Joey Brunk – F, Butler
2018-19 notable statistics: 7.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 62.3% 2P
As I’ve already hit on, Wisconsin’s current projected frontcourt rotation for next season is severely lacking in size and physicality. The addition of the 6’11 Joey Brunk would go a long way in shoring up that deficiency.
Unlike most of the players on this list, the Butler grad transfer forward was a highly-regarded talent coming out of high school. A four-star prospect, the Indianapolis native chose the Bulldogs over other offers from Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Purdue, and Xavier. While he has struggled to live up to that billing to this point in his college career, Brunk has shown enough to make me believe he could step in and serve as a rock-solid piece for the Badgers off the bench.
He didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard at 7.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game for Butler last season, but those are respectable numbers in a pretty tough conference in the Big East. Wisconsin could also really use his efficiency down low after struggling at times to convert bunnies this past season: Brunk ranked No. 6 in the conference in two-point field goal percentage in 2018-19.
The icing on the cake? Brunk has two years of eligibility remaining.
So far, Indiana and Ole Miss appear to be among the most heavily-invested suitors here, as both schools paid visits to Brunk last week. The Hoosiers should probably be considered a favorite to ultimately land him, given the proximity to home combined with a pressing need in the frontcourt. That being said should Wisconsin opt to get involved, one would think the Badgers could become serious contenders. The program has a proven track record of developing big men that should be attractive to a talented player like Brunk looking for a staff best-suited to help him maximize his potential in his two remaining years of eligibility.