The Wisconsin Badgers had their season end at the hands of the North Texas Mean Green on Tuesday, failing to score a point over the last nine minutes of the game, ultimately leading to their demise in a 56-54 loss.
While the season didn't end the way they liked, the Badgers enjoyed a nice run at the end of the season, winning three consecutive games to reach the NIT Final Four, and now are positioned to move forward into 2023 with the same starting lineup, should Tyler Wahl elect to return for a fifth season.
The team has admittedly been active in the transfer portal, but is also bringing in three recruits in the 2023 class that could be immediate contributors to the team.
Four-star Gus Yalden is the highest-rated recruit in the 2023 class, and is the most physically ready to perform at the next level, standing at 6’9, 240 pounds.
Yalden should serve as an immediate contributor given the Badgers’ lack of high-end depth in the frontcourt behind Steven Crowl and Tyler Wahl, which cost them in the rebounding department in 2023.
Now, it'll be intriguing how much Yalden plays in Year 1, as he isn't the tallest big man, while his foot speed may be something to monitor in the pick-and-roll.
Still, the La Luminiere big man is poised for a solid summer campaign before heading to Madison, where he should compete for minutes immediately.
Winter is the opposite of Yalden in the frontcourt: tall, slim, and a good shooter.
The Lakeville North product enjoyed a strong senior season, en route to being named Minnesota’s AP Player of the Year, averaging 23.4 points and 11.6 rebounds on 64.1% shooting this past year.
Winter may take more time to develop his frame to adjust to the collegiate level, but his shooting ability would be valuable to a team that could benefit from forwards being able to stretch the floor.
Blackwell, a 6’3 combo guard from Michigan, is more of a defensive presence that could vie for backup minutes in a rotation without a consistent presence behind starters Chucky Hepburn, Max Klesmit, and Connor Essegian.
But, the guard isn't just a one-trick pony, as he was efficient from three during his final season at Brother Rice, providing value as an off-ball guard that can lock up at the next level.
The Badgers will be in the transfer portal, which may complicate matters for Blackwell and his fellow 2023 commits in terms of immediate playing time, but there are opportunities for each player to earn minutes in Year 1.