For the second time in two weeks, Wisconsin Basketball comes up empty with a top recruiting target.
Wisconsin Basketball’s recent recruiting struggles in the class of 2019 continue.
Last week, 4-star power forward EJ Liddell (Belleville, IL), a top target of Greg Gard and his staff who was expected to take an official visit to campus in October, released a Top 3 list that did not include Wisconsin.
Another top name came off the Badgers’ board this week.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 4-star power forward Robbie Beran has trimmed his list to seven schools, and Wisconsin is not among them. Prior to the cut, Beran had accumulated over 30 offers, with many of them flooding in over the summer as he enjoyed one of the most impressive AAU periods of any recruit in the nation. Wisconsin was one of them, as the Badgers offered Beran at the end of July after watching him during the July evaluation period.
The seven programs that remain in contention for Beran’s services are Northwestern, Maryland, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Boston College and Davidson.
Wisconsin’s failure to remain a significant player in Beran’s recruitment is not all that surprising, as Gard and company had been fighting an increasingly uphill battle ever since extending the offer.
As mentioned last week in my piece on EJ Liddell’s decision to leave the Badgers out of his top three, Wisconsin earns the majority of its victories on the recruiting trail by identifying talented prospects and forming a relationship with them and their families before other programs get involved.
This was not the dynamic that the staff had with Beran. Wisconsin was just one of several schools that decided to get involved in his recruitment after watching him explode onto the national recruiting scene at AAU events during the summer. With the gigantic offer list he ultimately developed, the odds of Wisconsin emerging at the top were never very promising.
That being said, the fact that the Badgers were not even able to make Beran’s Top 7 list is still pretty disappointing. They were successful in getting him on campus for an unofficial visit a few weeks back, and it is a bit concerning that the coaching staff’s pitch to him was not intriguing enough to warrant further consideration.
As I said in my post on that trip to Madison, Beran’s Sam Dekker-like game is almost a perfect fit for the style of play Wisconsin has unleashed with great success over the years, and you would think that selling point would have had some more potency with his camp.
At the end of the day, Wisconsin could very well be content with its current one-man 2019 class of 4-star small forward Tyler Wahl (Lakeville, MN). The Badgers will remain all-in on Top 40 forward Zeke Nnaji (Hopkins, MN), but in the likely event that he goes elsewhere, it would be advantageous to have that extra scholarship available for a 2020 class in which Wisconsin is pursuing several high-priority targets.