The Swing: Chucky Hepburn in the portal, where Greg Gard and the Badgers go from here

Chucky Hepburn is in the transfer portal. Zach and Jesse talk about the decision, what it means for Wisconsin now and how the Badgers go about potentially replacing their starting point guard in the portal. 


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.

https://twitter.com/jeffborzello/status/1781017212863578525

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.


Brewers get late offense, great defense to beat San Diego 1-0

Milwaukee avoided being no-hit and being swept in a 1-0 win over San Diego on Wednesday afternoon.

Michael King had not allowed a hit when Willy Adames broke it up with a single in the seventh inning. Then, in the eighth, Brice Turang singled and stole second, leading to the Padres going to the bullpen in Wandy Peralta. Blake Perkins took advantage, singling in the lone run of the game as Turang beat the throw home.

https://twitter.com/Brewers/status/1780674179051704813

Joel Payamps came on in the ninth and retired the side to get the save, his second of the year.

The Padres nearly broke the 0-0 tie in their half of the eighth, getting the go-ahead run to third base with two outs. It appeared a run would score when Fernando Tatis Jr. got some soft contact to the third base side, but Abner Uribe came off the mound, grabbed the ball and ripped it to first just before falling down and got the out to escape the inning.

https://twitter.com/Brewers/status/1780671440573915208

Uribe picked up the win in what was a bullpen game for the Crew. Bryce Wilson, Bryan Hudson, Edwin Peguero, Urbie and Payamps combined to allow no runs on five hits.

Turang's steal in the eighth was his ninth of the year, which leads MLB.

The Brewers win allowed them to escape a three-game sweep. They will get Thursday off before opening up a series in St. Louis against the Cardinals on Friday.


The Camp: Transfer portal in full swing, DL depth, QB competition, movement in the CB group

Wisconsin saw a second player enter the transfer portal. How many could end up going in the next two weeks? And what positions could the Badgers target in the portal? Zach and Jesse discuss that, the latest in the QB competition, some movement at cornerback and more. 


Bucks reportedly preparing as if they won't have Giannis to start the playoffs

Milwaukee is preparing to begin its first-round playoff series against Indiana without Giannis Antetokounmpo.

ESPN reported Tuesday morning that the two-time MVP is not expected to be available when things get going on Sunday at Fiserv Forum, but might be ready to return later in the seven-game series.

https://twitter.com/wojespn/status/1780240763286347959

Antetokounmpo went down against Boston on April 9th with what turned out to be a calf strain. He missed the final three games of the regular season. The team issued a statement that said he would be treated and evaluated daily.

Milwaukee, the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference, was facing a tough challenge even with a healthy Antetokounmpo. The sixth-seeded Pacers beat the Bucks four of the five times they played and feature an up-tempo offense that challenges Milwaukee's troublesome transition defense.

Game 1 of the series is on Sunday. A tip time has not been set.


A second Wisconsin player has entered the transfer portal

Wisconsin has lost a second player to the spring transfer portal.

Defensive lineman TJ Bollers announced his decision Monday night in advance of the eighth practice of spring on Tuesday morning.

https://twitter.com/tj35ballin/status/1780001092572479920

Bollers arrived in Madison as one of the big recruiting wins for Paul Chryst in the 2021 class. He was a four-star recruit at outside linebacker with offers from some of the biggest programs in the country, including Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan and more. But the Iowa native could never find a home on the outside and was eventually moved to the defensive line in the middle of last season. He was seeing time with the second- and third-team defense up to this point in spring.

His departure hits the depth at a position that didn't have a ton to begin with. The lone returning starter is senior James Thompson Jr., with redshirt sophomore Curt Neal and senior Ben Barten making up the first-team line in the first seven practices. Behind them is senior Cade McDonald (21 games played), senior Elijah Hills (transfer), junior Mike Jarvis and two intriguing freshmen in Jamel Howard and Ernest Willor Jr.

It's possible the team could look to the transfer portal to build the depth, but that was also the plan heading into this offseason and Hills was the lone addition, while guys that could have returned -- Rodas Johnson (Texas A&M) and Gio Paez (LSU -- decided to go elsewhere.

