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Wisconsin Basketball: Max Klesmit Embracing “Glue Guy” Role



Wisconsin Basketball: Max Klesmit Embracing “Glue Guy” Role

Madison, Wis. — Every Wisconsin basketball team needs a guy willing to check his ego at the door and do what’s best for the program to win games.

For the past five seasons, that man was Brad Davison – but after exhausting his eligibility – the Minnesota native left a gaping hole on the wing from a scoring perspective – but even more so as the vocal leader and quarterback of the defense. 

To help fill that void, Greg Gard went to the transfer portal and came out with Wofford shooting guard Max Klesmit, who decided to return home and join the Wisconsin Badgers.

Last season, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound shooting guard averaged 14.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game as a sophomore en route to third-team All-Southern Conference honors.

Embracing the Wisconsin Basketball “Glue Guy” Role 

Since joining the Wisconsin basketball program, Klesmit has taken a back seat as a scorer and instead embraced the role of becoming UW’s “glue guy.”

Through the first 14 games, he’s averaging 6.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.6 steals on 40% shooting from beyond the arc. He’s also second on the team in minutes per game, behind only Chucky Hepburn. However, the box score only tells a fraction of the story.

The Wisconsin native has proven to be a fiery competitor on both ends of the floor. Despite being only 6-foot-3, Klesmit has been a thorn in the side of opposing backcourts.

“I try to make life hard for the other guy – and all the other guys on the floor,” he told Mike Lucas. “I’m not necessarily trying to frustrate them, but make them uncomfortable. Make them do something they don’t like to do. Or make them counter to a move they don’t want to go to.”

His attention to the small details makes his on-court impact so substantial. He stays in front of his man, is rarely out of position, dives on the floor for loose balls, and follows coach Gard’s defensive rules to a T.

In short, Klesmit does the little things for Wisconsin basketball that end up being the big things.

Closing Thoughts

Fans of the Wisconsin basketball program know being labeled as a “glue guy” is arguably the highest compliment a player can receive at UW – because of how vital they are to the team’s on-court success.

I believe that Max Klesmit could score 10+ points a night for the Badgers – but that’s not what the Badgers need. I’ve been impressed with Klesmit’s spot-up shooting, off-ball movement, and ability to attack driving lanes to get to the basket.

What he lacks in strength, he makes up for it with impressive body control. It’s also worth noting that Klesmit does an excellent job using head fakes/hesitations, and he’s been a perfect complimentary piece.

This kid is tough as nails and was the perfect transfer portal addition by Greg Gard and his coaching staff. Wisconsin basketball is a better team because of players like him – so a tip of the cap to Max Klesmit for doing the dirty work.

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Dillon Graff is a Substack Newsletter Best Selling Author and the Owner of, 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.