The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team could have a stacked center rotation next season.
Lakeville, Minnesota native Nolan Winter announced Friday he’d be joining the Badgers roster next season. He’s the fourth commitment alongside Gus Yalden, John Blackwell and Jack Janicki.
Winter, who is 6 foot 11, joins the team as the second center of the class of 2023. He and Yalden will add to a currently thin center rotation led by junior Steven Crowl.
The three-star recruit had narrowed down his options to Minnesota and Wisconsin. He had ties to Minnesota with his father playing basketball for the Gophers and his mother a Minnesota volleyball player.
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There’s a pipeline from Minnesota to UW with four players on last season’s roster hailing from Minnesota. Only two remain — Crowl and Tyler Wahl. Ben Carlson transferred to Utah and Brad Davison exhausted his eligibility. Wahl went to the same high school as Winter currently does — Lakeville North.
The Badgers have two scholarship spots open ahead of the upcoming season. Wahl and Jahcobi Neath are seniors which would mean two more spots available for the class of 2023. Though, Wahl and Neath have the option to utilize an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19.
Yalden, Blackwell and Winter take up three of those available spots — Janicki is a walk-on, leaving only one scholarship spot currently available for next season’s team. Three players transferred out last season and a similar situation could open more scholarships.
Breaking down Wisconsin men’s basketball's Big Ten schedule
The reigning Big Ten regular-season champions will play each other twice this season with the first of two games at Illinois. The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team will host the Fighting Illini three weeks later.
The Badgers open their Big Ten schedule Dec. 6 against Maryland.
The game against the Terrapins is part of a two-game conference slate in the middle of the Badgers' nonconference schedule. Big Ten play for the Badgers will resume Jan. 3 against Minnesota and end March 5 at the Gophers.
The Badgers close out their home slate with their only matchup with Purdue on March 2, one year and one day after the last meetup between the two teams.
UW returns three starters in Steven Crowl, Chucky Hepburn and Tyler Wahl. It also added three freshmen — two walk-ons and one scholarship player — and a pair of transfers.
Dec. 6 vs. Maryland
2021-22 season: Maryland had a fairly lackluster season finishing 11th in the conference with a 7-13 record, 15-17 overall. The Terrapins ended their season with a loss in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.
Heading into 2022-23: Kevin Willard is in his first season as coach coming from a 12-year stint at Seton Hall. He brought in three transfers — Jahmir Young, Patrick Emilien, Jahari Long — and two freshmen — Noah Batchelor and Caelum Swanton-Rodger. They join returners Hakim Hart, Julian Reese and Donta Scott.
ABOVE: Maryland's Fatts Russell, right, breaks through the defense of Wisconsin's Lorne Bowman II, left, and Brad Davison, behind, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Jan. 9
Dec. 11 at Iowa
Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa
2021-22 season: The Hawkeyes finished tied for fourth in the conference with a 12-8 record, 26-10 overall. Iowa defeated Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament championship to earn the leagues automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Iowa’s season ended early when it got knocked out by 12th-seeded Richmond in the first round.
Heading into 2022-23: Iowa has to deal with the loss of leading scorer Keegan Murray who was picked fourth overall in the NBA draft. The Hawkeyes return three starters in Patrick McCaffery, Filip Rebraca and Tony Perkins. Fourth leading scorer Kris Murray will also be back.
ABOVE: Iowa forward Keegan Murray, center, holds the trophy as he celebrates with teammates after the Hawkeyes beat Purdue to capture the Big Ten tournament title 75-66.
Jan. 3 vs. Minnesota
2021-22 season: Minnesota’s season ended when it lost to Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Gophers finished 4-16 in conference play and 13-17 overall for last place.
Heading into 2022-23: This is the second season under coach Ben Johnson. The Gophers return six letter winners, including starter and leading scorer Jamison Battle. They also added eight newcomers to the roster, headlined by North Carolina transfer Dawson Garcia.
ABOVE: Wisconsin guards Chucky Hepburn, left, and Johnny Davis go after the ball against Minnesota forward Jamison Battle during the Badgers' 66-60 win over the Golden Gophers Jan. 30, 2022.
Jan. 7 at Illinois
Where: State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois
2021-22 season: The Fighting Illini defeated Iowa in a nail-biter to earn a share of the Big Ten regular season championship. They earned the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, but were knocked out by Indiana in the quarterfinals. Illinois earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. It lost to Houston in the second round.
Heading into 2022-23: Illinois lost its top five leading scorers from last season but return five letter winners and added seven new players. Coleman Hawkins headlines the returners after averaging 5.9 points last season. The Illini added two experienced transfers in Texas Tech’s Terrence Shannon Jr. and Baylor’s Matthew Mayer.
