Two of the nation's elite big men call Wisconsin their home state. In the past two days, five-stars Diamond Stone and Henry Ellenson have both made major cuts to their school lists.
The higher ranked of the two at No. 5 nationally, Stone is a 6-foot-10 product of Whitefish Bay (Wisc.) Dominican on the outskirts of Milwaukee. Not one to spend a lot of time speaking with the media, it wasn't a surprise to see Stone take to twitter to release his final five.
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Thursday night, Stone tweeted that he has a top five of Connecticut, Duke, Maryland, Oklahoma State and Wisconsin.
Looking at Stone's list, it is no surprise to see UConn make it. He has been to campus and Kevin Ollie has made him a major target. Of course Wisconsin isn't a surprise either. They are the home state team and he is quite familiar with their campus and would be a very good fit in the Badgers big man friendly offense. During the spring, Duke was quietly considered to be one of his behind the scenes leaders. However, that was before they received a commitment from five-star big man Chase Jeter so it will be interesting to see what type of impact he does or doesn't have on Stone's opinion of Duke.
The inclusions of Oklahoma State and Maryland are two choices that stand out. Both programs have landed their fair share of studs in the past and will continue to do so, it just that neither had ever been talked about much as major competition for his services. But, now that they are on Stone's final list they have to be taken much more seriously.
Stone hasn't set any visits just yet and in the past he has talked about possibly waiting until the spring to make a college decision. By cutting down to five, though, he has taken a big step towards deciding his future.
Just a day before Stone released his top five, Ellenson actually cut his list down to a group of three programs. The mobile 6-foot-9 power forward from Rice Lake (Wisc.) High ranks No. 17 overall and is down to Kentucky, Marquette and Michigan State.
One of the spring and summer's huge risers, Ellenson is an offensive minded four whose greatest gift is his mid range game. He can shoot to beyond the three point line and rebounds very well but his overall shooting percentages suffer at times due to poor shot selection and a tendency to force the issue. Be that as it may, the positives in his game far outweigh any negatives and he is a player capable of coming in and making an instant impact at any of his final three.
Currently, it looks like Ellenson will visit Marquette on the weekend of September 19th and the week after that he will head to Michigan State. A visit date for Kentucky has not been locked in as of yet.
For a while now, Marquette has been considered a favorite for Ellenson. That flames of that fire only grew stronger over the summer when his older brother Wally transferred from Minnesota to play at Marquette. For his part, Henry has tried to downplay the significance of potentially playing with his brother.
Ellenson hasn't set a decision date, but he looks like one who will decide shortly after his visits so his recruitment should be finished within the next month or so.
Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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