerking him around lately, pulling its offer than reintroducing it through Wilson's dad, and he took them off his list. Is there still a chance he ends up in Madison?

-Rivals recruiting analyst Dave Telep assessed a number of the Big Ten classes, leading off with Indiana's. He led with something like this: "For Tom Crean, it's always been about threes. When he went to the Final Four he had Dwayne Wade, Rob Jackson, and Travis Diener. Then he had Dominic James, Jerel McNeal, and Wesley Matthews, and he won a ton of games."

I'll say it again: has anyone in the coaching profession gotten more mileage out of winning four games than Tom Crean? Aside from riding Wade to the Final Four in 2003, Crean won exactly one NCAA Tournament game in his other eight seasons at Marquette. He'll probably do OK at his new job, but geez, if he win the Big Ten Tournament some year you half expect him to use it as a springboard to run for governor of Indiana.

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