Looking to add a frontcourt player in the class of 2020, Wisconsin Basketball has extended a new offer to Minnesota native Steven Crowl.
While Wisconsin currently has commitments in the 2020 class from three exciting prospects in Lorne Bowman and the Davis twins, they all happen to be guards. This means that the coaching staff will likely be spending much of this month’s evaluation period trying to lock down a pledge from a frontcourt player as the final piece to this class.
Of all the players in the 2020 class that the Wisconsin staff has offered up front to this point, just four remain on the board after in-state 5-star phenom Jalen Johnson committed to Duke last week: 3-star forward Zed Key (Glen Head, NY) 4-star forwards Ben Carlson (Saint Paul, MN) and Dawson Garcia (Prior Lake, MN), and 5-star forward Ziaire Williams (Sherman Oaks, CA).
While the Badgers continue to fight tooth and nail for Carlson and will likely stay relevant in that recruitment until the end, I wouldn’t say that the odds of him landing in Madison are high. However, of those four prospects, he’s probably their best bet to this point: Wisconsin doesn’t have a chance in hell at getting Garcia and Williams, and while it might be too early to say that of Key, his recruitment has continued to explode recently.
Given that grim outlook, it wasn’t a surprise to see Wisconsin extend an offer to Eastview Senior (Saint Paul, MN) center Steven Crowl on Tuesday.
Ranked as a 3-star prospect and the No. 110 overall player in the land according to 247Sports, Crowl boasts other offers from Colorado, Iowa, Northern Iowa, and South Dakota. His hometown school, Minnesota, has not yet extended an offer, but word is that the Gophers are giving him a very hard look and could very well do so by the end of the month. Marquette, Texas, and others have also expressed interest recently.
The Wisconsin staff has been doing its homework on Crowl for a while now, but their interest really seems to have ramped up after the 6’10, 210-pounder had an impressive performance at the Badgers’ team camp last month.
I think he could be hard to pry from his hometown Gophers should they jump on board as many expect, but nonetheless, I’m a big fan of this offer by the Badgers.
He’s obviously a little raw physically and will have his work cut out for him at the next level in terms of adding strength, but that’s certainly not something that Badgers fans should get hung up on. After all, Nate Reuvers came to Madison with a similar build and has made massive strides with his body over the course of the last few years. It took him some time to adapt to the physicality of Big Ten post play, but now Reuvers is poised to be one of the conference’s breakout stars this season.
Like his fellow Minnesota native and D1 Minnesota AAU product Reuvers, Crowl perfectly fits the mold of the ideal Wisconsin big man as a guy who is both skilled in the post and capable of both stretching the floor from long range in the swing offense. Few, if any, programs develop finesse bigs like him better than Wisconsin (Minnesota certainly doesn’t), and he could have big-time upside in Madison should he choose that path.
July will be a crucial month for Crowl’s recruitment, and by extension, Wisconsin’s chances of landing his signature.
If he has a strong few weeks of play on the AAU circuit during the evaluation period, his offer list will likely expand accordingly. However, my gut feeling tells me that this one will come down to a border battle between Minnesota and Wisconsin. As mentioned, if the Gophers offer, the common sentiment on message boards and social media across Badger Nation is that they would be tough to beat for Crowl. Nonetheless, Minnesota fans shouldn’t underestimate the appeal of Wisconsin’s strong tradition of developing big men of his exact skill set.
All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.com