Wisconsin’s men’s basketball program received a commitment from Wake Forest transfer point guard Jahcobi Neath Thursday night.
Neath, a 6-foot-3 point guard from Canada, played his first two seasons in the ACC at Wake Forest. Neath entered his name in the transfer portal after a disappointing sophomore season under first year head coach Steve Forbes. He averaged 3.0 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game while averaging 15.8 minutes a game. However, during his freshman season under head man Danny Manning, Neath averaged 5.3 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 2.2 assists in 18.5 minutes per game. He scored a career high 16 points in a double-overtime loss to Duke.
After their loss to Baylor in the NCAA tournament, the Badgers graduated six seniors, three of whom were guards. As a result, UW was expected to be aggressive in the transfer portal. At the end of the season, Gard hinted at looking for a player similar to Neath. “There’s benefit and value in having that old backup quarterback who has been around the track a few times. Maybe they statistically don’t wow you or have a large impact, but there’s just value in a steadiness and voice of experience or a voice of reason at times,” he said. Neath brings the experience Gard was looking for, along with athleticism, physicality, and leadership. Neath’s high school coach Ro Russell said that Neath is “strong, aggressive, very talented and can go. He’s definitely a high-major player that can be effective in the Big Ten.”
With Neath’s commitment, the Badgers have one scholarship available to give. Look for Wisconsin to use it on a big man out of the transfer portal. With the departures of Micah Potter and Nate Reuvers, UW is in desperate need of an experienced big.
The 2021-2022 roster is slowly coming together. Gard and his staff have added two players from the transfer portal, Neath and Mineral Point native Isaac Lindsey. In addition, Brad Davison announced his return to the program earlier this week. Piece by piece, the young but talented squad is starting to take shape. Buckle up, Badger fans. This season should be a fun one!
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