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Wisconsin basketball: Four-star forward Gus Yalden commits to the Badgers

The Badgers landed a key big man in the 2023 recruiting class on Tuesday.

Greg Gard and the Wisconsin Badgers are still in the process of adding to the 2022 roster, but that hasn't stopped him from finding talent for the future as well.

A day after adding a 2022 walk-on commit out of Florida, the Badgers made a splash with a commitment from 2023 four-star Gus Yalden out of Ashville, North Carolina.

Originally from Appleton, Wisconsin, Yalden has been a top target of the Badgers for multiple years. Fresh off of an official visit to Madison two weeks ago, the 6-foot-9 big man has shut down his recruitment in favor of returning to the state of Wisconsin for college.

During his announcement on Instagram, Yalden had this to say about his decision to play for the Badgers: "I grew up a Wisconsin fan. Being from Appleton, Wisconsin basketball just means more."

The skilled forward possesses a 7-foot-2 wingspan, and in the end, he chose the Badgers over his other three finalists of Nebraska, Rutgers, and College of Charleston.

Yalden had additional scholarship offers throughout his recruiting process from Arkansas, Auburn, Butler, Florida State, Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Marquette, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma, Stanford, TCU, Utah, Wake Forest, West Virginia, and Xavier.

In terms of fit, Yalden and Wisconsin are a great match. The Badgers have found success with stretch big men in the past, and Yalden can step out and hit from three-point range, but he is also nimble in the open court and on the bounce.

He has an array of post moves, and his back-to-the-basket game is very strong. He missed a chunk of time in 2021 with a foot injury, but back to full health, Yalden has been playing well on the AAU circuit.

Yalden is still developing as a defender, but he earned the nicknames "baby Jokic" and "Gus bus" because of his impressive footwork and abilities as a distributor on the offensive end of the court.

A top-150 prospect in the country, Yalden is the second commit for the Badgers in the 2023 recruiting class, joining shooting guard John Blackwell who committed last month.

With more scholarships available for Greg Gard and the staff for 2023, Wisconsin could still add to the class of Yalden and Blackwell in the coming year. At this point, Jamie Kaiser, Nolan Winter, Asa Thomas, and JP Estrella are all possibilities.

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Kaiser recently took an official visit to Madison, while Winter has been a top target for the staff for a while.

The Badgers are also after several high-major players in the 2024 recruiting class, though the impact of Yalden should not have too much of an impact on those pursuits. 

Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft was the primary recruiter for Yalden, while Greg Gard was also heavily involved since offering him back in July of 2020. 

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