July 7, 2008

Badger verbal advances to semis in Ohio

On his way to get food with fellow 43hoops teammates Monday evening, BadgerBlitz.com caught up with Wisconsin verbal Mike Bruesewitz, whose Minnesota travel team advanced to the semifinal round of the 2008 Adidas "It Takes 5IVE" Classic in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"Well, right now we're in Cincinnati," said the 2009 prospect from Mendota Heights (MN) Sibley. "We've been playing real well and we're sitting at 4-0 right now. There were a couple of close games, but we've been pushing it out to 15 points or so every time, so I'm having a real good time right now.

"We're in the final four and we play D.C. Assault tomorrow morning at 10:20 a.m., and then hopefully the winner of the Full Package game after that in the championship."

Bruesewitz and teammate Chris Halvorsen combined for 38 points in a win over the Nashville Celtics Sunday, just another strong performance by the 6-foot-6, 190-pound forward who verbaled to Wisconsin in late February.

"I think it's (committing early) helped me quite a bit," Bruesewitz said of his decision. "Now that I have a scholarship, now that I know where I'm going, my whole focus is on getting to campus with my game at its highest level. I want to show up and produce and be part of the team right away.

"The goal is not redshirt and sit on the bench my first year. I want to start playing right away and get as many minutes as I can as a freshman. My whole goal this summer is to try and improve as much as possible and just have fun with it. Right now I'm having a blast with these guys. My teammates are great and we're just enjoying it right now."

Halvorsen and Bruesewitz have also teamed up in the gym, going through daily workouts since their junior year of high school ended in June.

"The whole month of June, I was going to the gym at around 9:00 a.m. and staying until about 2:00 p.m., just playing," said Bruesewitz, who also had scholarship offers from Washington State, Iowa, Valparaiso and Montana. "Me and Chris Halvorsen have been training together, just working on our balance and explosiveness.

"Pretty much just my overall game I've been working on. I want to be a better player IQ-wise and physically get stronger before I get to Wisconsin."

The future Badger also got a chance to play with two 2010 verbals when Wisconsin held its team camp earlier this summer.

"I went down to the UW camp and Coach (Greg) Gard thought I lost some weight because I was moving around laterally a lot better," said Bruesewitz jokingly. "Overall I think they're pretty happy with how I'm progressing. At the UW camp, I got to talk with Evan Anderson and Vander Blue. I saw them play and those guys are real good. Vander-we ended up playing him in the team camp right before we lost to Linn-Mar (Iowa)-he can play. They were missing Jeronne Maymon and another guard, but if he keeps developing and working hard, he's going to be tough for anyone to stop.

"Evan Anderson, he's big kid who plays real well down low. You can look at the future of our team and tell that the coaching staff has done a great job brining some great players to Madison."

Bruesewtiz is now looking forward to speaking with Diamond Taylor, the second commitment in Wisconsin's two-man 2009 class.

"I got his number and I've texted him a few times," he said. "He's actually coming up to the tournament in Minnesota this Saturday, so I'll get to talk with him a little bit more."

Rivals.com ranks Bruesewtiz as the 28th best small forward in his class.

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