With Gus Yalden, John Blackwell, and Jack Janicki already in the fold, the Wisconsin men’s basketball program wants to take one more player in the 2023 recruiting cycle before shifting its focus to 2024.
Greg Gard and his coaching staff have also made it abundantly clear they want that last scholarship to go to three-star power forward Nolan Winter out of Lakeville, Minnesota.
Per the 247sports Composite, Winter is the No. 208 overall prospect in the 2023 recruiting class, the No. 40 PF in the country, and the No. 2 player in Minnesota.
Many have viewed Winter’s recruitment as a three-horse race between Minnesota, Stanford, and Wisconsin.
However, after speaking to the Lakeville North standout, he informed BadgersWire that he’d be announcing his commitment in the next two weeks and has narrowed his list of schools down to Wisconsin and Minnesota.
The 6-foot-11, 210-pound forward also held offers from Stanford, Xavier, Oregon State, St. Thomas, Wake Forest, and Xavier.
Here is what Winter had to say about his two finalists:
Feb 27, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Gophers head coach Ben Johnson addresses the crowd during a senior night presentation following the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Williams Arena. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports
“Everything about it [Minnesota] is great,” Winter explained. “The coaches, players, and vision coach Johnson has is going to be special.”
Mar 18, 2022; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Greg Gard watches from the bench in the game against the Colgate Raiders in the first half during the second round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
“I love all the coaches from top to bottom,” Winter told BadgersWire. “The campus is beautiful, and the entire city is awesome with a really supportive fanbase. The players are all really cool and are dudes I can get along with for four years. They know how to win.”
It’s easy to see Winter’s potential fit within a program like UW, given their success utilizing inside-out big men with similar skill sets.
The Lakeville North High School standout is a lanky, stretch big man that excels in the pick and pop, is a good passer from the high post, and has a budding low-post game. He also moves well for his size and flashes the ability to take defenders off the dribble and use his height to score over the top.
Nolan Winter (@NolanWinter5) Highlights vs George Hill All Indy April 2022
Lakeville North @LNHS_Panthers
Howard Pulley HOOPS @pulleyhoops@rl_hoops @NorthstarHoops @StribSports
Prospect Profile: https://t.co/R1ud4qJImQ
YT https://t.co/1Tyaft5UKk pic.twitter.com/VGoOchu4Gk
— StreetHistory Videos (@streethistory) May 11, 2022
Coach Gard and his staff pushed their chips all in on the stretch forward long ago, maintaining constant contact since they offered back in June of 2021.
Now, the big question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Wisconsin did enough to pry the Minnesota legacy away from his home state of Minnesota.
Thankfully, we’ll have that answer soon.
Contact/Follow us @TheBadgersWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin news, notes, opinion, and analysis. You can also follow Dillon Graff on Twitter @DillonGraff.
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