With Bollers leaving there are just seven scholarship players left from Wisconsin's 2021 class that was ranked 16th in the country -- the highest for any class in the online recruiting rankings era. Among those still around include key players like safety Hunter Wohler, cornerback Ricardo Hallman, linebacker Jake Chaney, right tackle Riley Mahlman and outside linebacker Darryl Peterson. Running back Braelon Allen was also part of the class and is preparing for the NFL Draft.

But a number of the highest-ranked players, including five-star tackle Nolan Rucci, Bollers, wide receiver Markus Allen and linebacker Jake Ratzlaff having either transferred, been dismissed from the program or quit football.

Bollers joins quarterback Nick Evers as the two current players that have said they will enter the portal, which officially opens Tuesday and stays open for two weeks.


Bucks lose to drop to No. 3 seed in the East, will face Indiana in first round

Milwaukee's late-season slide came to a conclusion Sunday as the Bucks got blown out in Orlando on the final day of the regular season. With New York beating Chicago in overtime, it meant the Knicks would be the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and Milwaukee fell down to the three seed.

The Bucks will face a familiar foe in the first round, with Indiana earning the No. 6 seed. The two sides played five times this year and the Pacers came away with four wins. That included matching up in the semifinals of the league's first in-season tournament in Las Vegas where Indy topped Milwaukee 128-119 on Dec. 7.

The teams matched up a week later at Fiserv Forum and Giannis Antetokounmpo dropped a franchise-record 64 points in Milwaukee's lone win. Things got feisty afterwards when Antetokounmpo attempted to get the game ball and he thought the Pacers took it with them to their locker room to celebrate the first points of Oscar Tshiebwe's career, leading to a confrontation in the tunnel.

Antetokounmpo's status for the playoffs is in question. He missed the final three games with a calf strain. Milwaukee has not given an update on the two-time MVP since the original diagnosis, though the team did say he would be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.

The first round of the playoffs gets going April 20.


The Camp: Nick Evers in the portal, Chez Mellusi leading the RBs, the dynamic Trech Kekahuna

The Badgers have one less quarterback on the roster. Zach and Jesse discuss Nick Evers' decision to enter the transfer portal and what it means for the Badgers. They also get into Chez Mellusi's return from a brutal leg injury, Oklahoma transfer Tawee Walker turning heads, more splash plays from Trech Kekahuna and some guys on defense that have been standing out. 


Wisconsin QB to enter transfer portal

Wisconsin has one less quarterback on its roster.

Redshirt sophomore Nick Evers announced Saturday he was entering the transfer portal when it opens next week.

https://twitter.com/NickEvers12/status/1779263073896820761

Evers was the first major piece added for coach Luke Fickell out of the transfer portal in late December of 2022. He was a top-10 quarterback coming out of high school and spent his first season at Oklahoma. With a big arm and electric running ability, it seemed Evers would be the future for the Badgers, but weeks after he committed, the team brought in Tanner Mordecai as the 2023 starter and added Braedyn Locke as another body in the room.

From the jump, Locke was the clear No. 2 behind Mordecai and Evers never truly made a run at serious playing time. Even when Mordecai got hurt, pushing Locke into the starting spot, it was Myles Burkett as the backup. One big problem, and something that Evers agreed with, was his lack of preparedness last spring. It appeared he had taken some strides both on the mental side and in his mechanics this spring but the Texas native was still -- at best -- the No. 3 quarterback and was being pushed -- if not overtaken -- by true freshman Mabrey Mettauer.

The Badgers are now down to Miami transfer Tyler Van Dyke, Locke, Mettauer and redshirt freshman Cole LaCrue as scholarship players in the QB room. It's possible they could add another quarterback in the portal, though finding someone to come in without a guarantee to compete for the starting job isn't an easy sell at this point in the calendar.

The transfer portal opens for two weeks on April 16. Players have to be in the portal before May 1, but there is no deadline for them to choose a new team.


Temple & Heilprin: Most impressive players in spring, how the QB battle is playing out, basketball transfer portal

Zach and Jesse were back at Monk's in Sun Prairie for the final time this year. The guys talked about the players that impressed them the most so far in spring ball, how the quarterback battle is playing out, some Overreaction or No with the transfer portal and more.