Recruiting is the lifeblood of any major college athletics team, but following it closely as a fan can sometimes be difficult and can often be time consuming. We’ll try and condense all the recruiting news you can use into this bi-weekly (or more often since we are in Uncertain Times and there aren’t actual sports going on) post. It’ll include updates on current commits, including stats from their high school games, as well as news on players the Badgers are still pursuing. Let’s get down to business!
Badgers target headed elsewhere
- 2021 3-star SG Lucas Taylor (Wake Forest, N.C.), who received an offer from the Wisconsin Badgers at the end of August, decided to stay closer to home and elected to play his college ball with the Clemson Tigers.
Taylor was probably never a serious contender to pick Wisconsin as his other finalists were Marquette, Davidson and Cincinnati. Having watched some of Taylor’s tape I find it hard to believe that he has fallen in the rankings so much since Wisconsin offered. He was a 4-star and the No. 103 player in the country (by 247 Composite) when the Badgers offered and now he’s a 3-star and the No. 176 player in the country. ::shrugging guy emoji::
Who is left in the 2021 class for Wisconsin?
- Right now UW has offers out to four uncommitted prospects in the 2021 class: No. 1 overall player SF Patrick Baldwin (almost certainly going to Duke), 4-star F Bryce Hopkins (Kentucky, Indiana, Providence), 4-star CG Hunter Sallis (Kentucky or UNC) and 3-star stretch forward Markus Ilver.
Ilver is the only prospect that Wisconsin has a realistic chance with left on their board. The native of Estonia is 6-foot-8 and weighs around 200 pounds and is rated as the No. 211 player in the nation by the 247 Composite. Due to the lack of evaluation period last spring/summer, the Badgers still haven’t seen Ilver play in person. The dead period is extended until Jan. 1, so once that is lifted you’d imagine Wisconsin will make it a priority to see him live.
If the Badgers don’t use the scholarship on Ilver they can obviously roll it over to 2022 or see if they can find a different late-bloomer that they like.
Now I don’t know anything about anything, but a potential 2021 offer might be sitting right under Gard’s nose. Over the past two days 3-star SG Brandon Podzeimski (Delafield) of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy has received offers from the Kentucky Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks. He also has offers from Kansas State, Arizona State, Marquette, DePaul and Boise State among others.
After a great zoom call with Coach John Calipari and Coach Joel Justus I am blessed to receive an offer from the University of Kentucky!!@PhenomUniverse pic.twitter.com/ClGjW2wGW8— Brandin Podziemski (@brandinpodziem2) October 14, 2020
Getting an offer from the Cats as an out of state 3-star player is quite the honor. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal:
During the Calipari era, Kentucky has not signed an out-of-state high school recruit ranked lower than 89th nationally in the 247Sports Composite. The only three-star prospects UK has signed were Kentucky natives Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins and Dontaie Allen and junior-college transfers Darnell Dodson, Eloy Vargas and Mychal Mulder.
You should also read that Courier-Journal piece because there is a scouting report on Podziemski given by B5Q’s Tall Adult Son, and current Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter, Curt Hogg!
Currently ranked No. 266 in the nation by the 247 Composite, it is likely Podziemski was hurt by the lack of summer grassroots hoops this year and will rise up the rankings now that more people are getting a look at him. He plays for Phenom U/Team Herro, so that’s probably where the Kentucky connection comes in, with some even comparing him favorably to Tyler Herro, albeit a “lite” version.
Are the Badgers interested? They should be if they aren’t currently. We’ll see if Gard has his interest piqued now that the big boys have come calling.