As the old saying goes, "There's no place like home," and Tyler Herro felt quite at home at the University of Wisconsin.
That's why the basketball standout from Whitnall High School will be playing for the home-state Badgers starting in the 2018-19 season, choosing UW over a group of top national powers in the college game.
"Wisconsin felt like home to me," said Herro, a junior who averaged 24 points and four rebounds last season. "I made my visit, and it just felt like I should commit there. I could play in front of my family and friends, which is a big factor.
"I also liked the tradition going on there in recent years, and I thought coach Greg Gard and his staff could get me to the next level after college (the NBA)."
Liked Lambeau game
Herro also attended Wisconsin's game against LSU at Lambeau Field and was impressed by the atmosphere.
"I could see how well the Wisconsin fans traveled," he said. "The game was not in Madison, but many people traveled there, and there were a lot of people wearing red and cheering on their team."
Herro, one of the bigger state recruits in recent years, had not originally planned on making his final decision this quickly.
"Once I went for my visit, though, it just felt right," he said. "My plan was always that when I found somewhere that felt like home, it would be easy for me to commit there."
Whitnall coach Steve Kujawa echoed those feelings.
"Just two weeks ago, I asked him where he was in the (recruiting) process, and he told me he was not sure, that he had other schools he wanted to explore," Kujawa said. "He went to that LSU game, and that was a great experience. He visited UW and got to talk with people like Sam Dekker. Also, coach Gard told him he had an opportunity to be a hometown hero at Wisconsin.
"Tyler also liked some of the players from Wisconsin's incoming classes who he knows from AAU and said the situation was right for him."
Kujawa also said Wisconsin would offer Herro a chance to develop into the best player he can be.
"Wisconsin takes players and lets them develop over the years," the coach continued. "If he went to Florida, Arizona or somewhere, who knows, if he did not produce right away, they may find someone else."
Focus on Falcons
The fact that Herro's decision came this quickly should benefit Kujawa and this season's Whitnall squad, which comes into the campaign with sky-high expectations. With the recruiting experience behind him, Herro can concentrate on making the Falcons the best team they can be,
"I am ready to work hard this year, and I hope we can get back to Madison and get that gold ball," Herro said.
Kujawa added, "I'm not saying (the recruiting) would have been a distraction, but it could have been. Now we can focus on the season and hone in on what we need to do this year."