The Wisconsin Badgers executed the second part of their offseason plan when they landed St. John’s transfer wing A.J. Storr on Thursday, who joined Wyoming guard Noah Reynolds as newcomers to the team via the portal.
Storr, a 6’6, 200-pound freshman, was a former four-star, and enjoyed a nice season efficiency-wise, connecting on 40% of his three-pointers in 2022.
Reynolds, a 6’3 sophomore, broke out in 2022 with a 14.5-point season on 48.1% efficiency, providing some higher-echelon guard depth to the team to complement Chucky Hepburn, Connor Essegian, and Max Klesmit.
With the two transfer pickups, head coach Greg Gard has already compiled a successful offseason in a crucial period for the Badgers after a disappointing season where they missed March Madness for just the second time since 1998.
The Badgers needed depth. Gard understood that, and knowingly acknowledged that flaw throughout the season, to which he has responded with two vital transfer additions.
Storr’s recruitment is especially impressive when noting the number of teams that were interested in his services.
Over 30 teams reached out to the high-prized transfer, including the likes of Memphis, Miami, UConn, Virginia, and Gonzaga, but Storr reportedly only visited the Badgers out of any team, according to 247Badger’s Evan Flood.
Parent Perspective: Why St. John's transfer AJ Storr only visited the #Badgers despite hearing from many of the top programs nationally.— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) April 14, 2023
"That constant communication with the head coach, I think that made a difference."https://t.co/17o8buvjsr (VIP) pic.twitter.com/j4odAaVzn2
Greg Gard out-recruiting a significant number of competitors to the point where Storr made only one visit is a huge win for Wisconsin, and underlines the acknowledgment that the head coach presented in understanding the importance of improving his roster.
Now, what are the next steps for the program?
Gard has now landed a transfer guard and a wing, but the frontcourt hasn't been touched yet, and that's where Wisconsin struggled with depth last year.
However, is landing an experienced big extremely vital to their success next season?
While one certainly would be of use, it may not be as necessary as people think, given the talent that Wisconsin is bringing in with their 2023 recruiting class.
Gus Yalden seems ready to play some minutes immediately, while Nolan Winter has continued to improve his game to become more well-rounded.
Still, I don’t know if the Badgers are done in the portal, as they've been in contact with a few forwards, although it’s unclear whether talks have changed since Tyler Wahl announced his intentions to start.
If the Badgers can land a transfer big, their roster can be as competitive as the top of the Big Ten.
But, even without one, they can field a competitive roster that should return Wisconsin to prominence after a disappointing year.