ABOVE: Illinois' Coleman Hawkins (33), Kofi Cockburn (21), Jacob Grandison (3) and Trent Frazier look on as teammate Alfonso Plummer, not pictured, shoots a technical free throw against Rutgers on Dec. 3, 2021.
Jan. 10 vs. Michigan State
2021-22 season: Michigan State earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament after finishing with an 11-9 conference record, 23-13 overall. The Spartans lost in the second round to Duke.
The series: The Spartans were one of five Big Ten teams to defeat UW last season, and the only to do it twice. Michigan State handed the Badgers a loss both at the Kohl Center and during the Big Ten Tournament. The Spartans hold an 85-67 all time series lead over the Badgers.
Heading into 2022-23: The Spartans have lost four players that averaged at least 14 minutes per game, including their three leading scorers, leading rebounder and two leading shot blockers. Michigan State does return Joey Hauser, Malik Hall and Tyson Walker.
ABOVE: Michigan State's Marcus Bingham (30) drives against Wisconsin's Lorne Bowman (11) on Jan. 21.
Jan. 14 at Indiana
Where: Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana
2021-22 season: The Hoosiers finished ninth in the Big Ten with a 9-11 conference record and 21-14 overall. Indiana defeated Michigan and then upset top-seeded Illinois to advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. It earned a No. 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but its season ended in the second round when the Hoosiers lost to Saint Mary’s.
Series: The Badgers took both games against Indiana last season, coming back from a 22-point deficit at the Kohl Center in December and securing another win at Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers hold the series edge 97-79.
Heading into 2022-23: Leading scorer Trayce Jackson-Davis returns for the Hoosiers after testing the NBA draft process. The Hoosiers also return four starters and added five-star recruits Jalen Hood-Schifino and Malik Reneau.
ABOVE: Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis and UW's Steven Crowl battle for a loose ball last season.
Jan. 17 vs. Penn State
2021-22 season: The Nittany Lions finished 14th in the Big Ten going 7-13 in conference play and 14-17 overall. Coach Micah Shrewsberry led Penn State to the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals in his first season at the helm.
Heading into the 2021-22 season: The Nittany Lions have an incoming freshman class that is the highest-ranked recruiting class in program history. They also added a trio of graduate transfers in addition to returning the top two scorers in Jalen Pickett and Seth Lundy.
ABOVE: Wisconsin's Johnny Davis (1) is trapped by Penn State's Greg Lee (5) and Sam Sessoms on Feb. 5.
Jan. 21 at Northwestern
Where: Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Illinois
2021-22 season: The Wildcats finished the season 15-16, 7-13 in Big Ten play to finish in a three-way tie for 10th place. Northwestern defeated Nebraska in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, but lost to Iowa in the second.
Heading into 2022-23: The Wildcats return key contributors redshirt senior guard Chase Audige and senior guard Boo Buie. Last season’s leading scorer, Pete Nance, and fourth-leading scorer Ryan Young, transferred to North Carolina and Duke, respectively. Northwestern has added four players including graduate transfer Tydus Verhoeven from the University of Texas at El Paso.
ABOVE: Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis drives to the basket past Northwestern forward Miller Kopp, left, guard Chase Audige (1) and forward Pete Nance (22) Feb. 21, 2021.
Jan. 25 at Maryland
Where: Xfinity Center in College Park, Maryland
The series: Wisconsin and Maryland have only played 19 times. The Badgers hold a 12-7 edge after winning the lone matchup in Maryland last season.
ABOVE: Maryland's Fatts Russell walks off the court after losing to Wisconsin on Jan. 9.
Jan. 28 vs. Illinois
The series: Illinois defeated UW 80-67 in the pair’s lone matchup last season. The two teams have played each other over 200 times with the The Fighting Illini holding a 114-90 lead.
ABOVE: Illinois guard Adam Miller defends Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis in the second half of the Badgers' 74-69 loss on Feb. 27, 2021.
Feb. 2 at Ohio State
Where: The Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio
2021-22 season: Ohio State finished tied for fourth in the Big Ten with a 12-8 conference record, 20-12 overall. The Buckeyes got bounced in the second round of the Big Ten tournament but still secured an NCAA Tournament bid. They defeated Loyola Chicago to advance to the second round but lost to Villanova in the second.
Series: Ohio State holds the lead in the all-time series 94-76. The two teams split last season’s series with each winning at its respective home arena.
Heading into 2022-23: Sophomore forward Zed Key is the Buckeyes’ only returning starter, but Justice Sueing is also back after missing all but two games last season. Ohio State lost nine players from last season, including leading scorer E.J. Liddell and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Malaki Branham.
ABOVE: Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis goes up for a shot over Ohio State forward Justin Ahrens, left, and guard Meechie Johnson Dec. 11, 2021.
