'08-'09 Panther Squad Taking Shape

In Milwaukee Basketball news (other than Tan Tommy Crean walking away from the program he built for greener Indiana pastures without so much as a second thought and the Bucks' pathetic struggle to resemble something similiar to a professional basketball team), UWM has some 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 (hey it's gotta be HARD moving from sunny AZ to the Mil-town tundra!!!).

On a much brighter set of notes: first off, much-heralded defensive specialist guard Patrick Souter has decided to join the program. Souter suffered a torn ACL during his senior season at Racine St. Catherine's, but assuming his recovery goes well, he could be one player to watch out for after this season (in which he will likely walk on, medical red shirt, and work for a scholarship). 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.

It has gone unmentioned also since my last post, that UWM welcomes 6-8 PF Ryan Haggerty* of Benet Academy in Lisle, Ill, Riley Walker (McFarland, WI- ACL tear and out for '08 but tremendous potential), 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, and 6-8 PF Tony Meier (who shot 44% from 3pt his senior season) of St. Louis Lafayette High School are all now part of the the UWM Basketball family.

Welcome one, welcome all! Next season is going to be a whole new ballgame, meshing the now established (Ricky, Deonte, D. James, Averkamp, Kaylan, Hill, Swigget, 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 descision 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 with depth, stability, and long-term cohesiveness?