On Monday, class of 2018 four-star shooting guard Tyler Herro elected to stay home and offer up a verbal commitment to play for Greg Gard and the Wisconsin Badgers.
The program has a high-impact player, but the nature of that player creates a fascinating dynamic. Herro invites a particular sort of comparison which — if justified to any appreciable extent — will make Badger fans very happy.
Tyler Herro is regarded as Scout's No. 42 overall prospect. Versatile scorer than can shoot. Wisconsin's first pledge in 2018 is a big one.
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) September 12, 2016
Herro, a 6-3, 160-pound shooting guard from Milwaukee (Whitnall High School) is rated as a four-star recruit according to 247Sports. The site ranks him the No. 55 prospect in the 2018 class and the 15th-best shooting guard in the country. 247Sports also regards Herro as the second-best basketball player in the state of Wisconsin.
Beyond being highly rated, Herro could excite Wisconsin fans in an even more electrifying way: His game is very reminiscent of an ex-Badgers’ star: Sam Dekker.
Although he is four inches smaller and plays a different position, Herro and Dekker are very alike in their games. They both have tremendous handles, love dribble penetration, and can knock down jumpers with regularity.
While Herro isn’t the rebounder Dekker was, he can act as a dynamic ball-handler in Wisconsin’s system the same way Dekker did for Ryan. Herro’s presence on the court will give Gard’s future offense a more diverse look. Herro can play multiple positions and run the point from time to time.
Like Dekker, Herro is extremely athletic and agile. Herro is quick with the ball and makes solid decisions when surveying the court.
He is the complete package at shooting guard.
The main question surrounding Herro is his defense. It is easy to get caught up in a discussion of a player’s offensive skill set and ignore the other end of the floor. All elite championship-level teams can’t win without a sufficient quantity of two-way players. Perhaps they can win with one offensive sparkplug who can be hidden at the defensive end of the floor (think of BYU with Jimmer Fredette), but that shooter-scorer has to be transcendent in order for the team to thrive.
Being realistic, Herro has to demonstrate that he can make the grade as a defender. In order to complete the comparison with Dekker — one of the most successful and decorated Badger basketballers of all time — he has to be able to defend at a high level. Wisconsin basketball would expect nothing less.
In summation, Herro is a prototypical Wisconsin recruit as far as an offensive player is concerned. He is versatile, fundamentally sound and possesses an incredible basketball IQ. He should give the Badgers the structure and continuity they count on in their halfcourt offense, keeping Wisconsin as formidable as it was in the Bo Ryan era.
That said, he is a lot more talented and diverse in his game than many other typical Badger recruits before him…
… many, but perhaps not Sam Dekker.
We’ll see if Herro can be a new hero in Madison, taking the baton from a two-time Final Four participant and 2015 national runner-up to lead the Badgers to a new period of supreme prosperity.