The Badgers added some much needed athleticsm to their 2013 class by getting a commit from Minnetonka, Minnesota native Riley Dearring. Badgers assistant coach Greg Gard has been recruiting Dearring and got a chance to look at him the past two days right here in Wisconsin. Dearring and his AAU team "Net Gain" has been playing at the Under Armour Summer Jam 2K12 at Homestead High School.
Well, Gard must have really liked what he saw, because this morning he offered Dearring. Before a game Thursday afternoon Dearring was in his hotel room making a call. That call was to Gard, letting him know he wanted to be a Badger.
Here's a reaction straight from Dearring's twitter account. He has been retweeting people congratulating him all day.
All the blood, sweat, and tears finally paid off! Gotta keep working! Thanks everyone for all the support! #Badgers— riley dearring (@R_24_Dearring) July 19, 2012
Dearring measures at 6'4" and 170 pounds. He is unranked by rivals, but was previously rated the 19th best small forward in the 2013 class. Dearring attends DeLasallee high school in the Minneapolis area. He currently plays small forward but is a tad bit too small for the 3 in college ball. He'll probably play a combo of shooting guard and small forward for the Badgers, joining point guard Bronson Koenig as the 2nd 2013 in the Badgers' backcourt.
What struck Gard about Dearring? Well first of all, Dearring is extremley athletic. Wisconsin is a program that is highly criticized for throwing out stiffs out on the court and running their slow, boring, low tempo offense. Well, this kid should help minimize that. If he ever finds his way out on the court he'll provide explosive drives. He's pretty good at getting to the rim and is a skilled finisher. The Badgers haven't had a premiere go-to offensive option since Alando Tucker in 2007, so this offering could be aimed at that. I'm not saying Dearring is the next Alando Tucker, I'm saying he'll be a big help on the offensive end for the Badgers.
One negative of Dearring is that sometimes he can find himself getting out of control which leads to high turnover rates. He also has a tendencie to take bad shots. I wouldn't worry about those two problems right now as he still has another year to mature and get better. Plus, if anyone can stop those bad tendencies, it's Bo Ryan and his staff. The effeciency and IQ that's needed to play in Bo's system is something Dearring will have to develop if he wants to get minutes.
The one headscratcher of this offering is the Badgers' depth at shooting guard. Brust and Gasser are on board for 2 more years while incoming freshman Zac Showalter will have 4, possibly 5 years left at UW. While Dearring is a bit undersized, the depth at shooting guard could be an indication that the Badgers are bringing him in to play his current position, small forward.
Overall, this was a good signing for the Badgers. I see Dearring as a hit or miss prospect. When he's on, he's an elite scorer and can carry an offense. But when he's having a bad day he can be a nightmare. He certainly does have a big upside and a bright future if he keeps up the hard work. He will certainly be a very interesting project for Bo Ryan and company, as it's not every day athletic scoring wings choose Wisconsin. Riley Deaerring is definetly a risk, but the potential reward could be very well worth it.