The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay men’s basketball team had a very good week when it came to the future of the program.
Phoenix received a verbal commitment from Heartland Arrowhead senior guard, Mac and Rick, on Monday, five days after landing Ninh guard Cal Clisemet.
The duo are widely considered two of the state’s top five to seven prospects for the 2023 class, with the 6-foot-5 wreck a third overall.
UWGB coach Will Ryan and his staff have been interested in Wrecke for over a year and offered him a scholarship in June.
Wrecke also earned NCAA Division I bids from Horizon League competitor UW-Milwaukee and Wofford.
The Panthers’ show was extended in December by former coach Patrick Baldwin, who was sacked in March after five seasons.
Wrecke had a chat with an assistant coach at the school, but he doesn’t think new coach Bart Lundy was planning on making an offer.
It’s also possible that he wasn’t interested in waiting for one, considering he wanted to decide on his college future before his last prep season so he could focus on competing for the state championship.
This was the same situation that Rick’s future Phoenix teammate, incoming new guard Jack Rose, went through earlier this year.
Rose received an offer from UWM during Baldwin’s tenure before becoming obsolete with the new appointment, eventually committing to the UWGB in May.
Perhaps the Panthers’ losses are Phoenix’s gains.
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“I felt like the coaches did a really great job of building a good relationship with me,” Wrecke said of Ryan and his crew consisting of Jared Swanson, Freddy Owens and Brandon Pretzel. “They were always in touch, and it just felt like the place for me where I had the most opportunities. I felt at home the most.”
According to NCAA rules, Ryan is not allowed to comment on potential recruits until they sign a letter of intent.
But there is no doubt that he will get a great scorer.
Wrecke averaged 20.7 points for the Arrowhead last season, taking the Warhawks to the 19-7 mark before losing to Middleton in the WIAA Division 1 Regional Championship.
Wrecke scored the highest in the game by 21 points in a loss, which is 52.5% of Arrowhead’s points. One match came after he scored 30 points in the regional opener against Verona.
He’s been a fixture on the team since his freshman season and averaged double figures in each of his first three years. It includes 24.9 high-level points in each game as a second-year student.
Wrecke scored 1,494 points in his career while demonstrating the ability to shoot effectively from anywhere on the field, something Phoenix could have used last season.
He has a 48.7% RR and fired 39.9% from a 3-point range.
Wrecke loves the UWGB features with a Wisconsin flavor on his menu. Klesmit and Wrecke will be the state’s next ninth and tenth players when they arrive on campus next summer.
He said he’s played against Klesmit in the past, attended basketball camps with Rose, and had the opportunity to watch budding UWGB guard Nate Jenkins play for Kettle Moraine while growing up.
“I’ve been really looking for it for the past couple of years,” Wrecke said. “They’ve gotten a lot of commitments from within the state, and I think that’s really cool. I think they’re building something really special.”
Wrecke’s interest in the school has not waned despite the UWGB going 5-25 last season and 13-42 in the past two years. He believes there are better times coming, and he wants to be a part of them.
“It doesn’t scare me,” he said. “Their new players have come in, and I’m coming in, Cal, I think we can all do something that can really help the program and help the team win.”
Wrecke’s role with Phoenix hasn’t been discussed much, but he trusts the staff will find a way for him to contribute.
“I feel like I can do a lot of things,” Wrecke said. “Defensively, I can protect a lot of positions. In attack, I can finish. I shoot.
“I feel like there are a lot of places I can go to.”