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After evaluating him for a while, Wisconsin Badgers Head Coach Greg Gard offered 2025 forward Xzavion Mitchell after an unofficial visit over the weekend, Mitchell posted on X (formerly Twitter).

The 6’8” rising junior attends Oshkosh North High School, alma mater of NBA All-Star (and shuddabinabadger) Tyrese Halliburton.

Mitchell has good vision, footwork and handles. He attacks the basket aggressively and disrupts a lot of shots on defense. He recently held his own in a recent matchup against the 6’8” Cooper Flagg, the top recruit from the 2024 class and a potential first pick in the 2025 NBA draft.

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He only has one other Division 1 offer, from Cal-Poly, though that will change after his first high-major offer puts him on the radar of others.

Mitchell plays his AAU ball with Team Herro, where he teams with 2025 Badgers commit Zach Kinziger, a 6’2” guard from De Pere. That can’t hurt his recruiting process.

In the 2024 class, 6’5” shooting guard Jack Robison followed his Minnesota high school teammate Nolan Winter, class of 2023, to UW. Then four-star, 2024 point guard Daniel Freitag, the highest-rated recruit of Gard’s tenure, who plays AAU ball with Robison, also committed to the Badgers. UW missed on another AAU teammate of Robison and Freitag, Jackson McAndrew, who committed to Creighton. But they were close, finishing in his top four schools.

Badgers coach prioritizes in-state recruits

Aside from Mitchell and Kinziger, Gard has made at least four more offers to in-state kids in the 2024 class – 6’5” Davion Hannah of Milwaukee Nicolet, 6’10″ Will Garlock of Middleton, 6’4” LaTrevion Fenderson of The Prairie School in Racine, and 6’10″ Kai Rogers of Wauwatosa West. Gard and staff have prioritized Hannah and Rogers, offering each very early in their high school careers.

Gard and staff appear to be in a good position on Hannah, the top rated recruit in the state. He has told reporters things like “Wisconsin feels like home” and that UW assistant coach Sharif Chambliss is “one of my father figures.”

And Fenderson is a cousin of current Badger and backup point guard Kamari McGee, so that can’t hurt either.

I always say the more Wisconsin kids, the merrier. One of the many reasons I loved Bo Ryan’s Final Four teams was because so much of the production came from in-state products: Sam Dekker (Sheboygan), Bronson Koenig (La Crosse), Josh Gasser (Port Washington) and Zak Showalter (Germantown). Then they’d go out and play with anyone, including, famously, the 38-0 Kentucky team loaded with future NBA players.

The state of Wisconsin regularly produces top talent — recent NBA first-round picks Johnny Davis (La Crosse), Tyrese Haliburton (Oshkosh) and Tyler Herro and Brandin Podziemski (Milwaukee area) come to mind — but the class of 2025 is the deepest in years.

Badger Stripes is a sports news organization that provides in-depth coverage of Wisconsin athletics. Follow us on Facebook.

By Peter Cameron, BADGER STRIPES


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