basketball Edit

Wisconsin is visit No. 1 for 2024 SG Caden Wilkins

Wisconsin was the first school to host Caden Wilkins for what is expected to be a handful of unofficial visits this upcoming fall and winter.

The 2024 shooting guard from Bettendorf High School in Iowa was on campus Saturday to check out the basketball facilities and attend the Badgers' home opener against Penn State at Camp Randall Stadium.

"When I got there in the morning we got a tour of the Kohl Center and then we went over to the football game," Wilkins told "I really liked the fans and the atmosphere, and they seem like they support Wisconsin a lot. That really stood out to me and showed how cool of a college town Madison is. It's a great environment and the fans support the team.

"That was my first visit and I have more to see, but I was really impressed with the whole thing."

Wilkins, 6-foot-6 and 190 pounds, spent most of the day with first-year assistant coach Sharif Chambliss.

"Coach Chambliss led my visit and I thought he was a really nice guy who seemed very relatable," Wilkins said. "He could talk about a lot of things with me and it wasn't all about basketball. He led the tour really well and he did a good job of trying to get to know me. My AAU coach's assistant coach played for Coach Chambliss in college, and he said Wisconsin likes my potential and they are excited to track me.

"I thought they did great job of having players come in and socialize with the other guy (Connor Essegian) who was on the visit. The coaches were all really social with me and I felt I could talk to them like regular guys. That made me feel comfortable."

On the AAU circuit, Wilkins played this spring and summer with the Iowa Barnstormers. That exposure helped jumpstart his recruitment.

"I was definitely surprised at how well my first year with the Barnstormers went," Wilkins said. "Going into my first game I didn't know how I would fit in, but it turned out well and it was a shock at how fast the attention started.

"I have a visit with Iowa on the (Sept.) 18th and then I plan on going to Marquette in October and probably a Butler game in the winter. There's no official date for Marquette and Butler."

In the 2024 class, Wisconsin has extended known offers Cooper Koch (Peoria, IL), Daniel Freitag (Bloomington, MN), Kon Knueppel (Milwaukee, WI) and Jack Robison (Lakeville, MN).

"I would definitely love to go back to Wisconsin and maybe see a practice or basketball game," Wilkins said. "They're such a good program and it would be a great option for me. I would like to get to know Coach (Greg) Gard a little better, too."