PantherU

The Best Class just got better

Demetrius Harris of Mineral Area CC made his commitment to Rob Jeter and the Milwaukee Panthers during his weekend visit to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Tom Enlund of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel had the story in Wednesday’s newspaper.  The commit is an extra feather in the cap of an immensely talented recruiting class.

Harris is 6’7”, 230 lbs. and is reminiscent of Ben Wallace.  I’ve heard him compared to Khyle Marshall of Butler, a bigger and more post-oriented version.

Harris will likely step into the post shoes left open by Anthony Hill, who graduates this spring with a degree in Education.  Hill was the most dominant player in the post among Horizon League players this year, and his absence will be noticeable.  But it’s hard not to get excited about Harris, who looks like he can fill the void in a big way right away.

Looking over the recruiting class, these are the players who will be suiting up in Black and Gold for the first time next season:

Demetrius Harris – The big man from Arkansas is a monster in the post and can knock down the mid-range jumper.  He averaged 3.5 offensive rebounds this season.  This is the kind of post player we were talking about when we said we were one guy away.

James Haarsma – Scored 11 ppg and pulled down seven rebounds as a sophomore in the Missouri Valley.  And that was the MVC minus Evansville, because he played for the Aces!  Played as a freshman with Kaylon Williams, so expect the pair to have a nice rapport immediately.

Evan Richard – This could be the diamond in the rough – relatively unrecruited, his only D-I offer was from Milwaukee.  But he’s a downright nasty scorer – as a senior he dropped 50 in a game at the Al McGuire Center in a holiday tournament – and his defense isn’t far behind.  He may look like a team manager, but the only player on the roster who has the athletic ability and jump-out-of-the-gym hops of Richard is Ryan Allen, who was as close to a highlight reel as the Panthers could get this season.  Richard is a redshirt freshman, but he could be the starting shooting guard – he’s that good.

Shaq Boga – Oh yeah, the highest pursued incoming recruit in Milwaukee history, the Panthers had to beat out four Big Ten schools – five if you include Nebraska – and the best of the MVC to land Boga.  He took more time to think about his commitment after a hard late push by both Minnesota and Purdue, but chose Milwaukee.  He’s an AAU teammate of Bradley Beal and brother of our very own Lonnie, but he’s the future at point guard for Milwaukee.  And if Kaylon Williams has too many games like the championship, the future may come sooner rather than later.  If Williams gets better this offseason, the Panthers will have gone from five years of no point guard in the program to two all-conference quality point guards in one calendar year.

J.J. Panoske – The third-rated Wisconsin high school player in a deep recruiting year?  A few years ago, J.J. would have been the focal point of the team as a freshman.  In 2011-12, Panoske may take a redshirt and live in Steve Felde’s Wonderful World of Weights.  Panoske is a monster waiting to happen, and because of the ridiculous depth of this team, he won’t have to be right away.

Paris Gulley? – It seems that with two point guards, a slew of wings and power forwards, and one big-time center, the Panthers could use a shooter.  Paris Gulley visited over the weekend and will likely commit very soon.  He could be the next guy.

Just take in that recruiting class.

Jeter to Miami? – Don’t bet on it.  All indications I’ve gotten from those close to the situation lead me to believe that coach Jeter will not take the Miami head coaching job if offered.  To me, I think it’s mortgaging the next couple years of high salary for the potential payoff down the road.  Jeter has a very, very talented team coming in next year, and a great season will bring better opportunities down the road.  I know he’ll likely leave in the future for a better job, but Miami isn’t it.

Football? – You all know I’m all about it.  Michael Hunt did is bicentennial UWM column on the topic today, and the answer that Rick Costello gave is the right one – it would be amazing, but we have other things to take care of first.  I will expand upon the future with football – how distant, I don’t know, but I will talk about it soon.

Baseball Stadium? – Rick Costello witnessed his first Panther baseball game today at the Hank, so he got to see first hand the horror stories of the program.  It’s far past time that baseball gets a real home, but in the next couple days I’ll tell you why that place has already been built, and how we get in.

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