Arians inks the dotted line

Austin Arians of Madison Edgewood signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Milwaukee Panthers, according to the coaching staff.

Arians is a 6’6”, 200 lb. small forward who had offers from Montana, Texas-Pan American, Cal Poly, Nebraska-Omaha, Eastern Kentucky, Wofford, South Dakota, and Belmont. The Panther-to-be also took an official visit to Pepperdine when he went out to Montana in September.

Arians is the first player of the class of 2012 to commit to Milwaukee. The Panthers have two scholarships remaining in the 2012-13 season.

The Interview: Shelby Moats

It’s often the case when Horizon League schools run up against each other on the recruiting trail; many of the teams play similar styles, the geography ties us together, and we tend to like the same players. For Milwaukee, it’s often Green Bay and Loyola that we find ourselves in deep battles with on the recruiting trail. Against Butler? Not often, but that changed in the case of Shelby Moats, who recently picked up a scholarship offer from Butler in addition to his two from Milwaukee and Green Bay.  I had a chance to talk to Shelby about the recruiting process.

Jimmy Lemke: I understand that your family travels extensively during the summers. How have those experiences been for you?

Moats has a myriad of scholarship offers to choose from.

Shelby Moats: They have been great experiences for me. I am able to see different schools with lots of different things to offer. When I actually see a school I am able to observe first hand the things I like and don’t like about the school. The trips will be very beneficial for me when it comes time to make a decision on where I’m going to college.

JL: You spent this summer playing with the Minnesota Pump N Run; are you learning anything from your AAU experience?

SM: Absolutely. I learn how to compete against the best players in the nation. Not only do I get to play against them but a lot of them are on my team, meaning I have to practice against the best too.

JL: After a recent event, you picked up a myriad of scholarship offers from schools across the country, including Butler. Does the point in time when schools offer you a scholarship factor into your decision? What I mean is, if a school knew they wanted you to play for them early on and offered a scholarship awhile ago, is that an advantage for schools that are just making their offers now?

SM: To be completely honest as long as a school offers it’s good enough for me. I haven’t made many decisions about narrowing down my options so an offer made today is a good as an offer made last month or an offer made tomorrow.

JL: A lot of fans across the country like to speculate as to why players pick certain schools to play for. I know you can’t speak for others, but what are you looking for in the school you end up choosing? What’s the most important thing for you when you’re picking your school?

SM: I would like a combination of good basketball and good accademics. I’m not going to go to a school that compromises either aspect. But honestly the most important thing in choosing a school is the relationship I have with the people at that school. If I’m going to have to be with a coach for four years maybe five I had better like him and his staff or we’re in trouble.

JL: The other day, power forward Cody Zeller narrowed his list of teams to three: Butler, Indiana, and North Carolina. Since you play somewhat similar positions and are both offered scholarships by Butler, will his choice factor into your decision?

SM: Butler has told several people including myself that they would love to have both of us there. But no, if Cody Zeller goes there good for him if he doesn’t best of luck. I don’t care what he does unless he ends up on the same team as me then I’ll start caring. His decision will not affect mine.

JL: You have a pretty big list of schools offering you scholarships. Do you think you’ll be narrowing your choices down like Zeller anytime soon?

SM: Yes. When and who? I’m not sure yet. But I know it will be soon and the list will not be that long.

The Interview: Jackson Aldridge

When I decided to re-think, I decided that if I was going to take it to the next level, I needed to get out there and grow the readership beyond the Panther faithful and into the whole Horizon League.  Covering all Horizon League schools, at least loosely, would allow me to widen my knowledge of the conference as a whole and bring fans from all teams to the site.  This is the first of many interviews I will be doing over the coming weeks and months for PantherU that will not be specifically about the Panthers.

Jackson Aldridge is a 6’1” point guard from Sydney, Australia, one of the coolest cities on earth.  Being a point guard from down under, he has naturally drawn comparisons to former Saint Mary’s star Patty Mills.  Recently, Aldridge committed to play collegiate ball at Butler.  I got in touch with him, and Aldridge will have the “privilege” to be the first subject of “The Interview.”

Jimmy Lemke: So, you picked Butler. Were there any other schools you were seriously considering?

Jackson Aldridge: Yes, I was considering Creighton, Wichita State, Marquette, Washington State and Central Florida.

JL: What was it about Butler that made you want to be a Bulldog?

JA: The players, coaches and students at Butler have developed a special culture there, that recently has seen great success, and i wanted to be apart of that.

JL: How closely did you follow BU’s Final Four run?

JA: I was in Germany as the NCAA tournament progressed, and my teammates kept talking about how Butler kept knocking off big time schools. So I was very interested in how they were going, and when I got back home I’ve watched every game from their amazing NCAA tournament run.

JL: What are your impressions of Coach Stevens and the coaching staff?

JA: Coach Stevens seems like a great coach. He is committed to not only winning, but developing players, which was very influential in my decision. He is also a great person and I look forward to working with him. Coach Shrewsberry has also impressed me, being very welcoming and helpful throughout the process.

JL: Did the current roster factor into your decision?

JA: Well obviously I looked at their current roster to see where I would hopefully fit in. It will be great in my freshman year to work with great senior guards like Shelvin Mack and Ronald Nored, to develop me and learn the system for the years after.

JL: Most fans will be seeing you for the first time sight unseen. What player do American basketball fans know that you like to compare yourself to?

JA: I don’t really know who I can be compared with to be honest, I like to add different parts of different players’ games into mine. I like the way Manu Ginobilli attacks fearlessly, but I love the way Nash plays with such poise and skill. I like to try and add different parts of my game continually.

JL: What would you say are your strengths on the court?

JA: My advantages on the court would have to be my shooting ability, strength and speed.

JL: Did the coaches give you anything to work on before you come to Indianapolis?

JA: Well I am at the Australian Institute of Sport currently, so we are continually working on aspects of our game to be prepared for the next level (college and Olympic games). At the moment I’m currently working on finishes inside the key, e.g. floaters and runners. Also for a point guard, team management is very important, so that is a continual development for me.

JL: What most excites you about playing college basketball in America?

JA: Coming from Australia, we don’t get massive crowds and such attention, so that will definitely be an interesting part of the experience. But mostly, I’m looking to travelling halfway across the world to get a great experience in both basketball and life, academically and socially. I can’t wait!