In recent Milwaukee Basketball news (other than Tan Tommy Crean walking away from the program he built, seemingly overnight, for greener Indiana pastures, and the Bucks' pathetic struggle to resemble something similar to a professional basketball team), the UWM Panthers have made some big additions to the roster, as well as an unfortunate departure. Yes, I know I mentioned I wouldn't speculate on recruiting hype, but per jsonline.com and highly reliable sources- these are confirmed decisions.
First the bad news- after red shirting this past season, Brad Carroll, who was potentially set to be one of our biggest threats at the guard position next year, has decided not to return to Milwaukee next year. It is sad to see Brad leave without realizing his potential here, but we all wish him the best wherever he decides to play ball- he will be one helluva player and person, and we thank him for his time here, and hope that Milwaukee treated him well during his brief stay.
On a much brighter set of notes, UWM has some new recruits:
* Burleigh Porte, a 6-8 PF from Olney Central in Illinois (where a certain Boo Davis came from..) will provide much needed size down low
* Much-heralded defensive specialist Patrick Souter who may redshirt due to a torn ACL which occurred during his senior season at Racine St. Catherine
Also, (it has gone unmentioned since my last post) UWM welcomes:
* 6-8 PF Ryan Haggerty* of Benet Academy in Lisle, Ill, 6-6 SF Riley Walker (McFarland, WI- ACL tear, but may play in '08-'09 as his rehab has gone near perfect and he is already working with the team)
* 6-5, 300lbs PF James Eayrs of North Dakota College of Science (played with Deonte in Minnesota and is rumored to shoot like an over-sized Larry Bird)
* Former Middleton standout, 6-4 guard Tone Boyle of Highland Community College in Freeport, Ill
* 6-8 PF Tony Meier (who shot 44% from 3pt his senior season) of St. Louis Lafayette High School
Welcome one, welcome all to the UWM Basketball family! Next season is going to be a whole new ballgame, meshing the now established Panthers (Ricky, Deonte, Deion, Jason, Kaylan, Anthony, Charlie, etc.) with this new core of talent - I think our players are more than up for the challenge. It will be one exiting season- and I don't see us losing any more than 12 games if the Horizon is as mediocre as I suspect it will be..... Hang tight, watch the Brewers make Milwaukee proud once again, and wait for Panther Madness, as far off as it now seems. In due time, we shall see what this revamped team is made of. Next winter, lets paint the Arena black and gold- we've gotta make up for (2 years) lost/down time.
*Haggerty was quoted by the Journal-Sentinel as saying (regarding his decision to commit to UWM), "I like the way the team stuck together when things were going badly". Now that's a stand-up student-athlete. See now, last year wasn't all for naught- the returning players have played through a s*%^storm; how much better will they be now what with depth, stability, and long-term cohesiveness?