Feb. 5 vs. Northwestern
The series: The Badgers won the lone matchup with Northwestern last season. UW has an 122-65 all-time series edge over the Wildcats.
ABOVE: Northwestern guard Boo Buie, left, drives to the basket past Wisconsin forward Carter Gilmore on Jan. 18.
Feb. 8 at Penn State
Where: Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pennsylvania
The series: Penn State kept it interesting in its only matchup with UW, losing by just two points. The Badgers have the overall lead making the all time-series record 42-11.
ABOVE: Penn State's Seth Lundy (1) drives against Wisconsin on Feb. 5.
Feb. 11 at Nebraska
Where: Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska
2021-22 season: The Cornhuskers finished the season 10-22, 4-16 in Big Ten play to tie for last place. They lost to Northwestern in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
The series: The two teams went 1-1 last season with Nebraska handing UW a loss in the last game of the regular season. The Badgers have a 21-15 all-time series lead over the Cornhuskers.
Heading into 2022-23: Nebraska returns two of its top four scorers in senior forward Derrick Walker (9.5 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game) and C.J. Wilcher (8.1 points, 2.3 rebounds), who was the Cornhuskers’ sixth man last season. They lost leading scorer Bryce McGowens but added three Division I transfers and a recruiting class that ranked top 30 nationally by both Rivals and 247Sports.
ABOVE: Wisconsin's Johnny Davis is defended by Nebraska's Kobe Webster, left, and Eduardo Andre on Jan. 27.
Feb. 14 vs. Michigan
2021-22 season: Michigan fell short of its Big Ten expectations finishing eighth overall after being picked to finish first in the preseason. The Wolverines were one of two Big Ten teams to make it to the Sweet 16, but lost to Villanova to end the season.
Heading into 2022-23: The Wolverines lost last season’s freshmen duo of Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate to the NBA. They do return leading scorer Hunter Dickinson, who averaged 18.6 points per game last season. He is the only returning starter for Michigan.
ABOVE: UW forward Tyler Wahl backs down Michigan center Hunter Dickinson last season at the Kohl Center.
Feb. 18 vs. Rutgers
2021-22 season: Rutgers earned its second consecutive at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament last season. The Scarlet Knights earned a four seed in the Big Ten Tournament and lost to eventual winner, Iowa, in the quarterfinals. Their season ended with a First Four loss to Notre Dame in double overtime.
The series: Rutgers and UW split a pair of games last season, but the Badgers were the only ranked Big Ten team to defeat the Scarlet Knights at Jersey Mike's Arena last season. The Badgers’ 66-61 win increased them to a 10-4 all-time series lead.
Heading into 2022-23: The Scarlet Knights lost its top two scorers, but return the next three in Clifford Omoruyi, Paul Mulcahy and last season’s Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Caleb McConnell.
ABOVE: Wisconsin's Tyler Wahl (5) looses possession against Rutgers' Ron Harper on Feb. 12.
Feb. 22 vs. Iowa
The series: UW won the lone matchup between the Badgers and Hawkeyes last season, giving the Badgers a 86-85 edge in their history against each other.
ABOVE: Wisconsin's Chucky Hepburn (23) drives against Iowa's Tony Perkins (11) on Jan. 6.
Feb. 26 at Michigan
Where: Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan
The series: The Badgers defeated Michigan 77-63 last season, highlighted by the kerfuffle between Michigan coach Juwan Howard and UW assistant Joe Krabbenhoft. The Wolverines have the overall 94-77 edge in the all-time matchup.
ABOVE: Wisconsin's Tyler Wahl looks to pass as Michigan's Caleb Houstan (22) defends on Feb. 20.
March 2 vs. Purdue
2021-22 season: The Boilermakers fell short of preseason expectations and finished third in the Big Ten with a 14-6 record. Purdue lost to Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament championship, but was one of two Big Ten teams to make it to the Sweet 16.
Series: The Badgers upset Purdue at Mackey Arena and then defeated them again at the Kohl Center, courtesy of Chucky Hepburn’s last second banked 3-point shot. The Boilermakers still hold the series lead at 111-74.
Heading into 2022-23: Purdue returns a strong frontcourt in Zach Edey and Mason Gillis. The Boilermakers added Utah transfer David Jenkins Jr. to help with their limited guard rotation since they lost three starters from last season, including leading scorer Jaden Ivey.
ABOVE: Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis scores against Purdue guard Jaden Ivey, left, and forward Mason Gillis on March 1.
March 5 vs. Minnesota
Where: Williams Arena, Minneapolis
The series: UW swept Minnesota last season to gain a narrow 105-104 edge in the all-time series.
ABOVE: Minnesota's Sean Sutherlin (24) looses control of the ball against Chucky Hepburn on Jan. 30.