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During key recruiting period, one Wisconsin men’s basketball target says he will continue to 'build my relationship' with Greg Gard
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During key recruiting period, one Wisconsin men’s basketball target says he will continue to 'build my relationship' with Greg Gard

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The summer is a key recruiting period for men’s basketball, and the University of Wisconsin not only has to work on filling roster spots, but has the added challenge of the issues during last season that were revealed through leaked audio earlier this week.

The Badgers hosted two Rivals.com three-star targets — Rowan Brumbaugh, a point guard from Northfield, Massachusetts, and Braeden Moore, a forward from Nashville — less than a week before the audio of the Feb. 19 meeting between Badgers coach Greg Gard, his assistants and the team’s seven seniors became public.

The audio exposed a rift between Gard and the seniors, with players saying they feel unable to form a relationship with the coach and their voicing an overall displeasure with the culture of the program.

Wisconsin basketball players, including senior Brad Davison, aired their grievances during a secretly recorded meeting Feb. 19 in the Kohl Center media room that, according to some accounts, lasted about two hours.

Gard has had limited time to address with recruits what was said in that meeting about the cracks in the program’s foundation. But Gus Yalden, a Class of 2023 247sports.com four-star center originally from Appleton, doesn’t seem too focused on the meeting or leaked recording.

“I don’t have an opinion about the conversations the players and coach Gard had, I wasn’t there,” Yalden said in a statement to the State Journal. “I fully intend on continuing to build my relationship with coach Gard as well as the rest of the Badger coaching staff as I move through the remainder of my college decision making process.”

Braden Huff, a 247sports four-star power forward from Carol Stream, Illinois, Owen Freeman, an unranked power forward from Bradley, Illinois, and Yalden all have made unofficial visits to the UW campus. Freeman and Yalden both are members for the class of 2023, while Huff is in the Class of 2022.

UW has offered scholarships to nine individuals in the class of 2022, according to 247sports.com. Three of those nine have committed elsewhere, leaving six remaining and only Brumbaugh, Moore and Huff have made it to campus.

The NCAA is in a quiet period, which means a coach only may have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents on the college’s campus. The exceptions in June are two evaluation periods — June 18 to 20 and this weekend, which means coaches already hit the road to watch recruits play in tournaments. Men’s basketball heads into a dead period July 6, where Gard and other college coaches cannot talk to recruits in person and aren’t allowed to watch recruits compete. The next time a coach can speak to a player face-to-face after July 5, with few exceptions, is during the quiet period July 26 to 31.

Players have until April 13, 2022, to officially make their decision, however the early signing date is Nov. 10.

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