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Wisconsin basketball recruiting: UW offers 3-star 2023 wing Gehrig Normand out of Texas

Normand has seen his recruitment take off in the month of May.

Syndication: Times Record News Naomi Skinner/Times Record News / USA TODAY NETWORK

On Tuesday evening, 2023 3-star wing Gehrig Normand (North Richland Hills, Texas) posted on Twitter that he had received an offer from Greg Gard and the Wisconsin Badgers. With spring grassroots tournaments in full swing, Normand has been blowing up on the recruiting trail in the month of May. He holds over a dozen offers currently, including from Colorado State, Kansas State, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Xavier and others.

The rising senior at Birdville High School stands at 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6 and weighs 175 pounds. Here are his rankings on the three major recruiting sites.

  • On3: 3-stars; 88 rating
  • Rivals: 3-stars
  • 247Sports: 3-stars; 89 rating
  • 247Sports Composite: 3-stars; 0.9061 rating; No. 170 player nationally, No. 37 SF, No. 14 Texas
  • On3 Consensus: 3-stars; 88.50 rating; No. 111 player nationally, No. 26 SG, No. 13 Texas

As mentioned, Normand’s recruitment has taken off over the last month. Since May 9, he has received six offers, most notably from Xavier, Texas, Tennessee and the Badgers. Last season, Normand averaged 11.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game for Birdville while shooting 30% from deep and 57.2% inside the arc. Birdville finished tied for first in the 5A Region 1 District 6 conference (Texas is a confusing state for high school sports delineation) with a 12-2 record (23-11 overall).

He plays for 3D Empire on the Nike grassroots circuit and has been having an extremely impressive run over the past couple of weeks. Friend of the blog, and talent evaluator/scout at Cerebro Sports, Jake Rosen has been on Normand for a bit and wrote about him again this week.

“In spite of being slightly over-tasked with usage at 34%, he was able to produce a ridiculously efficient scoring output – pouring in 19 points per game on 59% TS,” Rosen noted in his newsletter for Cerebro Sports.

“His shooting profile, granted it is from one weekend, is practically flawless. The attempts are difficult, the volume is high and the percentage is too. 42% on six attempts per game, contextualized with his range and versatility, is elite.”

I messaged with Rosen about Normand because, while I was impressed with his shooting on tape and in the numbers that Rosen discussed, it looks like Normand’s feet are often not squared to the basket. I wanted to know if that was an issue or, since his numbers have been so good recently, if it was a feature because it meant he could get a solid shot off from any angle.

Rosen agreed that his shooting was “a little unorthodox” but didn’t think it was cause for any concern. “I think he’d be a huge get for Wisconsin,” he said.

Normand is the type of player that the Badgers desperately need, but rarely get, on the recruiting trail. He is an athletic sharpshooter that doesn’t get flustered when he gets chased off the three point line and instead can score from the mid-range or take it to the rack.

He can finish with both hands and also on a defender’s head when need be. His 3D Empire team appears to run him through a maze of screens to get him open for shots, Rosen mentioned that 3D’s coaches “did a phenomenal job of putting Normand in positions to succeed,” and Normand isn’t shy about letting them fly. Every team needs an unrepentant gunner, in this blogger’s humble opinion, and Normand fills that role admirably.

Normand appears to have solid instincts as a distributor, but that is not a main part of his game. That is to say, he won’t earn any minutes as a backup point guard but he can, and will, make the correct read if he gets trapped or an extra pass needs to be made. Normand has good rebounding numbers for his high school team, but I don’t know what kind of boards those are so it’s tough to say whether or not he’s a “good rebounder” or not.

There are no highlights of him getting into a defensive stance, but Rosen said in his post that Normand is just kind of “meh” on defense. Rosen says “it won’t keep him off the floor,” but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be a Josh Gasser or Johnny Davis when guarding anyone.

Wisconsin’s 2023 class currently has a big man (4-star Gus Yalden) and a combo guard who IS a plus on defense (3-star John Blackwell) so Normand fills in a lot of the holes that the class has. The Badgers have offers out to wings Devin Royal (4-star out of Ohio) and Jamie Kaiser Jr. (3-star out of Virginia) and this offer to Normand might mean they aren’t feeling as comfortable about those two.

Gerry Hamilton at On3 Sports ($) reports that Normand will take official visits to Texas and Tennessee and, in a nice little tidbit at the end of the post, he also notes that Wisconsin and Mizzou will “probably” get officials too. We’ve reached out to Normand to ask if he plans on taking that official to Madison now that he has an offer.

As always when recruiting players who aren’t from Wisconsin, or the surrounding states, getting these recruits on campus is of paramount importance. They don’t know how nice Madison, the city is, or how impressive the campus is. I think the Badgers can be a player in this recruitment but it’ll be interesting to see how much “staying home” means to him because then the Texas offer could be hard to beat.