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Sunday, January 20, 2013
Andersen's visit helps Badgers with Ball

By Jared Shanker

In his first meeting with new coach Gary Andersen, Wisconsin commitment Marcus Ball (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville South) could immediately tell Andersen is the kind of coach he would not mind playing for.

“He’s a players’ coach and cares about his players,” Ball said. “He’s going to do any and everything to put them in the best position in life. He’s a good man of high character, has integrity. I definitely not only feel good about me going there -- if that’s the final decision -- but also feel good that my brother is in good hands as well.”

Ball is still wavering on his commitment to Wisconsin, which he made in November to former coach Bret Bielema. His older brother Ray just finished his redshirt freshman season at Wisconsin.

The visit from Andersen helped the Badgers’ chances of holding onto Ball, who officially visited Arizona State last weekend and is planning a visit to Tennessee the weekend of Jan. 25.

“It definitely helped them,” he said of Wisconsin’s chances following the visit. “You don’t want to make an uneducated decision, and this educates me about what Coach Andersen will mold Wisconsin into. Seeing the man he is, I definitely think Wisconin is going to be a program -- whether I’m there or not -- it’ll be a great program and great institution.”

Ball’s family was also impressed with Andersen. Ball’s mother and sister also were present for the visit from Andersen.

There was not much discussion on the topic of football. Most of the talk centered around the atmosphere Andersen is bringing to Wisconsin and the strong academics that still exist in Madison.

Tennessee was supposed to host Ball for an official visit this weekend, but a Saturday night basketball game forced Ball to cancel. He plans to reschedule for next weekend but has not talked with the coaches.

“I haven’t talked with them so I’m not sure what to expect,” Ball said.

Arizona State has an in-home visit with Ball on Monday.