The Wisconsin men’s basketball team’s recruiting class of 2013 generated a buzz that hasn’t been seen around the program in some time. And after the seasons that freshmen Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig put together in Wisconsin’s run to the Final Four, it’s no wonder why they were so highly touted coming out of high school.
It is safe to say that the 2014 recruiting class isn’t carrying as much publicity around it as last year’s class did, but the lone Badgers’ incoming scholarship player is doing his best to change that.
Ethan Happ, a power forward out of Taylor Ridge, Ill., is the only commit in Wisconsin’s incoming freshman class. Happ is a three-star recruit who is ranked 35th at his position, according to ESPN’s Recruiting Nation.
Happ doesn’t bring the buzz that Hayes or Koenig brought along with them to Madison, but he is getting there.
Representing the United States in the under-18 boys tournament in Mannheim and Viernheim, Germany, Happ helped lead his country to its first championship appearance in the tournament since 1996 while averaging a double-double with 19.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
Happ went for 29 points and 13 rebounds in a semifinal game against Serbia and put up 20 points and boards in the United States’ loss in the championship game to Italy.
The 6-foot-8 forward’s performance earned him the MVP trophy for the tournament.
Happ will try to break into a lineup that lost only one key player, Ben Brust, and a Wisconsin team that is picked by many to be in the top-five in national pre-season polls.