Brandin Podziemski’s meteoric recruiting rise culminated Tuesday with a commitment to Illinois.
Podziemski — a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from Delafield, Wis. — went from a virtual unknown in national recruiting circles to a Top 100 prospect in a matter of weeks last fall. He landed reported scholarship offers from Kentucky and Kansas in a 24-hour period in October, then put up incredible numbers over the course of his senior season, earning Wisconsin Mr. Basketball honors.
He averaged 35.1 points, 10.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 4.0 steals per game and became the first player in Wisconsin history to score more than 2,000 points in his career despite not playing varsity as a freshman.
Known as a prolific three-point shooter — perhaps his best trait on the basketball court — Podziemski shot 43.4 percent from deep and made a total of 108 threes as a senior this past season.
He received a flurry of scholarship offers toward the end of his senior year, eventually cutting his list down to five schools — Kentucky, Illinois, Miami, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest — in February.
Though UK was on Podziemski’s list of five finalists, the Wildcats were never strongly linked to the promising guard prospect in the final weeks of his recruitment. Kentucky has instead been concentrating on veteran transfers and more highly ranked recruits from the 2021 class as it builds its backcourt rotation for next season.
The Cats have already added Davidson shooting guard transfer Kellan Grady, and they extended a late offer to five-star shooting guard Trevor Keels, who committed to Duke earlier this month. UK is still looking at several guards in the NCAA transfer portal.
Podziemski is the No. 72 overall prospect in the 2021 class, according to the 247Sports rankings.