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Wisconsin men’s basketball: Greg Gard press conference

Head coach Greg Gard spoke to the media on Monday for his first preseason presser. Here’s what he had to say.

Wisconsin v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

On Monday, Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball coach Greg Gard met with local media via Zoom for the first time since practice officially started last Thursday. Below I’ve written down some of the things that Gard said and how he sees his new team shaking out this season.

  • Notes that he didn’t meet freshman PF Markus Ilver, C Chris Vogt (transfer from Cincinnati) or PG Jahcobi Neath (transfer from Wake Forest) in person until they arrived on campus in June for summer school.
  • Says that Ilver’s international experience would give him a bit of an advantage. Says he’s bigger and more skilled than he thought, but notes that like all young players at UW he needs to work on defense.
  • “I think the chemistry is really good, and that’s always growing.”

“There’s the making of the beginnings of a pretty good team.”

  • SF Jonathan Davis’ experience with USA Basketball grew his confidence. He’s also gotten physically better as he enters year two in the program. “He’ll be one of our marquee guys.”
  • On true freshman PG Chucky Hepburn: “obviously we’ve liked what we’ve seen so far.” Wants to temper expectations though because he’s a freshman. Gard seems to like him a lot though.
  • Gard likes what the transfers bring to the table. Say they’ve “hit the ground running.”
  • Notes that he’s excited to see PG Lorne Bowman (who missed all of last season for personal reasons) so happy to be back around the team and be back in a “team environment.”
  • Says building team chemistry has to happen organically, it can’t be forced. Mentions that the players are building it off the court by hanging out in their apartments and doing other stuff around campus.