Making the adjustment from excelling in high school basketball to playing at the collegiate level is never easy.
Players must figure out the on- and off-the-court rigors of college as a student-athlete while competing against older and stronger players not at all interested in giving up any of their playing time to rookies.
With that backset in mind, here's a look at how the athletes in the final WisSports.net Top 50 Player Rankings for the class of 2021 fared in their first year of college.
1. Patrick Baldwin Jr., 6-9, Sussex Hamilton (UW-Milwaukee)
After missing almost all of his senior season at Sussex Hamilton with an injury, Baldwin ran into more frustration with various health setbacks in 2021-22 while playing for his father, Patrick Baldwin, at UW-Milwaukee. Baldwin missed 20 of 31 games and struggled at times when he did play. He did average 12.1 points and 5.8 rebounds, but he also shot just 34 percent from the field and 27 percent from three-point range. Baldwin entered his name into the college transfer portal soon after his father was let go at Milwaukee, and he's also contemplating remaining in the NBA draft. Most mock NBA draft projections have Baldwin going late in the first round or early in the second round.
2. David Joplin, 6-7, Brookfield Central (Marquette)
Joplin saw spot minutes as a freshman at Marquette, but he appears to be trending in the right direction for additional playing time in the future. Joplin displayed a soft shooting touch from the perimeter and averaged 2.8 points and 0.9 rebounds for the Golden Eagles.
3. Tyrese Hunter, 6-0, Racine St. Catherine's (Iowa State)
Hunter made perhaps the biggest immediate impact of any other player in the 2021 class as he averaged 11.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists while helping Iowa State to a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Hunter scored a season-high 23 points in the Cylcones' NCAA Tournament victory over LSU, but surprisingly put his name in the transfer portal following the campaign. He has made several visits to other college programs with Purdue, Tennessee and Texas among the favorites to land the former St. Catherine's standout.
4. Brandin Podziemski, 6-5, St. John's Northwestern (Illinois)
The 2021 Mr. Basketball selection played in 16 of 33 contests for Big Ten power Illinois and averaged 1.4 points and 0.9 rebounds. He opted to transfer to Santa Clara of the West Coast Conference this spring.
5. Kobe Johnson, 6-6, Nicolet (USC)
Like Joplin, Johnson did not average a ton of points or receive huge minutes. Also like Joplin, the future looks bright for Johnson, who showed flashes as a freshman of making a significant contribution at USC in the future. Johnson appeared in 27 of 34 games and averaged 1.2 points and 1.0 rebounds.
6. Cam Palesse, 6-5, Waukesha West (Valparaiso)
Palesse spent the 2021-22 season as a redshirt at Valparaiso.
7. Kamari McGee, 6-0, Racine St. Catherine's (UW-Green Bay)
The transfer portal has not been kind to Green Bay in recent seasons. The Phoenix lost one of its major building blocks for the future earlier this spring when McGee announced he would enter the portal. An all-Horizon League rookie team selection, McGee averaged 11.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists for Green Bay last winter. He recently announced he would be transferring to Wisconsin to play for the Badgers.
8. Cade Meyer, 6-8, Monroe (UW-Green Bay)
Like McGee, Meyer had a very strong freshman season at Green Bay. The former Monroe Cheesemaker averaged 9.1 points and 4.3 rebounds for coach Will Ryan and figures to be a mainstay in the Green Bay lineup the next three seasons.
9. Brayden Dailey, 6-6, Cuba City (UW-Green Bay)
Dailey spent the 2021-22 season as a redshirt at Green Bay.
10. Brock Heffner, 6-7, Grafton (Hawaii)
Heffner spent the 2021-22 season as a redshirt at Hawaii. He then entered the portal and recently committed to Green Bay.
11. Jayden Johnson, 6-4, Whitefish Bay (Northern Arizona)
Johnson played in 18 of 32 games at NCAA Division I Northern Arizona and averaged 3.1 points and 1.9 rebounds.
12. Logan Landers, 6-9, Cedarburg (Kansas State)
Landers played in 11 of 31 contests at Kansas State and averaged 1.1 points and 1.2 rebounds. He announced he would enter the transfer portal after Kansas State coach and Milwaukee native Bruce Weber opted to retire. Landers then committed to NCAA Division I Grand Canyon.
