The Wisconsin Badgers got back to work on the 2018 recruiting class when they extended an offer to Nate Laszewski on Friday. Wisconsin hadn’t been active on the 2018 front in recent months, as they awaited the decision of in-state forward Joey Hauser.
Hauser, a Stevens Point native, committed on July 23 to play for coach Steve Wojciechowski at Marquette, where he’ll play alongside his brother, Sam Hauser. Marquette was always considered the favorite for Hauser, but the Badgers held out in hopes that they could snag the four-star forward.
Once Hauser committed, Greg Gard and Wisconsin didn’t take long to make their next move, wasting no time in extending an offer to Laszewski.
A 6-foot-10 small forward out of Northfield, Massachusetts, Laszewski has risen fast on the AAU circuit this summer. The four-star recruit is going to have a lot of choices ahead of him, having picked up offers from Arizona, Indiana, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Virginia in the final week of July alone. The Badgers got in the mix when Gard and members of the Wisconsin coaching staff watched Laszewski play at the Adidas Uprising in Las Vegas last week.
The 247Sports Crystal Ball currently lists Notre Dame as a 75 percent favorite to land Laszewski. However, he has plenty of ties to Wisconsin. Laszewski’s father, Jay Laszewski, was a member of the Wisconsin men’s basketball team from 1982-86, including serving as a captain his senior year.
Furthermore, Abby Laszewski, Nate’s older sister, is just coming off her freshman season on the Wisconsin women’s basketball team. Abby played in 23 games for the Badgers in 2016-17, averaging 1.2 points and 1.5 rebounds in 7.0 minutes per game.
If Wisconsin can get Laszewski to commit, he brings the size and pure shooting touch that the Badgers typically like to see from their forwards.
With the offer out to Laszewski, it’s clear that Gard and the Badgers are still looking for a big man to fill out their 2018 recruiting class. The Badgers also have a 2018 offer out to Isaiah Kelly, a 2018 three-star small forward out of Atlanta who was offered when Bo Ryan was still at the helm in 2015.
Whoever Wisconsin gets will join four-star guard Tyler Herro in what could be a difference-making class. Laszewski and Herro would likely provide a dynamic duo offensively, and give the Badgers two players in the ESPN 100 for the Class of 2018. Laszewski checks in at No. 92 on that list, including the 25th-best at his position and the second-best player in the state of Massachusetts.
2019 point guard DJ Carton to make unofficial visit
The Badgers are playing host to one of their top targets in 2019 when DJ Carton visits Madison on Monday. The point guard from Bettendorf, Iowa told Matthew Bain of the Iowa City Press-Citizen that he is visiting Wisconsin, Iowa and Missouri this month.
The Badgers, who offered Carton during their advanced camp on June 23, were one of the schools to offer Carton during his solid AAU season for Quad City Elite this summer. Wisconsin has familiar competition for Carton, as Iowa, Marquette, Minnesota and Nebraska have also offered scholarships.