On Wednesday afternoon, Wisconsin Badgers head coach Greg Gard joined a Zoom call with local media to discuss the three members of the 2021 class who had just signed their national letters of intent, how the non-conference scheduling was going for the Badgers, whether or not Lorne Bowman would be rejoining the team this year and who has stood out to him at practice in the freshmen class.
A little over a month ago, the Badgers announced that freshman point guard Lorne Bowman would be taking a leave of absence to attend to a family matter back home in Detroit. We hadn’t heard much about Bowman since until earlier on Wednesday when Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Bowman was no longer in the UW student directory. Potrykus asked Gard about Bowman and Gard confirmed that Bowman had withdrawn from school because the family matter was more serious than initially thought.
Gard says that Bowman still has the full support of the team and that they will be respecting the privacy of the Bowman family moving forward.— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) November 11, 2020
Reading between the lines of Gard’s comments it sounded like if Bowman were interested in returning to the team next year he’d be welcomed with open arms, but that is obviously all up in the air. We hope that the Bowman family is healthy and happy moving forward.
Gard seemed pleased with the three new additions to his team from the 2021 class and even mentioned in passing that the coaching staff was still looking for a fourth player in the class. Of note for those of us who care about which positions each player will be listed at:
Greg Gard, during his media availability, calls Matthew Mors a "combo forward" and Chris Hodges a "4/5 so to speak." Obviously Chucky Hepburn was listed as a point guard. #Badgers— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) November 11, 2020
As far as current freshmen that have impressed him in practice, Gard mentions Steven Crowl, Ben Carlson and Johnny Davis as guys who could see playing time for the team this year.
Gard mentions that he sees freshmen Ben Carlson, Steven Crowl and Johnny Davis as guys who will be "in the mix."— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) November 11, 2020
He also mentioned Official B5Q Favorite Carter Gilmore!
GREG GARD SAYS HE HAS BEEN PLEASANTLY SURPRISED BY OFFICIAL B5Q FAVORITE CARTER GILMORE!— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) November 11, 2020
"HE JUST KNOWS HOW TO PLAY," SAYS GARD
Here are some other notes from Gard’s availability:
- He’s not sure if the Big Ten conference schedule will come out this week, which many people thought previously.
#Badgers coach Greg Gard on B1G schedule. Says not sure when it will come out. Says league is looking at putting in buffer zones (rain dates) in case games are disrupted. Bottom line: Going to be a bumpy ride this winter.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) November 11, 2020
- Gard says that “I hope my phone doesn’t ring for an hour or two” after the daily testing for his players. As mentioned on Twitter, we make a lot of jokes about stuff around here but this season has to be so stressful and agonizing for the players and coaches. It just kinda sucks all around.
- Recruiting for future classes has been tough because no one misses on their Twitter/YouTube highlights. Either they’re all amazing or they have really good editors, Gard says.
- Gard then goes on to discuss how Zoom recruiting is like online dating. If you were wondering if Gard has a preferred online dating app, he doesn’t, as he couldn’t remember the name of any of them.
- Gard says they are planning to play seven non-conference games. All of the non-con game contracts haven’t been returned yet though. He mentioned that the Northern Iowa game, which we talked about yesterday, hasn’t been finalized yet.
Greg Gard says the #Badgers are awaiting contracts to be finalized to have a schedule put together. Says the schedule is forever changing and will remain forever changing.— George Balekji (@GeorgeBalekji) November 11, 2020
"One thing we learned through all this is you better be flexible, better be adaptable."
- He mentioned that there is a potential arrangement where teams in “a bus region” could substitute within 48 hours to fill in for a canceled non-conference game.