Wisconsin was one of the main schools West Linn (OR) High Payton Pritchard was considering when he committed to the University of Oklahoma in November. Eight months later, now that he’s again an uncommitted prospect, the 6-1, 180-pound guard still says the Badgers are right there in the mix.
Even with uncertainty surrounding who the next head coach will be at Wisconsin following the 2015-16 season, the Badgers weren’t shy about jumping right back in with Pritchard when he took a step back from his recruitment earlier in July.
“Bo Ryan is retiring but all they do is win,” Pritchard told BadgerNation. “It’s a great campus. I love the environment out there. It’s a really good place to be.”
Pritchard has had no shortage of suiters since opening up his recruitment. Arizona State, Baylor, California, Kansas and Louisville are the new schools who have jumped in the mix with a scholarship offer over the last three weeks, but Wisconsin associate head coach Greg Gard – one of the favorites to be the next UW head coach – has been a frequent viewer of Pritchard’s AAU games this month.
Gard is also the point man for Wisconsin’s other top target, four-star point guard JaQuori McLaughlin (Gig Harbor, WA). Like McLaughlin, Pritchard sees the Badgers’ offense as a good fit.
“Whatever wins,” said Pritchard, who visited Wisconsin twice before his initial commitment. “I feel like with the players they’ve had, they might have a different type of player, and their mindset is no different. That’s why he (Bo) is such a good coach. They don’t have a set system, but he makes a system for the players they have.”
Taking on elite competition in the NBPA Top 100 Camp in June and the Adidas championships this past week in Vegas, Pritchard is unsure where he’ll take his visits and if he’ll sign in the fall. He is still considering the Sooners and says he wants to re-visit Norman and make another short trip to Oregon’s campus. Returning to Wisconsin also isn’t out of the question.
“I actually enjoy it,” said Pritchard, referring to the recruiting. “I’m keeping an open mind and everything until August. I’m just focused on basketball and going against the best right now … I’m looking for the best fit. I just want to be take all of my official visits and make sure I’m 100 percent sure.”
Rated a four-star prospect, Pritchard is rated the No.10 point guard in the 2017 class and the No.52 overall prospect by Scout.com.
Scout.com national basketball recruiting analyst Rob Harrington contributed to this report