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!
- Greg Gard and the Badgers had a couple of visitors in Madison over the weekend and one of them, unranked 2023 guard John Blackwell, received an offer. Blackwell (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) out of Brother Rice High School has other offers from Central Michigan, Cleveland State, Eastern Michigan, Northern Illinois, Oakland, Rhode Island, Toledo and VCU, so Wisconsin is his first high major offer.
Blessed to say that I have received a offer from the University Of Wisconsin! pic.twitter.com/MYgqkyThF0— johnblackwell (@_Johnblackwell1) September 12, 2021
Blackwell stands at 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds and hasn’t been rated yet by any of the recruiting services. There isn’t a ton of tape online for Blackwell, but here are some short clips of a couple of games of his.
I know this is rich coming from me, but Blackwell isn’t a crazy athlete who is blowing past people and finishing on their heads. He is, however, smart with his movements and can slither his way to the basket with change of direction dribbles and the like. For the Badgers, I’d guess they’re recruiting him as more of a shooting guard than a point guard (since Chucky Hepburn and Lorne Bowman will still be on the roster) but Blackwell shows solid playmaking skills and would be a nice addition as a secondary creator on the perimeter.
Blackwell can score on all three levels and has a nice stroke from three. It isn’t the quickest release and I didn’t see many (any?) highlights of him shooting off of screens so it would seem that, for right now, he has to have his feet set and time to unload his three point attempts.
The nice thing is, for all of the things that he needs to work on...he’s got time to do so! He still has two years of high school left and, presumably, he should get stronger and faster. Going into Michigan and getting hoops recruits out is a tough ask for the Badgers, especially with Michigan and Michigan State recruiting at such a high level, but hopefully being his first high major offer will resonate with Blackwell.
“Definitely top on my mind with all the love they showed,” he said to Evan Flood of Badger247 ($). “Wisconsin is definitely a place I’m very interested in.”
- 2024 wing Cooper Koch (Peoria, Ill.) took an unofficial visit to Madison over the weekend. The 6-foot-7 forward is one of Wisconsin’s top targets for the ‘24 class and the Badgers are already putting in work on him. It is definitely worth noting that Koch’s father played hoops at Iowa, so the Hawkeyes are considered an early favorite, but one of his teammates in Iowa City just so happened to be current Wisconsin assistant coach Dean Oliver, so the Badgers have a nice “in” too.
Targets headed elsewhere
- As we mentioned on Friday, 2022 3-star SG Josh Dix cancelled his official visit to Wisconsin for the Eastern Michigan game, and now we officially know why. The Council Bluffs, Iowa native is staying home and playing for the Hawkeyes. This was expected, so nothing to freak out about.
- 2023 3-star DE T.J. McMillen (Wheaton, Ill.) took an unofficial visit to Madison over the weekend. Wisconsin hasn’t offered yet, but Arizona State, Mizzou, Penn State, TCU and Texas Tech (among others) have already pulled the trigger on the 6-foot-4 and 235 pound lineman.
- 2022 DL Evan Tyler (Hudson) also made the trip to Madison for the weekend. The 6-foot-4 and 230 pound prospect only has an offer from Morehead State so far, but he has been receiving interest from schools like North Dakota State and Northern Illinois. He might be a PWO offer for the Badgers, because I don’t really see a scholarship available for him in what is going to be a smaller 2022 class.