Before Wisconsin tipped off its season on Friday night against Central Arkansas, the program announced that incoming freshman Aleem Ford would be redshirting the upcoming season. It wasn’t a surprising turn, but could be an important one in the future for the Badger program.
Ford comes out of Lawrenceville, Georgia and played at IMG Academy in Florida before arriving on campus. He averaged 13.9 points and 6.3 rebounds during his last season at IMG and was rated as a three-star prospect and the No. 67 small forward in the nation by 247Sports.
He spoke about his decision to redshirt in a Wisconsin press release.
“I’m looking forward to using this season to get stronger and improve my game,” Ford explained. “I talked it over with the coaches and we all agreed that this would be the best decision for me and my future. The coaches think I have a lot of potential and this redshirt year will be good for me. I will still travel to all the road games and now my role is to be the best scout team player I can be and get my teammates ready for games.”
Given the substantial depth and talent returning for Wisconsin, especially on the wing, this didn’t come as a surprising announcement. Vitto Brown and Nigel Hayes are both returning starters on the wing and Wisconsin also has depth options in Alex Illikainen and Khalil Iverson. As such, Ford would have been sacrificing a year of eligibility for a shot at 5 to 10 minutes off the bench.
Ford should still have a bright future ahead of him in Madison, but based on this announcement, it will be in the years ahead and not this season.