The transfer portal season is winding down in college basketball. The Wisconsin Badgers were active in the portal, as they should have been. They added St John’s A.J. Storr and lost Jordan Davis and Jahcobi Neath. Tyler Wahl also announced he would come back for a fifth season. I would consider that adding a player as well. With the summer months beginning and college basketball going into a quiet period, here is how I see Wisconsin’s two man depth chart at each position.
Point Guard: Chucky Hepburn-Kamari McGee
I believe Wisconsin is going to get a better version of Chucky Hepburn in 2023. A big reason I think is the shooting that surrounds him. Connor Essegian will improve and be an even better shooter and I think A.J. Storr has the chance to be a very good player right away. Hepburn is known to be a better facilitator rather than a shooter. He was asked to take a lot of shots as the shot clock expired this past season and I am not sure that is his game. If the shooting can be better like I think it can, I think we see a better Chucky Hepburn his junior year.
I thought Kamari McGee found his groove over the last six weeks of the season. It was a struggle at one point for him to find the court. He embraced it and took advantage of his limited opportunities that turned into a role in the rotation late in the season. I think he needs to be more aggressive and his shooting has to be better as well.
Shooting Guard: Connor Essegian-Max Klesmit
Connor Essegian was really good as a freshman and I think he can be an all-conference player next season. It was clear he ran out of energy late in the season as his shooting numbers dipped. Opposing teams also targeted him on defense, a part of his game that as to get better. I have no doubt he will get stronger this summer and commit to the defensive side more. If he can do that, the sky is the limit.
This was tough, but I think the addition of A.J. Storr sends Max Klesmit to the bench. It’s tough because Klesmit became the leader of this team and gave everything he had on both sides of the ball. He is Wisconsin’s best defender and a respectable shooter as well. I think his value on this team is off the charts. I can also see him playing the point at times. He did this quite a bit in the NIT that allowed Hepburn to be more of a spot up shooter.
Small Forward: A.J. Storr- Isaac Lindsey
I think A.J. Storr is an immediate starter and could be Wisconsin’s best player. He’s aggressive at the rim which is something this team did not have a season ago and is a really good spot up shooter from three. His 6’6 frame also makes him a tough match-up for opposing teams. Storr played in the Big East last season so adjusting to the speed of the Big Ten shouldn’t be an issue.
With the departures of Jordan Davis and Jahcobi Neath, I think this is a great opportunity for Isaac Lindsey. We haven’t seen him much in two years, but when he’s played he has has provided a spark. Lindsey has also shown the ability to shoot from all parts of the court. I don’t think he’s a 20 minute a game player, but we should see him more consistently next season.
Power Forward: Tyler Wahl-Gus Yalden
Coming back for a fifth season should pay dividends for Tyler Wahl. Before his injury on January 3, Wahl was playing at an all-conference level and put this team on his back in the Battle 4 Atlantis. After missing two weeks with that injury, Wahl was never the same player and his confidence at the rim was not there. He has a chance to eclipse the 1,000 point mark too this season.
Freshman Gus Yalden will see the court this season. His defensive game will be a work in progress, but what he brings on offense is something this team needs. He has great footwork and can back down a post player in the paint and fade away from 15 feet. Expect the highs and lows like we saw with Connor Essegian, but Gus Yalden will be a fun player to watch next year.
Center: Steven Crowl-Carter Gilmore
2023 seems like the year Steven Crowl has to take the next step. I thought his step from his freshman year to his sophomore year was really good. However, I didn’t see him take that same step this past season. Foul trouble was an issue at times, but we also saw Crowl be passive when he probably shouldn’t have been. Crowl had a really good NIT which included a career high 36 points against Bradley.
Unless Wisconsin adds a backup center in the transfer portal soon, Carter Gilmore could be the biggest winner out of all of this. While Gilmore played almost 20 minutes a game this past season, the offensive game was not there which isn’t good for an under-sized post player. The effort on the defensive side was there, however. Gilmore has to develop some sort of an offensive game next season.
Follow me on Twitter @DylanBuboltz and follow us @WiSportsHeroics for more great content. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here! Also, check out our merch store for some amazing WSH merchandise!