Coming off of an official visit this past weekend, Wisconsin secured verbal commitments from two standout 2021 basketball prospects. The first to commit was four-star point guard Chucky Hepburn, out of Bellevue, Nebraska.
The junior point guard is ranked as a top-150 player according to both 247sports and Rivals. He chose to lock in his recruitment earlier than the majority of his peers by choosing Wisconsin over other early offers from in-state Nebraska, and midwestern schools Creighton, Iowa and Minnesota.
Bucky’s 5th Quarter breaks down his game...
At 6-foot-1 and around 180 pounds, Hepburn has decent size for a point guard in the Big Ten. He has good weight and strength for his frame, and he is able to leverage that strength on both sides of the ball. While Hepburn is still improving his game in a lot of areas, he possesses the size to compete immediately at the high major level.
Hepburn routinely is able to maneuver his way through the lane with his strength and can finish under contest. His strong lower body allows him to explode to the rim and finish with authority.
Chucky Hepburn is a heady point guard who is a floor general. He is a pass first distributor that also has the ability to take control on offense when the time is right. He has a great feel for the game, and he changes speed well. Hepburn is a strong leader for his high school and AAU teams, and he makes smart decisions when the ball is in his hands.
Woke up feeling blessed!! Thank you God for allowing me to be apart of the badger family ⚪️ pic.twitter.com/VLdSGygCvC— Chucky Hepburn (@ChuckyHepburn) September 30, 2019
While he is not necessarily super fast, his combination of strength and quickness make him tough to defend and allow him to make plays all over the court. He runs the floor well and can create for himself and others in transition. Hepburn appears to always stay in control with the dribble and with his strong base, he is hard to knock off of position.
Interestingly enough his shot form is very similar to that of current Wisconsin point guard D’Mitrik Trice. He has a solid jumper from the perimeter and he also has a very good mid-range game. His shot has continued to improve over the course of his high school career and that trajectory will only benefit him as a lead guard.
On the defensive side of the ball Hepburn moves his feet well, and his quickness allows him to guard other lead guards across all levels of the court. His strength also benefits him to potentially hold his own at the B1G level, as he will not be easily backed down or dribbled around because of his thicker frame.
Hepburn has quick hands and has fabulous jumping ability which allow him to make splash plays on defense as well.
Hepburn’s film screams B1G point guard. He will pair nicely with Lorne Bowman who is a bigger, longer, guard from the 2020 class that can shoot the ball well. The duo should both be able to play on the court together if need be, and Hepburn’s pass first mentality will allow the swing offense to run smoothly.
Hepburn’s leadership and play making ability make him a player that Greg Gard can trust with the ball in his hands towards the end of the shot clock. In his high school career, Hepburn has demonstrated the ability to hit shots in crunch time, and his ability to carve into the lane and get to rim, or stop and hit the midrange jumper make him ideal for that role.
His size will give him flexibility to score inside on smaller defenders in the swing offense, while also allowing him to drain three point shots from the perimeter. With a talented core of prospects committed in 2019, 2020, and in his class of 2021 having a strong point guard will be vital. With so many players with the versatility to play inside and out, a playmaking distributor like him can make the plays necessary to spread the ball around and make the offense tough to defend.
Hepburn’s size and leadership qualities remind me of former Wisconsin point guard Jordan Taylor. Taylor was a great two way player for the Badgers, and I think Hepburn has better athleticism than Taylor had during his college career. Overall, Greg Gard must feel elated to have earned the four-star’s commitment so early in the recruiting process, and Hepburn’s talent will be an asset for the team once he is on campus.