While Wisconsin hasn’t had the best fortune on the recruiting trail in the Class of 2016, as they’ve yet to land a commitment, head coach Bo Ryan and his staff are on the board in the Class of 2017. Wednesday evening in-state shooting guard Kobe King made his pledge to the Big Ten program, announcing the news by way of his Twitter account.
The 6-foot-3 La Crosse, Wisconsin product also held offers from programs such as Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Marquette, and he’d made unofficial visits to both Iowa State and Wisconsin before deciding that he’ll play his college basketball in Madison. King played for the Wisconsin Playground Warriors on the adidas Uprising circuit (16U) this spring/summer.
As a sophomore at La Crosse Central HS, King averaged 15.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest.
While Wisconsin doesn’t currently have a scholarship senior in its perimeter rotation they’ll have two during the 2016-17 season in Bronson Koenig and Zak Showalter. That’s where King’s commitment comes into play, where he’d have the opportunity to help the Badgers account for those personnel losses when he arrives on campus in 2017.
Of course there’s also the head coaching situation to take into consideration, with Ryan’s thoughts on retirement changing multiple times during the summer and assistant Greg Gard being his desired successor. That situation is certainly worth monitoring as Wisconsin looks to put together recruiting classes for 2016 and beyond.
Video credit: Midwest Ballers
Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan made another statement that seems to contradict his early-summer retirement that was scheduled to follow the 2015-16 season. In an interview with Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated, Ryan clarifies what was meant in the initial June statement. which came more than a month after he stated in early May that he had no plans of retiring in the near future.
Early in August, Ryan spoke to reporters at a charity golf outing and established that no decision had been made regarding his retirement. The veteran head coach said more of the same to Davis early this week:
Ryan, of course, had done no such thing. His statement made clear that he was going to coach only one more season, not at least one more season. When I spoke to him last week, he would not concede that he had backtracked on anything. Nor did he sound like he was in a retiring state of mind. “There isn’t any wishy washiness,” Ryan said. “People can interpret it any way they want, but in the state of Wisconsin you have to file papers to retire. There have been no papers filed. I’m going to decide after the season exactly what I’m going to do.”
The Davis report also reveals some of the details surrounding Ryan’s communication with Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez and the advice the long-time Badger football coach gave him. Assistant coach Greg Gard, Ryan’s choice for his successor if he were to have his way, is also interviewed in the story.
One thing is for certain, Ryan doesn’t sound like he’s fully committed to retirement following the 2015-16 season. As the Davis story notes, Ryan is in the midst of an exhausting two-year stretch that includes back-to-back Final Four appearances and a litany of speaking engagements and public appearances. Ryan has become a popular man in the state of Wisconsin — and basketball in general — and it might be starting to wear on him.
Thankfully, one of the game’s great coaches is reconsidering his initial thoughts and he might be around longer than we expected.
Back in June, Bo Ryan made waves when he announced that he would be retiring after the 2015-16 season.
Two months later, and the Wisconsin head coach seems to be wavering.
“Everybody kind of thinks they know when they’re ready to retire, or step aside. I’m not totally sure,” Ryan told reporters at a charity golf event, according to the Post Crescent. “[Wisconsin athletic director] Barry [Alvarez] said I could change my mind at any time. I haven’t submitted any papers yet. I haven’t submitted anything.”
Ryan then explicitly told reporters that he’s leaving the door open to remain with the Badgers beyond just one more season.
“I’m like a lot of other people who when they get to this stage in their career, who knows when the right time is?,” he said. “I was just trying to be up front and out in the open. But I wouldn’t be the first guy in the country that ever thought about retirement and then changed their mind. I’m not doing anything revolutionary here.”
He added that the initial reason he came out and made the statement that he’d only remain at Wisconsin for one more year was due to the fact that he wanted to make sure recruits understood why he couldn’t promise them four seasons as head coach. Maybe his message got skewed. Maybe he truly wanted to evaluate his status at the end of every season. Maybe this has actually hurt recruiting because the kids know he can’t promise them four years. Maybe he didn’t want to have every game turn into a farewell to him.
Whatever the cause is, Wisconsin fans can be happy today. It looks like they’ll have their Hall of Fame-caliber head coach around for longer than they expected.