One of the keys to Bo Ryan’s long run of success at Wisconsin was his ability to raid western neighbor Minnesota of some of its top talent. The lakes of Kammron Taylor, Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor, among others, were huge parts of some of Ryan’s best non-Final Four teams.
Greg Gard would appear to be picking up where his longtime boss left off.
Nathan Reuvers, a 6-foot-10 forward from Lakeville, Minn., committed to the Badgers on Wednesday, he announced.
“Beyond blessed to announce my commitment to further my education and basketball career at Wisconsin!” Reuvers posted on Twitter.
Reuvers gives Gard a type of player that has thrived in Madison before, a still-developing big man with an outside shot. He joins in-state guard Kobe King as members of Wisconsin’s 2017 class.
The commitment also strikes yet another blow to Minnesota coach Richard Pitino, who led our list of hot seat candidates, especially considering what Reuvers, whose high school is less than a 30 minute drive from campus, had to say following his commitment.
“I don’t think (the Gophers) recruited me hard enough,” Reuvers told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Probably not the thing you want to hear from one of the top players in the state if you’re a Gophers fan, but Reuvers wasn’t done there. When asked about all the turmoil surrounding Pitino’s program, which includes off-court incidents, an eight-win season last year and an administration that seems to be turning against him, he didn’t pull any punches.
“I definitely see all that stuff that is going on there,” he said. “I just don’t feel like I would be good in that culture.”
It’ll be interesting to see how the crowd at Williams Arena reacts in Reuvers’ first visit there, but probably not as interesting as how they greet Pitino’s next game.