Photo via kyrecruits.com
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.”