Badgers sign five recruits to class of 2013

MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball program officially has its 2013 recruiting class signed and sealed.

The Badgers announced Thursday that high school seniors Vitto Brown, Riley Dearring, Nigel Hayes, Jordan Hill and Bronson Koenig all signed their National Letters of Intent to Wisconsin and will begin attending classes in the fall of 2013.

Brown, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward from Bowling Green, Ohio, was an honorable mention all-state selection as a junior, when he averaged 20 points and 12 rebounds per game.

“Vitto brings immediate size and physicality to our future front lines,” Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said in a release. “He’s got a college-ready body, plus a 7-foot-2 wingspan and can cover a lot of ground in a short time. He really played well at our team camp this past summer and has improved immensely over the past 18 months.”

Ryan also noted Brown’s ability to block shots, handle the ball in transition and make 3-point shots as skills that will allow him to flourish in Wisconsin’s swing offensive system.

Dearring, a 6-5, 180-pound guard from Minnetonka, Minn., averaged 15 points, four rebounds and two assists per game as a junior last season. He is a four-year varsity player who is approaching 1,000 career points.

Ryan called Dearring a natural scorer who can play multiple perimeter positions.

Hayes averaged 14 points and nine rebounds per game last season at Whitmer High School in Toledo, Ohio. The 6-7, 230-pound forward is already the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots. He was a second-team all-state honoree and was named to the 2012 OHSAA Division I state tournament team.

“He’s got a great nose for the ball, can rebound out of his area and has worked really hard to make himself a perimeter threat,” Ryan said. “Nigel’s potential is sky-high, and I know our coaching staff is eager to help him develop into the player we think he can be.”

Hill eared first-team all league honors as a senior at LaSalle High School in Pasadena, Calif., after tallying 15.5 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals per game. The 6-3, 175-pound guard is attending Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., for the 2012-13 school year.

“His length, quickness and demeanor can help him become an exceptional defender in time,” Ryan said. “He’s very young for his grade, so we believe his ceiling is still very high.”

Koenig, a native of La Crosse, Wis., averaged 18 points, four rebounds and 3.5 assists at Aquinas High School last season as a junior. The 6-3, 180-pound guard missed most of the season with an injury and had his breakout season as a sophomore, when he led his team to the 2010 Division 3 state championship. That season, he averaged 17 points and three assists per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field.

Ryan said Wisconsin’s coaches first saw Koenig as a freshman at one of the program’s advanced instruction camps and remained in contact with him ever since.

“Bronson has exceptional court vision, great feel for the game and has the ability to take over a game or makes plays for his teammates,” Ryan said. “He also wants to be really good and play for championships. All the best guards we’ve had through the eyars have had that internal drive and motor to be the best, and Bronson definitely has those traits.”

Wisconsin loses five seniors following this season: guard Dan Fahey, guard J.D. Wise, forward Mike Bruesewitz, forward Ryan Evans and center Jared Berggren.

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