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Badger Bits: Jordan Hill to transfer; Ted Gilmore on Quintez Cephus

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Rounding up the latest Wisconsin basketball and football news.

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NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin Badgers guard Jordan Hill has decided to leave the Badgers’ program and has been granted a release to explore transfer options, UW announced on Wednesday.

Hill just completed his redshirt junior season with the Badgers, appearing in 35 games and averaging 1.5 points, 1.1 rebounds, and 0.5 assists over 9.9 minutes per game, down from his 2015-16 average of 16.1 minutes per game.

Hill is scheduled to graduate from UW in May with a degree in retailing and consumer behavior.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend four years studying and playing at Wisconsin,” Hill said in a release from UW. “In May, I will be graduating with an incredible degree from a world class institution. Making the decision to leave the program was one of the hardest things I've had to do in life, but I had to make the best decision for myself.

“Thank you to everyone who has shown me love, my teammates who became brothers, coaches who never let me get stagnant, and all of the people on campus who educated a young man from Pasadena. I can never say enough because coming here was life-changing. I will always hold a special place in my heart for you, Wisconsin. I will forever be a Badger. On Wisconsin!”

Over 75 games with the Badgers, the Pasadena, Calif., made one start and totaled 147 points, 83 rebounds, and 41 assists. Hill came to Wisconsin from Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.

Hill’s departure isn’t entirely unexpected, as the Badgers will bring a crowded backcourt into next season including D’Mitrik Trice and Brevin Pritzl, plus incoming freshmen Brad Davison and Kobe King.

“We want to thank Jordan for his dedication to our program and congratulate him on getting his degree,” head coach Greg Gard said. “He was a valuable member of some very successful teams at Wisconsin. We wish him well and will do whatever we can to help him both on and off the court moving forward.”

Ted Gilmore on supporting Quintez Cephus

Last week, tragic news struck the Wisconsin Badgers family with the news of the shooting death of Andre Taylor, the father of sophomore wide receiver Quintez Cephus.

Cephus missed three practices in the past two weeks, including Tuesday’s session inside the McClain Center. The Macon, Ga., native was accompanied back home last week by wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore, something redshirt senior wide receiver Jazz Peavy commended his position coach on in Evan Flood’s piece on Badger247, saying, “For him to do something like that, we all feel a lot more secure.”

Gilmore spoke with the media on Tuesday following practice, and as seen from the Wisconsin State Journal’s Jason Galloway’s practice recap, the Wisconsin assistant understands losing his father at a young age:

“I lost my dad when I was a junior in college, so I can speak to how he’s feeling,” Gilmore said. "I’m sure he’s had his ups and downs, a lot of emotions. Unfortunately, a young man at that age has taken on more responsibility than he should have to. The service is taking place (Tuesday). I haven’t visited with him today, but he was in as good a state of mind as you can be under the circumstances."

As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Jeff Potrykus reported in his feature on the wide receivers, Gilmore’s reaction to the news last week, when in the same room as his young student athlete, was simply “just hold him”:

Chryst told reporters last week that he and Gilmore were with Cephus when the wide receiver learned about his father being shot.

According to Gilmore, Cephus was in the football offices studying video.

“He gets the call from his brother,” said Gilmore, who was a junior in college when his father died. “So emotions went from zero to 100 very quickly. It is one of those deals … you really can’t say anything. Just hold him.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Cephus posted a pic and video on Instagram:

NFL draft news

Fox Sports Wisconsin: Draft analyst’s take on Badgers in 2017 NFL Draft class

Dave Heller spoke with DraftAnalyst.com’s Tony Pauline about some Badgers who could be drafted or make training camps. Check his takes on Wisconsin left tackle Ryan Ramczyk and outside linebacker T.J. Watt.

Land of 10 — Wisconsin TE Troy Fumagalli and great expectations, evolution of Alex Hornibrook, can Badgers make it NFL?

Really interesting recap here from Zach Heilprin, with the most intriguing piece being the angle on the former walk-on tight end looking at the NFL draft after a redshirt junior season where he led the team in catches and became one of the focal points of the receiving game.

This season, Fumagalli could make a huge impact and increase his NFL prospects even further.

Tuesday practice recaps

BadgerNation.comBadgers Football: Freshman quarterback Jack Coan gaining confidence in his first spring at Wisconsin ($)

BadgerBlitz.comPractice Report: Badgers still grinding as spring game nears ($)

Badger247.comNOTES: Big Day For Fumagalli