Racine Park 2019 forward Nobal Days got to experience two big thrills on Sunday – attending his first Wisconsin basketball game of the season and getting a chance to prepare for his driver’s test by driving on the freeway for the first time.
The former was much more excited than the latter.
“I was more scared driving back home,” Days joked. “Anything over 50 (mph) was a little scary for me.”
Making his first visit to Madison since attending a football game in the fall, Days had a third-row seat for No.10 Wisconsin’s 65-60 win over Indiana, keeping the Badgers on top of the Big Ten standings with eight games to go.
He was part of a large contingent of recruits for head coach Greg Gard, as UW’s three 2017 commits (Brad Davison, Kobe King and Nathan Reuvers), 2018 commit Tyler Herro and Sun Prairie 2020 guard Jalen Johnson all were in attendance.
“It was just fun to be around the other recruits and commits they had there,” Days said. “Just being in the environment they had there, because it was a Big Ten game, it was a big game they had to win to make sure they stay on top of the Big Ten. It was fun being there and the excitement everybody had for the program.
“Of course they have to drop a few hints once in a while, but they are pretty cool for the most part. They might drop a few on me like, hey, this might be a good group right here if we can get us together.”
One of the things that stood out to Days – one of two 2019 prospects with a UW offer - was how Wisconsin utilized its frontcourt. Forwards Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes combined for 35 points against the Hoosiers, as the Badgers generated 28 points in the paint and 23 from the free throw line (Hayed and Happ went 11-for-18 from the line).
“I like how they target them a lot,” Days said. “Ethan and Nigel had a big percentage of touches down in the paint, touching the ball on almost every possession. Seeing Wisconsin get its bigs in the flow of the game, get them productive, get them working and rewarding them for working was good to see.”
Like Happ, Days primary plays on the low post but has worked on expanding his game and improving his transition.
“I’m still working on attacking the basket and develop more leadership qualities,” Days said. “I want to be able to rally my team together, become a better ball handler and be able to play multiple positions.”
Primarily being recruited by Wisconsin associate head coach Lamont Paris and Gard, Days says the two coaches make sure to be present at a large portion of his games and open gyms.
“I don’t know how to explain it other than they are really good guys,” Days said. “We’ve built a good relationship with them. My parents get a chance to talk to them. They said to call them whenever we want, so I call them to tell him about my games or ask about their games. They like to take time to talk to me.”
Holding other offers from DePaul, Illinois, Marquette and UNLV, Days will play the upcoming AAU season with the Wisconsin Playground Elite.
“The main reason I switched to Playground to play on that bigger stage and play against all the top teams to see how I match up,” Days said. “I want to see the things they can do that I can’t do and see what I can do compared to them. I want to see how I stack up against the top players in the nation.”