Green Bay men’s basketball adds four to 2023-24 roster
By Green Bay Phoenix Athletics
GREEN BAY – University of Wisconsin-Green Bay men’s basketball head coach, Sundance Wicks recently announced the addition of four student-athletes to the 2023-24 Phoenix roster.
David Douglas, Jr.
A 6’4” guard from Yorkville, Ill., Douglas Jr. will join the Phoenix as one of three true freshmen next season, joining Marcus Hall and Mac Wrecke.
This last season Douglas solidified himself as one of the best scorers in Illinois prep hoops, averaging a state-leading 33.8 points per contest while shooting 44 percent from the floor.
Douglas also got it done in other areas of the game, averaging 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game.
“D.J. is a special player for me as he was the first young man to believe in the new vision and mission of this program. Having faith means that you believe without fully seeing. That unwavering faith will make him a special player in our program. D.J. is an elite scorer and has a high-level feel for the game. He fits the ‘Green Bay Way’ mold with his toughness and intelligence, and I believe we got a steal in this young man from Yorkville Christian High School! Welcome to the Phoenix Phamily D.J.,” Wicks said.
Will Eames, a 6’7” forward, will bring a veteran presence to Titletown, transferring from Missouri Western State of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, where he was formerly coached by Wicks.
Eames played 22 games for the Griffons this past season, making 17 starts.
Eames was a consistent presence inside for Missouri Western State this past season, averaging 30.9 minutes per game while scoring 9.5 points and pulling down 6.1 rebounds per game.
“This is a full-circle moment for Will and I. I was fortunate enough to give him an opportunity as a freshman when I was a first-time head coach, and I am equally blessed to have Will as a graduate transfer for us at Green Bay. I like to call Will our version of Larry Bird. He is a versatile wing who can play inside and outside. He can pick n’ pop and dribble you down into the post, utilizing his elite footwork and creative finishing ability. Will is a connector who can see the floor and keep the flow of our offense while also being a very underrated rebounder and physical defender. I am jacked up to once again coach Will the Thrill Eames,” Wicks said.
After two years at Valparaiso, Preston Ruedinger, a 6’2” guard, is returning to Wisconsin to join Green Bay.
The Lourdes Academy graduate was a 2021-22 MVC All-Freshman team selection, and made six starts in 2022-23 before being shut down for the season with a shoulder injury.
Ruedinger originally went to Valpo with the intention to redshirt his first season, but earned his way into the starting lineup by Jan. 8.
That season he was the only player in the nation to record 30 or more assists and tally less than 10 turnovers.
“Tough, competitive, relentless, and winner are just a few adjectives used to describe Ruedy. When you try to turn the corner on being competitive, you need a man like Ruedy on your roster. In my opinion, he tips the scales in transformational leadership. Preston will show up daily with his hard hat and lunch pail and go to work with that Green Bay grit that we always talk about. Not only can Preston lead from the front, but he can also put that ball in the hole. I can’t stress how important it is to have one of Fox Valley’s finest on our team leading the charge of re-establishing what has been built by those before him,” Wicks added.
Another incoming Phoenix making the move back to Wisconsin is Rich Byhre.
Originally from Delafield, the 6’8” forward has spent the last four seasons at Rockhurst University.
Byhre has been a three-year contributor for the Hawks after a medical redshirt season in 2019-20.
This past season, Byhre was an NABC Division II All-American after leading Rockhurst in a multitude of categories. In 27 games, he averaged team-highs in points (17.9), rebounds (8.1), minutes (33.0) and field goal percentage (50.5%).
He pairs his great size with elite shooting ability, hitting threes at a 40.0-percent clip and hitting 86.1-percent of his free throws.
“Rich is a phenomenal addition to the Phoenix family. What I love most about Rich is his journey to Green Bay. Our journeys don’t always start the way we envision them, but that doesn’t mean they can’t end the way we dreamed of starting them. He is back in his home state and playing high-level Division I basketball in the Bay. Rich is a match-up nightmare and will provide us with a ton of gravity on the offensive side of the ball. His basketball IQ and leadership are something we are going to value at a high level. Being a Division II NABC All-American is no easy task, and Rich was 1 of 16 to garner that honor,” Wicks stated.