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ESPN Wisconsin Blogs - Zach Heilprin

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Badgers football: DE is commit No. 18

Jul 31, 2014 -- 5:04pm
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin went back to New Jersey to pickup commitment No. 18 in the class of 2015.
Millburn (Milburn Senior), New Jersey, defensive end Jake Pickard announced his decision on Thursday afternoon.


The 6-foot-6, 231-pound, Pickard is rated as a 3-star recruit by
He chose Wisconsin over Virginia, Syracuse, Oregon, Purdue and others.
He’s the second New Jersey product in the class of 2015, joining offensive tackle Sam Madden, who committed in June.

Badgers football: UW comes in at No. 14 in the coaches' poll

Jul 31, 2014 -- 11:28am
MADISON - For a fifth-straight year the University of Wisconsin will start a season ranked in the Top 25 of the Amway Coaches Poll.
The preseason poll was released on Thursday, and it found the Badgers at No. 14 – seven spots higher than they were in the final poll of last season.
LSU, the team Wisconsin opens the season against in Houston on Aug. 30, is one spot higher than them at No. 13, while their Big Ten West Division counterpart, Nebraska, appears at No. 22. Those are only two opponents on UW’s schedule that are currently ranked. Iowa, Minnesota and Northwestern are all in the receiving votes category.
The Badgers are one of four teams from the Big Ten in the poll. Along with the Huskers, Ohio State comes in at No. 6 and Michigan State slides in at No. 8.
Defending national champion Florida State is No. 1 and received 56 of the 62 first-place votes. Oklahoma picked up three first-place votes, while Oregon, Ohio State and South Carolina received the other three.
Wisconsin starts practice on Monday.
The full poll can be found here.

Badgers football: Andersen on SVP & Russillo

Jul 30, 2014 -- 1:31pm
Photo/Getty Images
MADISON - University of Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen is going through what ESPN calls its "car wash" on Wednesday, as he appears on a variety of their programs across different platforms. That included a stop on ESPN Radio with SVP and Russillo in which he touched on a number of topics, including the Badgers' schedule, Melvin Gordon and him joining Twitter.

Badgers basketball: UW targets among best NBA prospects

Jul 29, 2014 -- 10:27pm
Photo via
Center Diamond Stone is one of the top players in the country.
MADISON - The state of Wisconsin has produced some very good high school basketball players in recent years.
There was J.P. Tokoto (North Carolina) from Menomonee Falls and Sheboygan’s Sam Dekker (Wisconsin) in the class of 2012.
The following year, La Crosse’s Bronson Koenig decided to go to Wisconsin despite offers from most of the major programs in the country. There was also Dominican’s Duane Wilson (Marquette) and Onalaska’s Matt Thomas (Iowa State).  
In the class of 2014, Milwaukee Hamilton’s Kevon Looney chose UCLA over Duke, Kansas, Louisville and others, while Seymour’s Sandy Cohen picked Marquette.
But all of those players – and classes for that matter – will have to take a backseat to the 2015 group that is heading into their senior year this fall.  
4-star guard Brevin Pritzl (De Pere) committed to Bo Ryan and the Badgers earlier this year, while new Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski has 4-star guard Nick Noskowiak (Sun Prairie) and 3-star forward Matt Heldt (Neenah) on board.
But it’s the top two players in the state that have every coach in the country salivating. 5-star center Diamond Stone (Dominican) is rated as the top player in the state by ESPN, and the No. 4 overall prospect in the entire country. And just a spot behind him in the national rankings is 5-star forward Henry Ellenson (Rice Lake), who tweeted on Tuesday that he had made the Team USA U-17 squad.
The Badgers are recruiting both heavily – as is Marquette, Kentucky, Duke and others. If UW does manage to get either player to commit, they may not be around long.
On Tuesday, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman published a story in which he names Stone (No. 3) and Ellenson (No. 6) among the top NBA prospects in the class of 2015.
On the 6-foot-10, 255-pound, Stone:

“He’s a legit big man who is skilled and can score in the post. Stone possesses good footwork and already has the body at 6-foot-10 and more than 250 pounds. Stone will make a college decision on Nov. 12 -- likely choosing from Wisconsin, Kentucky, Kansas, Marquette and UConn.”
On the 6-foot-10, 230-pound, Ellenson:
“He’s a long and skilled big man who has dropped significant weight in the past year. We’re not saying he’s going to be Dirk Nowitzki, but he’s got a similar skill set for someone his size. Ellenson can shoot and handle the ball at 6-foot-10, and rarely posts up nowadays. His older brother, Wally, recently transferred to Marquette -- and other schools squarely in the equation include Wisconsin and Michigan State. Duke, Kentucky, UNC and Michigan are also involved.”

Badgers football: Miami LB commits

Jul 29, 2014 -- 7:56pm
The University of Wisconsin went into South Florida to pickup their 17th verbal commitment in the class of 2015.
Miami (Gulliver Prep), Florida linebacker Dominic Sheppard tweeted the news on Tuesday night.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound, Sheppard is a 3-star recruit according to He had 90 tackles and one interception during his junior season.
He claimed offers from Alabama, Miami, Clemson, Mississippi State and many others.
Sheppard is the fourth linebacker committed for the class of 2015.

Badgers basketball: Rings come in

Jul 29, 2014 -- 11:57am
Photo/UW basketball Twitter account
It’s been nearly four months since Wisconsin suffered a heartbreaking loss to Kentucky in the Final Four. And though it wasn’t the ending they wanted, the season was an overwhelming success. This week the Badgers received their reward for that success.
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