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Wisconsin basketball recruiting: Chucky Hepburn is a danged star

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Plus: transfer portal news for the men’s and women’s teams.

Chucky Hepburn throwing down a dunk in the state title game on Saturday.
FRANCIS GARDLER, Lincoln Journal Star

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 (sometimes more) 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!

Transfer portal news

  • One of the targets we identified in the linked post above was Middelton’s Storm Murphy who entered the transfer portal after playing at Wofford. It’s unclear if Wisconsin ever reached out to him seriously but Murphy is going to play his final year of college hoops in the ACC at Virginia Tech.
  • One player that the Badgers HAVE reached out to is Jamison Battle, formerly of George Washington and a native of the Twin Cities. If you can’t see the embedded tweet, Memphis, Marquette, Nebraska, Arkansas, Tennessee, Arizona, Cincinnati and Loyola Chicago have also touched base with Battle.
  • After the Badgers fired women’s head coach Jonathan Tsipis last week it was expected that there would be some roster turnover. Well, second team All-Big Ten performer Imani Lewis was the first domino to fall as she announced that she’d be entering the transfer portal and not returning to Madison.

The forward, who is a native of New Jersey, averaged 15 points and 8.8 rebounds per game last season and was UW’s best all-around player. She should be a highly sought after player due to her stat sheet stuffing ability.

Nebraska state basketball tournament

  • 2021 3-star PG commit Chucky Hepburn had a monster weekend in the Nebraska state basketball tournament. In the semifinals on Friday night, Hepburn led his team back from a halftime deficit and then a seven point deficit with 50 seconds left to send the game to OT. The Bellevue West Thunderbirds eventually won in triple overtime, 95-94, and Hepburn scored 23 points (all after halftime).

In the state finals, it was a rematch of the 2020 tilt which saw Hepburn’s Thunderbirds beat Millard North. The Mustangs, led by 5-star CG Hunter Sallis, won 84-78 in overtime and got revenge against Hepburn and Bellevue West. It was Millard North’s first ever state title.

Hepburn finished the final with a game-high 25 points (tied with Sallis), nine assists, eight rebounds and five steals. Hepburn will be joining the 2021 class on campus this summer and expectations for him will be high after an electric end to his high school career.