Alex Illikainen Never Put It All Together At Wisconsin
Wisconsin will be down a player starting today as Alex Illikainen will be leaving the team. The forward stays at the university, but he will have a year of eligibility to play somewhere next season if possible. Part of a now infamous 2015 class that if not for Ethan Happ, it’s one of the worst in Bo Ryan’s tenure (There are some Teddy T parallels but that’s for another time). Illikainen had some moments and looked like a guy that could fit in at Wisconsin yet it never worked out for him. That’s a shame and shows anyone following college recruiting that the grades do not always translate into a productive college player.
Looking at the now-former Badgers 247 profile, I noticed that he was the top-ranked power forward in the state of Minnesota. He also took visits to California and Iowa. This guy was not a slouch by any means when he came to Wisconsin. From what I dug through from media members, the confidence in himself was a big issue. He would get wrapped up in making mistakes and then lose it completely. Too much happened between his eyes, and Illikainen didn’t just play basketball.
With Aleem Ford out with an injury plus the Minnesota native’s departure, Wisconsin is suddenly thin with their front court. Happ and Nathan Reuvers are a good start yet it falls off dramatically after that. Charlie Thomas, another member of the 2015 disappointing recruiting class, could see more minutes as well as freshman Taylor Currie.