Badgers add three basketball recruits - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers add three basketball recruits

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MADISON (WKOW) -

 The Badgers men's basketball team added three recruits on the first day of the early signing period. Forwards Alex Illikainen and Charlie Thomas will join guard Brevin Pritzl as incoming freshmen next fall. Head coach Bo Ryan announced the signings Wednesday.

"We are extremely excited to have these three young men joining our program,” Ryan said. “They all have the potential to be very good players here at Wisconsin and are extraordinary people from terrific families. It's wonderful to see all the enthusiasm and excitement they have for this university and the people here."

Pritzl averaged 20.4 points per game as a junior at De Pere High School. The 6'3" guard is rated as one of the top 100 recruits in the nation. Pritzl says he envisions himself as a shooter in the mold of Ben Brust or Josh Gasser. Ryan sees a similar skill set.

"Brevin is one of the best shooters in the country in his class,” Ryan said. “His ability to continually improve his capability to score in a variety of ways has made him an extremely diverse scorer. As he continues to improve and develop, Badgers fans will undoubtedly have some exciting moments watching Brevin. The willingness to find the basket offensively will not be a problem for Brevin and I'm looking forward to helping him become even a more complete player in the future. It's been neat to watch one of the nation's best high school shooters grow up right here in Wisconsin. Brevin will be fun to coach and watch progress during his career at Wisconsin.”

Illikainen is also ranked as a top 100 player by several outlets. The 6'9" forward averaged 26.5 points and 15.2 rebounds per game as a junior at Grand Rapids High School in Minnesota before transferring to Brewster Academy this year to finish his prep career. Ryan believes Illikainen can be a well-rounded contributor.

“Alex is an individual we've had our eyes on for a long time and have enjoyed watching him mature into a very good player and fit for our program,” Ryan commented. “Wisconsin fans will love watching Alex play. He brings a ‘lunch pail and hard hat mentality' with him every time. His willingness to do the little things to help his team succeed are evident. You don't carom over 1,400 rebounds without some toughness and a fearlessness to stick your nose in some rough places. Alex's offensive game is becoming more diverse as he continues to develop. We're looking forward to working with Alex and are very excited to be the staff that will be able to help him develop both on and off the court.”

Thomas is not as highly ranked by the recruiting services but is considered a late-bloomer by some. The native of Clarksville, Maryland averaged 20.2 points and 11.3 rebounds as a junior at River Hill High School. Ryan believes his staff may have found a diamond in the rough with the 6'8" forward.

"Being a year young for his actual grade, we believe he's got a tremendous future as he continues to grow and develop his game. He's part of a wonderful family that understands the entire collegiate experience. His pedigree, with his Dad being a former player at Wake Forest, gives him a head start into a more complete comprehension of what it takes to being a successful student-athlete. His size, physicality and athleticism will be fun to watch take shape over the span of his career as a Badger. He's been exposed to excellent competition in the summer AAU circuit that I know will only help him blossom more here as he gets into a regimented routine and the player development aspect of our program. Our staff is looking forward to working with Charlie on and off the court over the next few years.”

The Badgers are also still in the running for the top recruit in the state. Dominican's Diamond Stone has Wisconsin on his final list of schools. However, the athletic big man has not made a final collegiate decision just yet.

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