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Badgers F Tyler Wahl named to Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award watchlist

The Badgers forward is earning some high praise ahead of the 2023 season.

The Wisconsin Badgers are set to kick off their season with an exhibition matchup on November 1st against UW-Stevens Point, looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 campaign that saw the team miss the NCAA Tournament for just the second time in 25 years.

In looking to improve, the Badgers brought in forward A.J. Storr from St. John’s, while recruiting three freshmen: guard John Blackwell and forwards Nolan Winter and Gus Yalden.

However, one of their biggest moves of the offseason didn't come via an acquisition; instead, it was retaining forward Tyler Wahl, who mulled several possibilities before ultimately returning to Wisconsin for a fifth year.

Ahead of the 2023 season, Wahl is earning some serious praise, as the forward was named to the preseason watchlist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, which was announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

The award recognizes the top small forwards in D-1 basketball across the nation, as 20 players are selected to the preseason watchlist.

2023 marks the second consecutive year that Wahl was named to the watchlist, although his 2022 season was derailed by a midseason foot injury that appeared to impact him for most of the year.

Wahl becomes the third Badger to be a preseason candidate for the award, joining Sam Dekker (2015) and Nigel Hayes (2016), who were both finalists during the years they were candidates.

Here is the full list of players named to the watchlist ahead of this season.

Anton Watson – Gonzaga

Arthur Kaluma – Kansas State

Baylor Scheierman – Creighton

Coen Carr – Michigan State

Dalton Knecht – Tennessee

David Joplin – Marquette

Dillon Jones – Weber State

Glenn Taylor Jr. – St. John’s

Harrison Ingram – North Carolina

Jalen Bridges – Baylor

Jamison Battle – Ohio State

Jaylon Tyson – California

Johnny Furphy – Kansas

Justin Edwards – Kentucky

Mark Mitchell – Duke

Matthew Cleveland – Miami

Payton Sandfort – Iowa

Tucker DeVries – Drake

Tyler Burton – Villanova

Tyler Wahl – Wisconsin