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Checking In on 2023 Wisconsin Men’s Basketball Recruit Gus Yalden

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Gus Yalden - Wisconsin Men’s Basketball
Photo: Courtesy of Gus Yalden's Instagram

Madison, Wis. – Ask any Wisconsin men’s basketball fan which incoming recruit they’re most excited about entering next season, and nine out of 10 Badgers fans will tell you four-star center Gus Yalden. 

Per 247sports, Yalden is the No. 100 overall prospect in the 2023 recruiting class, the No. 13 C in the country, and the No. 4 player in Indiana.

Now in his final season of prep basketball, the GusBus’ winding road to Madison made one last stop at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana — a member of the NIBC, where he routinely faces some of the toughest competition in the country.

The 6-foot-8, 240-pound forward has never shied away from competition, but his star is shining even brighter this season, leading the entire NIBC in scoring 16.3 points per game on an efficient 55.6% from the floor.

But if you ask Yalden, the “experts” continue dismissing his results and development because he doesn’t look the part.

“If players were ranked on performance, I should be top 50 – all I do is improve, and my stats reflect it,” Yalden told BadgerNotes. “I don’t meet the eye test, but that shouldn’t distract evaluators from watching me outwork and outperform the dudes they tapped years ago as top 50.

“It’s frustrating to be playing so well, repping the future of Wisconsin men’s basketball on the national circuit, and actually drop in the rankings,” Yalden continued. “I get those rankings don’t mean anything – but they should, and that’s my point. Create an algorithm that can measure improvement using stats, physical measurables, and trajectory.”

Gus Yalden + Wisconsin Men’s Basketball = Perfect Fit 

Throughout his recruitment, Gus Yalden accumulated more than 20 scholarship offers, most notably from Iowa, Arkansas, Butler, College of Charleston, Florida State, Oklahoma, Utah, Xavier, Marquette, Illinois, Louisville, Rutgers, and Nebraska. 

But only the Wisconsin men’s basketball program truly felt like home. 

“It’s not just their relationship with me that matters but their relationships with former players, coaches, staff, alum, and the corporate world outside of basketball that is impressive,” Yalden told BadgerNotes. “Watching the craziness of the transfer portal, I wanted to make sure that the coaching staff was committed to their future with the program as well as to developing me and my game in the years ahead.”

Between Yalden’s skillset and fiery competitive spirit, joining a program known for its gritty style of play and developing big men made signing with the Wisconsin men’s basketball program a no-brainer.

His fit at UW and, more specifically, in Greg Gard’s offensive system should be seamless.

Although the 6-foot-8 forward plays below the rim, Yalden’s blend of physicality, touch, and vision from the post makes him a legit scoring threat on the low block. He’s also a high IQ player with elite court vision capable of knocking down a three from beyond the arc – a true inside-out threat.

One Shocking Storyline About Gus Yalden Wisconsin Men’s Basketball Fans Might Not Know…

During the offseason, it was no secret that Greg Gard and the Wisconsin men’s basketball program were feverishly scouring the transfer portal in search of a big man to replace Chris Vogt and the departed Ben Carlson.

For various reasons, UW didn’t find the right fit, which left the coaching staff scrambling in search of outside-the-box options.

Many Badger fans are familiar with the Cyril Martynov story where Greg Gard offered and asked the Canadian-born center to reclassify to the 2022 recruiting class and join the program a year early.

But did you know Wisconsin men’s basketball was insanely close to getting Gus Yalden reclassified to the 2022 recruiting class before the NCAA prevented it?

“The NCAA wouldn’t clear me without “graduated” on my transcript even though I had enough credits,” Yalden told BadgerNotes. “When I asked the Asheville school to adjust my transcript, they refused to add “graduated” since I didn’t meet their school’s graduation requirements.”

It’s always fun to wonder “what if,” but his addition certainly would have given the Wisconsin men’s basketball program some much-needed depth in the frontcourt this season.

Either way, the GusBus arrives in Madison next season, and the fanbase can’t wait.


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Dillon Graff is a Substack Newsletter Best Selling Author and the Owner of BadgerNotes.com, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His writing has been featured in top media publications like USA Today, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, and Fansided.

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