The Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team has one more spot to fill in their 2021 recruiting class. Up until recently, most people thought that spot would be taken by 3-star SG Julian Roper. Well, Roper committed to Northwestern on Monday afternoon and now the Badgers are headed back to the drawing board.
Wisconsin is still in extremely good shape with their 2021 class. They have three 4-star players, PF Matthew Mors, PG Chucky Hepburn and PF Chris Hodges, already on board and plenty of time to find the fourth piece of their nationally No. 2 ranked class. Losing Roper to a conference rival stinks, but it isn’t the end of the world.
Let’s take a look at who some of the remaining options are.
Players with offers already
Unranked by 247 Composite (3-star by Rivals); 6-foot-6, 180 pounds; SG/SF; Oak Park, Ill.; River Forest High School; offers from Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, TCU, Michigan, Georgia and Iowa State among others
Since Wisconsin offered a few weeks ago, Iowa State, Georgia and Michigan have all offered Barnes and his recruitment seems to be trending upwards at a rapid rate. The Badgers are neither Barnes’ first nor best offer so they’ll be in a dogfight to get him to commit. Assistant coach Alando Tucker is from under an hour away from Barnes’ hometown and could help in his recruitment. Barnes will also play on the same AAU team, the Illinois Wolves, as Hodges.
Players who could receive offers
Unranked by 247 Composite (4-stars by 247Sports); 6-foot-5, 190 pounds; SG; Evanston, Ill.; Notre Dame College Prep; offers from Illinois, Oklahoma, Dayton, Nebraska and Santa Clara
Lesmond is yet another player from the Chicago Wolves AAU program and has been on the cusp of getting a Badgers offer for, what seems like, forever. With Roper off the board now, Lesmond would presumably be the next in line to get that offer from Greg Gard. Originally from France, Lesmond would provide a similar sweet-shooting profile to Brevin Pritzl.
Unranked by 247 Composite; 6-foot-8, 205 pounds; PF/SF; Monroe; Monroe High School; offers from UW-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee and Valparaiso
Meyer is an in-state kid who, much like Lesmond, has seemed on the verge of an offer for a while. A bouncy athlete, Meyer wouldn’t really provide the shooting that the Badgers are probably looking for from the fourth member of their 2021 class, but he is a compelling prospect.
Other players who could receive offers: Hunter Sallis, 4-stars, PG/SG Omaha, Neb.
Players who could receive offers based on Greg Gard’s recent Twitter follows
So, uh, stick with me here. Gard doesn’t really follow players on Twitter that haven’t been offered by Wisconsin and these are his four most recent follows on that hellsite. Barnes, we already discussed above, so let’s take a look at the other three players he followed.
3-stars by 247 Composite; 6-foot-8, 185 pounds; SF; Libertyville, Ill.; Rice University
Peterson is a transfer prospect that recently committed to Minnesota and then a week later decommitted.
After discussing with my family, I am reopening my recruitment. Minnesota is still very much a possibility for me. I hope everyone understands the importance of making such a big life choice during these unprecedented times. Please respect my decision.— Drew Peterson (@Drewpeterson23) May 1, 2020
Peterson averaged 11.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists as a sophomore last season at Rice and would have two years of eligibility remaining at his new school. Peterson will be looking for a waiver from the NCAA that would allow him to play right away so, if recent history is any indication (#FREEMICAHPOTTER), Wisconsin might not be the place for him.
Would Peterson consider walking on at Wisconsin his first year and then being put on scholarship after that? Who knows, but I don’t know why else Gard would’ve followed him on Twitter.
Unranked by 247 Composite (3-stars by Rivals); 6-foot-5, 180 pounds; SG; Yorkville, Ill.; Yorkville Christian High School; offers from Illinois, Creighton, UIC, Southern Illinois and Drake
Schutt is a prospect for the class of 2022, so he doesn’t have to much relevance to what the Badgers will be doing in 2021, but he is an outstanding shooter, having already set the Illinois state record by making 17 (!!!) three pointers in one game last season.
I know this isn’t an article about Schutt, but his sophomore highlight tape is riveting. This kid is extremely athletic and finishes violently and through contact. He has a sweet, repeatable stroke from three and can also create his own shot in the mid-range. The number of times you see the opposing coach call timeout after he makes a shot in this video is pretty hilarious. Gard should offer him yesterday IMHO.
Unranked by 247 Composite; 6-foot-6, 195 pounds; SG; Brunswick, Ga.; Glynn Academy; offer from North Florida; interest from Davidson, Stanford, Georgia, Penn, VMI and Navy
Hrdlicka is a name in the 2021 class that has come out of nowhere but has been mentioned by both 247 and Rivals in the past day as someone that the Badgers are interested in.
Hrdlicka’s tape is basically the same as Schutt’s. He too is hyper-athletic and can bomb away from deep. In my expert opinion, Hrdlicka looks like a better rebounder and ball handler and also had a couple of defensive highlights in there which is always nice.
So there you have it! A bunch of names that you’ll probably see in three years on some random roster and think to yourself “why does that name look familiar?”