13. Ben Nau, 6-2, Brookfield Central (St. Thomas)
Nau played in all 30 games for St. Thomas, which completed its first season of NCAA Division I play last winter with a 10-20 record. Nau averaged 2.8 points and 1.2 rebounds for the Tommies.
14. Grant Asman, 6-10, Kimberly, (Lipscomb)
Asman played in just seven games before missing all of the 2022 portion of Lipscomb's schedule. He did well in the games he played, averaging 4.7 ppg and 2.6 rpg.
15. Jasin Sinani, 6-3, Oak Creek (UW-Milwaukee)
Sinani earned spot minutes at Milwaukee last winter and averaged 1.0 ppg and 0.8 rpg while playing in 21 of 32 contests. He entered the transfer portal following the season and recently committed to NCAA Division I Campbell.
16. Hayden Doyle, 6-1, Brookfield East (Washington University)
Doyle started 26 of 27 games for NCAA Division III power Washington University in St. Louis and averaged 10.6 points and 4.4 rebounds while helping the Huskies to a 19-8 record under former UW-Oshkosh coach Pat Juckem.
17. Gavin McGrath, 6-10, Onalaska (North Dakota)
McGrath spent the 2021-22 season as a redshirt at North Dakota. He does not plan to enroll at North Dakota in the fall at this point.
18. Adam Larson, 6-9, Fennimore (Southeast Missouri State)
Larson spent the 2021-22 season as a redshirt at Southeast Missouri State.
19. Preston Ruedinger, 6-2, Lourdes Academy (Valparaiso)
Ruedinger lived the dream of every walkon at a NCAA Division I program as he played well enough in 2021-22 to earn a scholarship for 2022-23. Ruedinger averaged 3.3 ppg and 1.5 rpg and scored a season-best 12 points in a win over Evansville in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
20. Dylan Kuehl, 6-6, Hustisford (Northern Michigan)
Kuehl spent the 2021-22 season as a medical redshirt at NCAA Division II Northern Michigan.
21. Brian Parzych, 6-1, Wauwatosa East (Northern Michigan)
The star of the 2021 WIAA Division 1 State Tournament started 17 of 30 games at NCAA Division II Northern Michigan and averaged 5.9 ppg and 2.5 rpg.
22. Joe Reuter, 6-4, Chippewa Falls, Hillsdale
Reuter was a key contributor for a Hillsdale program that went 23-8 and played in the NCAA Division II Tournament under the guidance of coach John Tharp, a former standout player at Sheboygan North and Beloit College, and a long-time successful coach at Lawrence University in Appleton. Reuter averaged 7.5 ppg and 2.3 rpg while helping Hillsdale to a 23-8 record.
23. Zac Johnson, 6-3, River Falls (Augustana)
Johnson played in 18 of 30 games for a very good and senior dominated squad at NCAA Division II Augustana in South Dakota. Johnson averaged 0.9 ppg and 0.7 rpg for the Vikings.
24. Antuan Nesbitt, 6-4, The Prairie School (Northern Michigan)
Nesbitt never suited up at Northern Michigan as he left the NCAA Division II school and transferred to Division III Carthage College in Kenosha. Nesbitt played 12 games for Carthage last winter and averaged 3.7 ppg and 1.5 rpg.
25. Jameer Barker, 6-2, Racine St. Catherine's (UW-Whitewater)
Barker played in all 26 games for Whitewater last winter and averaged 5.0 ppg and 2.3 rpg for coach Pat Miller and the Division III Warhawks.
26. Donald McHenry, 6-1, Milwaukee Academy of Science (Hawaii-Hilo)
McHenry started all 27 games for NCAA Division II Hawaii Hilo and averaged 15.3 ppg and 2.6 rpg. He entered the transfer portal following the season and is still deciding where he will attend school in the fall.
28. JT Dougherty, 6-9, F, River Falls (Army)
Dougherty spent the 2021-22 season as a redshirt at NCAA Division I Army.
29. Luke Healy, 6-0, Hudson (Sioux Falls)
Healy recently announced he has entered the transfer portal. As a freshman at NCAA Division II Sioux Falls, Healy averaged 4.3 ppg and 1.1 rpg.
30. Nate Abel, 6-1, Beaver Dam (Michigan Tech)
Abel spent the 2021-22 season as a redshirt at NCAA Division II Michigan Tech.
