The Wisconsin Badgers keep on winning and they keep on winning with Minnesotans.
Earlier this week, Lakeville North forward Nathan Reuvers, a silky-smooth, 6-foot-10 standout, verbally committed to play for the Badgers in 2017. The junior told MN Basketball Hub that he didn't choose the Gophers because they have "issues."
"Some people have said I was taking a jab at the Gophers, others said it was fine," Reuvers said. "Michael Hurt (incoming Gopher recruit from Rochester) is a good friend and I wish them well but they have their issues and that’s a reason I didn’t choose Minnesota."
Ruevers added that he only got a phone call from head coach Richard Pitino, whereas Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard visited him in person twice.
But even without the "issues," the Gophers have been losing out on in-state recruits to the Badgers since the turn of the century. Minnesota players to go to Wisconsin since 2003 include:
- Kammron Taylor – Minneapolis North
- Jared Berggren – Princeton
- Mike Bruesewitz – Henry Sibley
- Jon Leuer – Orono
- Jordan Taylor – Benilde-St. Margaret's
- Alex Illikainen – Grand Rapids
- Jordan Smith – Orono
- Riley Dearing – Hopkins
- Kevin Gullickson – Stillwater
That's nine Minnesota kids helping the Badgers win at a very high level for more than a decade. Taylor, Leuer, Taylor, Bruesewitz and Berggren all played key roles in helping the Badgers go deep into NCAA Tournaments.
Wisconsin hasn't missed the NCAA Tournament in any of those years, and they've finished no worse than fourth in the Big Ten. The teams with Jordan Taylor, Bruesewitz and Berggren reached the Sweet 16 two years in a from (2010-11, 2011-12). Kammron Taylor was a starting guard and the third-leading scorer on the 2003-04 team that reached the Elite Eight.
The point is, Wisconsin isn't just taking kids right out from under the Gophers, they're winning and winning big with Minnesota kids often leading the charge.
Since the 2003-04 season, the Badgers have had at least one Minnesota kid on the roster every year.
- 2015-16 Badgers – 2 / Smith, Illikainen
- 2014-15 Badgers – 2 / Smith, Dearing
- 2013-14 Badgers – 2 / Smith, Dearing
- 2012-13 Badgers – 3 / Bruesewitz, Berggren, Smith
- 2011-12 Badgers – 4 / Taylor, Bruesewitz, Berggren, Smith
- 2010-11 Badgers – 4 / Taylor, Bruesewitz, Leuer, Berggren
- 2009-10 Badgers – 4 / Taylor, Bruesewitz, Leuer, Berggren
- 2008-09 Badgers – 3 / Taylor, Leuer, Berggren
- 2007-08 Badgers – 2 / Leuer, Gullickson
- 2006-07 Badgers – 2 / Taylor, Gullickson
- 2005-06 Badgers – 2 / Taylor, Gullickson
- 2004-05 Badgers – 1 / Taylor
- 2003-04 Badgers – 1 / Taylor