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Wisconsin Basketball Commit Honored, New Transfer Target, More

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Photo Credit: Dillon Graff

It’s been a busy week for the Wisconsin basketball program, ladies and gents, but fear not because BadgerNotes can help get you back up to speed with a roundup of some important news you may have missed.

Nolan Winter Named Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year

The Greg Gard can’t recruit crowd was forced to take a day off this past week when three-star power forward Nolan Winter, out of Lakeville, Minnesota, was named the state Gatorade Player of the Year. 

Winter averaged 23.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.3 blocks, leading the Panthers to a 24-3 record alongside 2024 Badgers commit Jack Robison. 

The 6-foot-11 forward joins an elite group of previous award winners, including NBA talents such as Trae Young, Chet Holmgren, Jayson Tatum, and Karl-Anthony Towns. 

According to the 247Sports composite, Winter is the No. 192 overall prospect in the 2024 recruiting class, the No. 41 PF in the country, and the No. 2 player in Minnesota.

Winter, the latest player in the Lakeville North pipeline, has excellent length, can stretch the floor, and has a high ceiling that Badgers fans should be excited about. 

Wisconsin Basketball Showing Interest in ACC Transfer Big Man

Greg Gard and the Wisconsin basketball coaching staff have been in contact with a Power 5 big man who recently entered the transfer portal. 

On Thursday afternoon, Joe Tipton of On3Sports reported that Wisconsin was among the teams that expressed interest in Pittsburgh transfer forward John Hugley. 

Along with UW, Michigan, Oregon, Miami, Rutgers, Xavier, Arkansas, LSU, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Maryland, Nebraska, Butler, Georgia, and several other schools have reached out. 

The 6-foot-9, 265-pound forward played eight games this past season before deciding to sit out the remainder of the season to focus on his mental health. In 2021-22 however, he led the Panthers in scoring, averaging 14.8 points per game and 7.9 rebounds on 47.1% shooting en route to All-ACC honorable mention honors. 

The former four-star recruit has three years of eligibility left.

Wisconsin Basketball SG Earns B1G All-Freshman Honors 

The Wisconsin basketball program had only one scholarship player in the 2022 recruiting class, Connor Essegian, who quickly became a foundational piece for Greg Gard and the Badgers. 

After starting as UW’s “sixth man” at the beginning of the year, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard quickly earned a spot in the starting lineup and never looked back.

After the regular season finale, Essegian became just the eighth Wisconsin basketball player to earn Big Ten All-Freshman team honors. He joins some impressive Badgers alum such as Alando Tucker, Joe Krabbenhoft, Sam Dekker, Nigel Hayes, Ethan Happ, Brad Davison, and Chucky Hepburn. 

“It feels great to be on that (list), but the guys on the team, they trusted me. I trusted them,” Essegian told reporters. “It’s been all of us, honestly, but it’s a great feeling.

The Indiana native finished second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.9 points per game while setting the school’s single-season freshman three-point record (64). 


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Dillon Graff is a Substack newsletter best-selling author, publisher of AllBadgers, and the owner of BadgerNotes.com, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today's BadgersWire, Athlon Sports, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, Bucky's 5th Quarter, and FanSided.

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