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Badgers men's basketball: Filling George Marshall's scholarship

2013-12-11T04:50:00Z Badgers men's basketball: Filling George Marshall's scholarshipJIM POLZIN | Wisconsin State Journal | jpolzin@madison.com | 608-252-6473 madison.com

George Marshall’s departure from the University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team opens up a scholarship for the Badgers.

Remember, UW was actively recruiting Milwaukee Hamilton star Kevon Looney, who chose UCLA over the Badgers and others. Where Looney’s scholarship would have come from was a bit of a mystery considering the Badgers had 12 underclassmen (including Marshall) on scholarship this season and already had a commitment from Ethan Happ in the 2014 class.

If each of those underclassmen remained with the program and stayed on scholarship, that would have filled up UW’s 13 scholarship slots for next season.

Now that Marshall’s gone, perhaps that opens up a scholarship for sophomore guard Zak Showalter. After committing to UW as a preferred walk-on, Showalter got a scholarship for his true freshman season when Jarrod Uthoff transferred to Iowa. But Showalter went back to being a walk-on this season. He told me last month, after announcing he’d redshirt, that, “I’ve just got to earn it. That’s what I’m playing for this year is to get the scholarship back.”

I asked UW associate head coach Greg Gard if the Badgers were still actively recruiting players in the 2014 class.

“We always look,” Gard said. “We always approach everything that there always can be possibilities. So we’ll consistently continue to look, and if we find the right fit, whether it be a four-year kid — junior-college kids are a little different in trying to find the right fit and then academically fitting the right profile we need — and then obviously on the flip end, there’s a lot of transfers out there, too. So there’ll be very good players that will be looking to make moves, and if something is the right fit at a certain point in time, I don’t think anything will be done here immediately.

“We’ve always got our antennas up and always talking to people and watching and following along, and guys emerge. There are guys playing in our league that maybe weren’t on people’s radar when they were sophomore or juniors (in high school) but had a breakout senior season or something happens on their decision to go somewhere else or change their mind or have an explosion in their senior season. It’s very fluid. You just deal with what you can control and keep moving forward.”

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(8) Comments

  1. XLBadger
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    XLBadger - December 13, 2013 5:43 pm
    > Fflambeau ... I agree and didn't intend to suggest it was about Looney ... On the other hand, the scenario is an interesting change that may include Looney reconsidering Wisconsin ... can a young man NOT think about his fit and role in a UW surge into a National Championship?

    IMO, it's not pure fantasy, perhaps wishful thinking, but not beyond possibility ... keep hoping!
  2. Fflambeau
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    Fflambeau - December 12, 2013 8:57 pm
    This has zero to do with Looney. Good luck to GM as he moves on. UW now has the opportunity of bringing in someone else.
  3. GaryRobbins
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    GaryRobbins - December 12, 2013 6:41 pm
    Not that I think that Looney will re-think, since there's no reason to think he's wavering at all, but did Looney sign a LOI?
    I just thought he made an announcement by verbally committing to UCLA.
  4. XLBadger
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    XLBadger - December 12, 2013 9:00 am
    If Looney chose UCLA because of no scholarship available at Wisconsin ... and Bo Ryan isn't one to take away a scholarship from a loyal and dedicated player ... the picture has changed ... Can't imagine Kevon doesn't think about playing for Bo Ryan on a Final Four Badger team ...

    Although he "signed" a "letter of intent" he's not prohibited from asking Alford for the release ... how that might play out is another question ... totally speculative, on my part, but interesting.
  5. XLBadger
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    XLBadger - December 11, 2013 9:30 pm
    Seems like Coach Gard left the door open for Looney ... talented transfers (???) Badgers may have him rethinking his choice ... wishful thinking, maybe, but maybe ... maybe??
  6. Lennyjoe
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    Lennyjoe - December 11, 2013 4:02 pm
    Marshall's time was in question.Steady playing time may have come in his senior year.Then again it may not have.You could see his disappointment in his facial expression while sitting on the bench.He will land playing time wherever he lands. This opening leaves Wis. to look for a big.Being ranked so high now sure doesn't hurt.
  7. GaryRobbins
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    GaryRobbins - December 10, 2013 7:51 pm
    Looney was said to get want to get experience living away from home. Can't do that playing so close. Had to do with geography, not UW or Bo Ryan. Looney's final 2 schools were Tennessee and UCLA, so he didn't strictly pick Alford over Ryan. Given his reasons, it's impressive that Ryan stayed in the hunt for Looney for as long as he did in the final 4 or 5 schools).
  8. toobad
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    toobad - December 10, 2013 3:47 pm
    Interesting that Looney picked Steve Alford over Bo Ryan

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