December 30, 2013

2015 class dominated WBY event

MEQUON --The elite in-state prospects from the 2015 class were on full display at the three-day WBY Shootout.

The following is breakdown of those athletes, as well as other observations from the holiday event:

Prospect: Diamond Stone, 2015 center

Height/Weight/Location: 6-foot-10, 252 pounds from Whitefish Bay Dominican

Review: Stone, the No. 4 player in the 2015 class, combined for 53 points - 20 against Rice Lake and 33 against Catholic Memorial -and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career at Dominican. He physically dominated against an undersized Memorial squad with 10-plus dunks Saturday but showed his skill-set in the post against Henry Ellenson on Friday.

Stone moves well for his size, has soft hands and possesses decent range from 10 to 12 feet, though his shot could use some mechanical tweaks. His body began to transform this summer and the big man is in excellent shape as a junior. There are few chinks in Stone's armor at this point in his development.

Where Wisconsin fits in: Stone is clearly Wisconsin's top target in the 2015 class - Bo Ryan, Greg Gard and Lamont Paris all watched him play Friday. That said, he's also the top target for a number of other high-profile schools. North Carolina and Duke have already watched him play this winter and it's likely Stone will demand offers from just about every top basketball program in the country. Don't expect the five-star prospect to talk favorites or trim his list any time soon.

Prospect: Henry Ellenson, 2015 power forward

Height/Weight/Location: 6-foot-9, 240 pounds from Rice Lake

Review: Tucked away in Northern Wisconsin and playing AAU in Minnesota, this was the first chance many in the Milwaukee area had to see Ellenson compete live. And the four-star prospect didn't disappoint in the headlining game against Stone and Dominican on Friday. Ellenson chipped in 18 points in 56-42 win but did a number of other things to help contribute to the victory. Like Stone, Ellenson looks to be in excellent shape after dropping some weight this summer and fall. He handles the ball well for his size and though his shot is not yet consistent, he has great mechanics and should be able to stretch the floor. Shot selection should also improve as he develops.

Where Wisconsin fits in: Like Stone, Ellenson is a huge priority for Wisconsin in 2015. Things have been pretty quiet from his camp in regards to recruiting, but there has been talk that Ellenson would like to stay close to home. That would seem to favor Minnesota where his brother, Wally Ellenson, plays, as well as UW. Ellenson did note that North Carolina has entered the picture and it's likely that more high-profile schools follow suit in 2014.

Prospect: Cody Schwartz, 2015 forward

Height/Weight/Location: 6-foot-8, 180 pounds from West De Pere

Review: Schwartz led West De Pere to big wins over Racine Case and Marquette University. He teams with Chandler Diekvoss (Richmond signee) to create one of the better one-two punches in the state. Schwartz struggled with his outside shot a big at the Shootout but has proven in the past he can light it up from long distance. The biggest question at this point is where Schwartz projects. He doesn't appear to be ready physically to play the 4 and may not defend well enough on the perimeter to play the 3 at this point. Regardless, Schwartz, who currently has seven scholarship offers, is someone who can score in bunches on the offensive end.

Where Wisconsin fits in: Greg Gard watched Schwartz on Friday and a day later, the junior visited Wisconsin unofficially for the Badgers' win over Prairie View A&M. UW will be in the picture throughout his recruitment and it wouldn't be surprising to see Schwartz earn an offer later in the process.

Prospect: Matt Heldt, 2015 center

Height/Weight/Location: 6-foot-10, 225 pounds from Neenah

Review: Heldt has made huge strides from his sophomore to junior year. He played well in a win over Marquette on Friday but really shined in a 60-49 win over Ellenson and Rice Lake a day later. Heldt battled some foul trouble but dropped 25 points, many of which came against Ellenson in the post. He's not overly explosive on either end of the floor, but Heldt is developing into a very effective center with the ability to put up big numbers in the paint.

Where Wisconsin fits in: For Wisconsin, Stone and Ellenson grade out higher in comparison to Heldt at this point. However, the staff will continue to recruit Heldt, who would be a solid option if Wisconsin does not land one of its top two 'bigs' in this class. Gonzaga has started to show interest in Heldt, who already has offers from Green Bay, Milwaukee, Northern Illinois and Toledo. Look for that list to expand this winter and into the spring when he competes with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors on the AAU circuit.

Prospect: Brevin Pritzl, 2015 shooting guard

Height/Weight/Location: 6-foot-3, 170 pounds from De Pere

Review: De Pere went 0-2 at the WBY Shootout with losses to Arrowhead and Milwaukee Riverside, but Pritzl's stock rose after his two-day performance. The 2015 guard showed he's more than just a shooter and proved an ability to get to the basket and finish with either hand. Pritzl's also more athletic than expected and should blossom into a high-major player this spring and summer.

Where Wisconsin fits in: The Badgers have a handful of scholarships to play with in the 2015 class and Pritzl is someone who the staff will continue to evaluate. Comparison's to Iowa State's Matt Thomas will no doubt be floating around in 2014.

Other notables:

*Buffalo signee Lamonte Bearden is a big reason why Germantown extended its winning streak to 67 games. The 2014 point guard is smooth with the ball in his hands and controls tempo extremely well for the Warhawks, who defeated Milwaukee Vincent and Oshkosh North at the WBY Shootout. It's looking like head coach Bobby Hurley is getting a steal in Bearden.

*Milwaukee Vincent, a powerhouse under Tom Diener, could be making a climb back to the top. The Vikings currently have four freshmen competing and earning big minutes on varsity: Melvin Lee, Jamel White, Virshon Cotton and Jamal White. Similarly, Riverside has one of the better freshmen in the state in Terrence Lewis. Fellow members of the 2017 class, George Dixon and Jermaine Glosson, also play on varsity for Riverside.

*Keep an eye on Marquette's Garrison Goode, a 6-foot-7 forward. The junior played well in loses to Wisconsin Lutheran and Neenah. Goode looks good physically and could be athletic enough to play small forward at the next level.

*Wisconsin football commits Billy Hirschfeld (Arrowhead) and Dominic Cizauskas (Mukwonago) also competed at the WBY Shootout. Additionally, 2016 offensive tackle Ben Bredeson came off the bench for Arrowhead. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound sophomore figures to be one of the top football prospects in the Midwest.

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