Wisconsin announces its 2023 recruiting class

Wisconsin officially signed its three commits in the class of 2023 on Wednesday.

Center Gus Yalden (Appleton, Wis.), forward Nolan Winter (Lakeville, Minn.) and guard John Blackwell (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) make up the class that is ranked 33rd in the country and eighth in the Big Ten, according to the 247Sports Composite.

Yalden is a 4-star recruit, ranked as the 115th-best player in the country and the No. 15 center.

“We are very excited to add Gus to our program,” coach Greg Gard stated in a UW release. “We first saw Gus as a young player at our summer camps and it has been a long, exciting recruiting process to now finally call him a Badger. He grew up idolizing many former Badgers, he understands what it means to wear the Cardinal and White and takes pride in that.”

Born in Maryland, Yalden lived in Appleton and Nebraska as a kid, and has spent his high school career at a number of places, including Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), Asheville School (Asheville, N.C.) and IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.). He’s playing his final year at La Lumiere Academy in Indiana.

The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Yalden chose the Badgers over a list of finalists that included Nebraska, Rutgers and the College of Charleston.

“Gus plays the game with a lot of enthusiasm and passion and our fans will absolutely love watching him compete in a Badger uniform,” Gard said. “He has the size and strength to be a force around the rim, while combining that with a point-guard like feel on the perimeter to make him a very unique and talented player. We are excited to welcome Gus back home to his Wisconsin roots and we can’t wait to help him reach his dreams and goals as a Badger.”

The 6-foot-10 Winter is a three-star recruit that is ranked as the No. 2 player in the state of Minnesota and the 38th-best power forward in the country. Winter chose the Badgers over offers from Minnesota, Stanford, Nebraska and others.

“Nolan is an excellent addition to our program. He has pushed himself both on the court and as a student in the classroom, making him well prepared to have success here at Wisconsin,” Gard said. “Nolan has been on our radar for several years, which has allowed our staff to watch him grow and develop as a player. He has a tremendously high basketball IQ and a versatile skillset that will allow him to be effective in the post, off the dribble and a terrific shooter from the perimeter. His game is a perfect match for who we are and where the game of basketball is going, which requires multi-dimensional players with diverse skill sets.”

Winter comes from the same high school, Lakeville North, that sent forwards Nate Reuvers and Tyler Wahl to Madison.

A three-star recruit, Blackwell was the first to commit to Wisconsin. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound combo guard is rated as the fourth-best player in the state of Michigan.
Wisconsin was Blackwell’s lone Power 5 offer, with the other schools offering him a scholarship including Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Northern Illinois, Oakland and Rhode Island.

Blackwell’s father, Glynn, played his college basketball at Illinois in the 1980s.

“John brings a versatile skillset that will translate to the college level almost seamlessly. While evaluating him, the staff and I quickly identified him for his physicality, feel for the game and basketball IQ,” Gard said. “John has the ability with his skillset to play both with the ball in his hand and off of the ball. One of his greatest traits is the way he competes on the defensive end of the floor, and we feel he has the ability to be a great defensive player here at Wisconsin.”