What's Next For Wisconsin Basketball Recruiting?

What's Next For Wisconsin Basketball Recruiting?

Recruiting

What's Next For Wisconsin Basketball Recruiting?

The University of Wisconsin had no surprises on the first day of the early signing period, as Lakeville (MN) North small forward Tyler Wahl signed his national letter of intent first thing Wednesday morning.

But there’s still work to be done.

Wisconsin still has three open scholarships in the 2019 class, although the Badgers will certainly bank at least one of them for a loaded 2020 class (more on that below). Currently, head coach Greg Gard has three known scholarships out to 2019 prospect but none of those players are likely to commit to UW.

Five-star forward Matthew Hurt has been to Wisconsin’s campus but is being heavily pursued by a number of high-major programs and is projected to commit to Kansas. Racine (Wis.) Park forward Nobal Days was offered by the Badgers in September 2016 but his stock dropped during summer AAU and the UW staff has reportedly backed off in recruiting him. Hopkins (MN) High four-star forward Zeke Nnaji, an AAU teammate of Wahl’s, got his first offer from Wisconsin but saw his recruitment blow up with 24 other offers from major programs. He announced a top five of Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Purdue and UCLA and will commit next Friday.

Wisconsin is not afraid of signing unknown prospects who have massive senior seasons. The Badgers have done so with Khalil Iverson, D’Mitrik Trice, Aleem Ford and, last year, Tai Strickland. While it’s reasonable to believe the Badgers will try to do the same this year, it’s more likely that Gard will decide to roll over one, if not two, scholarships into a 2020 class where the Badgers currently only have one scholarship available (Brevin Pritzl).

The Badgers have eight known scholarships out to uncommitted prospects in the 2020 class, but the main focus from the start has been Jalen Johnson, a five-star prospect ranked as the No.5 overall player in the class. Formerly at Sun Prairie (Wis.) High and now playing at Nicolet (Wis.) High, Johnson has been recruited extensively by the UW staff since he was offered over a year ago. Over the last year, however, Johnson has picked up offers Arizona, Duke, UCLA (all schools he has or will officially visit), Kentucky and a host of others.

Should Johnson got elsewhere (and it appears likely he will), the Badgers appear to sit well with in-state talent Jonathan Davis (four-star guard from La Crosse) and have been recruiting Minnesota prospects Ben Carlson (four-star PF from Woodbury) and Dawson Garcia (four-star PF from Prior Lake).

UW has also extended offers to Reece Beckman (four-star guard from Louisiana), Ethan Morton (four-star guard from Butler, PA) and Shon Robinson (four-star forward from Arizona), the latter taking an official visit to Madison last month.

The Badgers might not have to wait long for their first commitment in 2020, however. Taking an official visit earlier this month, seeing the city and watching UW’s exhibition game over UW-Oshkosh, Detroit St. Mary’s point guard Lorne Bowman picked up a Wisconsin offer and tweeted not long after that he will announce his commitment this Friday between the Badgers, Iowa, Nebraska and Valparaiso. Madison has been the only place the 6-2, 180-pound guard has taken an official visit to.

“The city of Madison is amazing,” Bowman told 247sports. “The campus is just as good, maybe even better. To see all the people and all the things to do around Madison, it was amazing.”

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