31. Mason Dorn, 6-1, Seymour (UW-Oshkosh)
Dorn attended Oshkosh, but opted not to play basketball for the Titans.
32. Grant Flory, 6-5, Wisconsinin Rapids Lincoln
Flory had planned to attend Compass Basketball Academy, a prep school located in New Jersey, but he was not listed on the school's roster during the 2021-22 campaign.
33. Jordan Johnson, 6-1, Elkhorn (Minnesota Moorhead)
Johnson spent the 2021-22 season as a redshirt at NCAA Division II Minnesota Moorhead.
34. Dustin Beauprey, 6-3, Mountain Top Christian (Winona State)
Beauprey scored five points and grabbed three rebounds in six games at NCAA Division II Winona State before leaving school. He recently committed to NCAA Division III Marian University in Fond du Lac.
35. Tanner Resch, 6-0, Sussex Hamilton (UW-La Crosse)
Resch played in nine of 28 contests at NCAA Division III La Crosse. He averaged 1.1 points and 0.4 rebounds for the Eagles.
36. Quinton Murrell, 6-3, Milwaukee King (Grambling State)
Murrell appeared in 15 games at Grambling State and averaged 0.9 ppg and 0.9 rpg.
37. Cael McGee, 6-3, Stoughton (Northern State)
McGee did not play in any games at NCAA Division II Northern State and has entered the transfer portal. He plans to attend NJCAA Division II Des Moines Area Community College in the fall.
38. Carter Lancaster, 6-4, Darlington (Northern State)
Lancaster appeared in 15 games for Northern State and averaged 2.5 ppg and 1.1 rpg. He announced in the spring that he was leaving Northern State and transferring to NCAA Division III UW-Platteville.
39. Mason Dopirak, 6-2, Manitowoc Lincoln (Colorado School of Mines)
Dopirak spent the 2021-22 season as a redshirt at NCAA Division II Colorado School of Mines. He recently announced he was leaving the school and enrolling at Division III MSOE.
40. Jalen Keago, 6-4, Oshkosh North (Speights Academy)
Keago spent the 2021-22 campaign playing for a prep school in Florida and performed very well for Speichts Academy, earning All-State honors for this team and program.
41. Jonah Rindfleisch, 6-8, Wisconsin Lutheran (UW-Oshkosh)
Rindfleisch was one of the better true freshmen in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference last winter. He averaged 4.9 points and 4.8 rebounds while helping Oshkosh to a 23-4 record.
42. Clayton Jenny, 6-1, Edgerton (UW-Platteville)
Jenny played in eight contests as a true freshman for the Pioneers of Platteville.
43. Luke Bara, 6-1, Muskego (Elevation Prep School)
Bara spent the 2021-22 campaign at Elevation Prep School in Florida and recently announced a commitment to NCAA Division II Davenport University in Michigan.
44. Parker Lawrence, 5-11, Hortonville (St. Norbert)
Lawrence started 18 of 22 contests for coach Gary Grzesk at NCAA Division III St. Norbert. He averaged 9.7 points and 2.2 assists for the Green Knights.
45. Quentin Bolton, 6-7, Shoreland Lutheran (TLAP Sports Academy)
Bolton had a strong prep-school year at TLAP Sports Academy in Florida and remains open with his recruitment for the 2022-23 campaign.
46. Dawson Nordgaard, 6-8, West De Pere (Michigan Tech)
Nordgaard spent the 2021-22 season as a redshirt at NCAA Division II Michigan Tech.
47. Carter Capstran, 6-6, Franklin (UW-Whitewater)
Capstran turned in a solid freshman season for NCAA Division III Whitewater. He averaged 8.6 points and 4.0 rebounds while starting 15 of 26 games for the Warhawks.
48. Jevon Boyton, 6-6, Madison East
No information was located on Boyton for the 2021-22 basketball season.
49. Gavin Ralph, 6-4, Wauzeka-Steuben (Minnesota State Mankato)
Ralph spent the 2021-22 season as a redshirt at NCAA Division II Minnesota State Mankato.
50. Alex Singleton, 6-6, Wauwatosa East (Loras)
Singleton turned in a strong rookie campaign for NCAA Division III Loras as he averaged 5.1 ppg and 3.0 rpg.