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MADISON - Redshirt-junior center Evan Anderson will not return to the Wisconsin men’s basketball team for his senior season following graduation in the spring of 2014, the team announced Thursday.
“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to play basketball at Wisconsin and thankful for my time here,” Anderson said in a statement. “I thank all of my teammates and all of the fans for their support. This experience made me into the man that I am today.”
Anderson’s career will be celebrated during the senior night ceremony following Wisconsin’s regular-season home finale against Purdue on Wednesday, March 5. He will be honored alongside seniors Ben Brust and Zach Bohannon.
No.14 Wisconsin (23-5, 10-5 Big Ten) plays at Penn State Sunday morning.
Anderson was a four-star prospect and the No.16 center in the 2009 recruiting class by Scout.com, picking Wisconsin over offers from Boston College, Iowa State, Kentucky, Marquette and UCLA, but a long history of foot problems in high school derailed his development and limited his minutes at Wisconsin.
In three seasons at UW, Anderson has appeared in 35 games, amassing 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Anderson is averaging only 0.6 points in seven games this season. He hasn’t played since Jan.25 at Purdue, but gave the Badgers a big lift in that game when Frank Kaminsky came down with foul trouble in the first half.
Andersen didn’t score a point and didn’t play in the second half, but used his 6-10, 245-pound body to help neutralize Purdue’s sophomore A.J. Hammons. Averaging 10.2 points and a team-best 7.1 rebounds entering the game, Hammons was limited to two points, two rebounds and three turnovers in 12 minutes.
“The numbers don’t stand out but just what he did and the physical presence Evan was able to present and give us was huge,” said associate head coach Greg Gard at the time. “At the time when Frank got his second quick foul, we were able to weather that storm and keep plugging along.”
A native of Stanley, Wis., and a graduate of Eau Claire North, Anderson is scheduled to graduate from UW in May with a degree in community and environmental sociology with a certificate in criminal justice.
“My ultimate goal was to help this team out in any way that I could,” Anderson said. “No matter how small or how big of a role that would have been. I really feel like I fulfilled that part. I’m glad I was able to come here. It’s really a special place to be.”
Anderson’s decision opens up a scholarship for Wisconsin to sign a prospect in the spring signing period. With Ethan Happ the only 2014 commit, the Badgers have 12 scholarships accounted for next season.