Wisconsin PG Chucky Hepburn entering the transfer portal

Wisconsin’s outlook for next season just took a significant hit.

ESPN is reporting that three-year starting guard Chucky Hepburn is entering the transfer portal.

Hepburn, who stayed at Wisconsin last season despite being approached by several schools in an effort to get him to transfer, has been a starter for the Badgers since he walked on campus. He’s started all 103 games he’s played in, helping Wisconsin to a Big Ten title as a freshman and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. Though his role as a scorer took a step back this past season, he was a member of the Big Ten’s All-Defensive team and averaged a career-high 3.9 assists to just 1.2 turnovers.

His departure leaves Wisconsin in a tough position. They were expecting to return four starters and all their key reserves from a team that finished fifth in the Big Ten this past season. They were also in the hunt for several players in the transfer portal, including Hepburn’s good friend in Omaha forward Frankie Fidler. The duo reportedly wanted to play together again after winning a state title in high school and Fidler visited Madison earlier in April. Now, with Hepburn in the portal, it’s possible that will happen someplace other than Wisconsin.

With Hepburn out of the picture, it would seem to open the door for true freshman Daniel Freitag to step into his role as the starting point guard. The 4-star recruit was ranked as the No. 10 point guard in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite, and led his high school to the Minnesota 2A state title in March.

Wisconsin also figures to be active in the portal looking for a replacement, something coach Greg Gard mentioned in a statement released by the Badgers on Thursday.

“We have a lot of love for Chucky. He’s been a big part of our program. In today’s college basketball, players are making transactional decisions all over the country at every level. There’s no time to complain about the system in place. We’re dedicating all of our energy right now into finding the next fits for our program. In fact, minutes after talking to Chucky about this I was already pursuing another talented point guard who is in the portal. This is the reality of college basketball today.”

Hepburn is the fourth scholarship player from Wisconsin to enter the portal, joining AJ Storr (Kansas), Connor Essegian and Gus Yalden.