Pritchards Check Out Wisconsin

Making the trip to Madison last weekend to watch Wisconsin basketball take on Michigan, West Linn (OR) sophomore Payton Pritchard and his father see a good atmosphere, a good situation and a great coaching staff.

Starting to begin the identification process for playmakers in the class of 2016, Wisconsin basketball has started evaluating a select group of players to find the best fits for Bo Ryan's system. They have been monitoring a young point guard, West Linn (OR) sophomore Payton Pritchard, who visited last weekend for the Badgers game against Michigan.

He was accompanied by his dad, Terry Pritchard, who talks about their visit to Wisconsin.

"Payton really liked the visit and likes Wisconsin a lot," Pritchard told BadgerNation. "He loves the coaching staff and Coach Close. He came out to see him workout and is coming back out here to watch him again at the end of the month in some games. He really, really enjoyed the visit with the campus, atmosphere and everything.

After arriving Saturday and experiencing the game atmosphere, Pritchard – a three-star guard – got a tour of the campus and facilities on Sunday, as well as meeting with an academic advisor at the athletic department. Terry Pritchard called it a "quick, but very productive trip." "The coaches were just talking to Payton about how much they like him. It is early for him, but I am sure they are looking at a lot of guys as well," he said. "I know they wanted us to come out and I know that was important to Payton, but it really shows they are interested. It was great for him to get a feel for the coaches and he just loves Wisconsin even more after this visit."

The 6-1, 175-pound Pritchard already has an offer from Oregon State and has picked up early interest from Arizona State, Butler, Nebraska, Oregon and Villanova. Terry Pritchard, who also is Payton's AAU coach, expects even more interest when coaches can begin contacting him after his sophomore season.

"The biggest thing about his game is that he has a great feel for the game," said Pritchard. "A lot of people like to think he is just a great decision maker, but he is a true point guard. He gets people the ball and can really shoot it. He sees the court very well, plays very good defense and he still has a lot to work on. Most people think the best thing about him is his ball handling skills. He does a lot of things very well and he is just a great kid and teammate."

With Payton's parents being Oklahoma alumni, the Pritchards have grown up cheering for Oklahoma football, but sees a comfortable situation for his son in Madison.

"He likes Wisconsin, but like every kid, he loves the Big Ten with how strong that conference is and how competitive it is," said Pritchard. "He never had a favorite basketball team, though. I don't think he wants to go to Oklahoma since we both went there, but it is his decision and we are leaving it up to him.

"The big thing for us is that Wisconsin is so strong academically and one of the top schools in the country for public schools, so that is important to us. The coaches are great, so just knowing that if Payton was ever lucky enough to have a chance to go there, then we know he would be taken care of and looked after. The student life at Wisconsin is also big and we want him to have a great college life and we feel that college is some of your best years of your life making new friends and we feel that Wisconsin offers that as well."

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