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Wisconsin Basketball Recruiting Roundup: Backcourt Transfer Portal Targets



Wisconsin basketball
Dec 15, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers guard Connor Essegian (3) and Wisconsin Badgers guard Chucky Hepburn (23) talk as they approach the huddle during a timeout during the second half against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports

Madison, Wis. — Greg Gard and the Wisconsin basketball program have been active in the early stages of the offseason, reaching out to numerous transfer options, some of which are in the backcourt.

Wisconsin lacked depth across the board this past season but was anchored by a strong group of guards, namely Chucky Hepburn, Max Klesmit, and Connor Essegian, which gives the Badgers a solid core to build around. That said, they need some additional help.

Jordan Davis provided solid but unspectacular minutes, Kamari McGee was a slow burn but showed promise as a backup point guard, Jahcobi Neath missed the season due to injury, and Issac Lindsey showed promising flashes.

However, UW needs another viable, experienced option that can slot into the rotation for the Wisconsin basketball program heading into next season to compete in the grueling Big Ten.

Here is an early list of some notable players UW has contacted this offseason.

Khalif Battle (6-foot-5 guard; Temple)

Joe Tipton of On3Sports reported that Wisconsin basketball was among the teams that expressed interest in Temlple transfer guard Khalif Battle. 

Villanova, Arkansas, Arizona, Ohio State, Memphis, Florida, USC, UCLA, and several other schools have also reached out. 

The 6-foot-5, 175-pound guard appeared in 27 games, starting eight, and led the Owls in scoring, averaging 17.9 points per game and 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.0 steals on 41% shooting from the field.

The former four-star recruit has up to two years of eligibility remaining.

Jace Carter (6-foot-5 Guard; UIC)

National Recruiting Expert Joe Tipton from On3Sports, reported that Wisconsin was one of the teams that inquired about University of Illinois-Chicago transfer guard Jace Carter. 

Texas A&M, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Clemson, Minnesota, Butler, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Iowa State, and several other schools also expressed interest in Carter. 

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound guard was an All-Missouri Conference second-team member this past season, averaging 16.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.8 steals on 45.6% shooting from the field. 

Carter started all 30 games he appeared in for the Flames this past season and will have two years of eligibility remaining. 

Jackson Paveletzke (6-foot-3 Guard; Wofford)

Trent Markwith, the owner of Relentless Hoops, reported that Wisconsin basketball was among the teams that expressed interest in Wofford transfer Jackson Paveletzke.

Gonzaga, Virginia, Ohio State, Illinois, Penn State, Iowa State, Stanford, Georgia, Clemson, USC, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska, LSU, Minnesota, Missouri, and several other schools have reached out. 

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard from Kimberly, Wisconsin, was the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year this past season, averaging 15.1 points, 3.7 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and 0.8 steals on 49.3% shooting from the field and 39.3% from beyond the arc.

Paveletzke started all 33 games for the Terriers this past season and finished with double-digit points in Woffords final 14 games. 

Lastly, the Wisconsin native will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Evan Taylor (6-foot-6 Guard/Wing; Lehigh)

The first backcourt player Wisconsin basketball showed interest in, according to a report from Joe Tipton of On3Sports, was Lehigh wing Evan Taylor when he entered his name into the portal. 

Loyola Chicago, DePaul, Georgia, Virginia Tech, Tulane, Santa Clara, Indiana St, Illinois St, UTEP, Richmond, LMU, GCU, Drake, William and Mary, La Salle, and Oregon St. are also in the mix. 

The 6-foot-6, 205-pound senior was a second-team All-Patriot League member this past season, averaging 14.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists while shooting 43% from beyond the arc on 4.3 attempts per game. 

Taylor, an Illinois native with 88 career starts under his belt, scored 18 points in Lehigh’s matchup against Wisconsin basketball this past season and has one year of eligibility remaining.

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Dillon Graff is a Substack newsletter best-selling author, publisher of AllBadgers, and the owner of, 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.