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Wisconsin high school graduates will once again take center stage in March Madness

03/18/2024, 3:00pm CDT
By Colton Wilson

Around this time every year 68 teams get the news that they are in the NCAA March Madness Tournament and will have at least one more opportunity to compete for a National Championship.

Over 70 former Wisconsin high school standouts suited up at the Division 1 level this year, which means March will be effected by a number of them, twenty-six to be precise. Fourteen of the sixty-eight teams in the field will have representatives from the Badger State, and many of them are playmakers on their teams.

Below we highlight each and every one of the 26 players that will be competing in March Madness.

Click here to read the Women's March Madness preview of Wisconsin high school alumni

East Bracket

3-seed Illinois v 14-seed Morehead State

Marcus Domask, Waupun; senior transfer at Illinois

Domask has been exceptional in his first year at Illinois after transferring from Southern Illinois where he scored over 1,600 points and earned many laurels in the MVC Conference including, Newcomer of the Year, Freshman of the Year and a first team All-MVC. The 2019 Mr. Basketball in Wisconsin has been just as good at Illinois. He was named a First Team All-Big Ten performer by the coaches and second team by the media. Domask averaged 16 points per game on 45/29/88 shooting while also averaging 4.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists. He surpassed 2,000 career collegiate points and was a huge reason why the Fighting Illini won the Big Ten Tournament, coming into March Madness with a 26-8 record.

7-seed Washington State v 10-seed Drake

Andrew Alia, Kenosha St. Joseph; redshirt freshman at Drake

Alia is in his first season playing for the Drake Bulldogs after redshirting last year. Though not in the rotation, he did score his first collegiate points this year. Drake finished 28-6 on the year and was the Missouri Valley Conference tournament champions.

Bennett Fried, La Crosse Central; freshman at Drake

Fried has not appeared in a game this year for Drake and it can be assumed will use a redshirt. While at Central, Fried played in two state tournaments during his junior and senior campaigns, including a Division 2 State runner-up finish his junior season.

2-seed Iowa State v 15-seed South Dakota State

Milan Momcilovic, Pewaukee; freshman at Iowa State

Momcilovic has burst onto the national scene at Iowa State after winning three straight state championships at Pewaukee, scoring over 2,000 career points, and being named Mr. Basketball in the state of Wisconsin last year. Standing at 6'8", Momcilovic has been in the Cyclones starting lineup from the first game of the year. He's averaged 11 points on 43/36/82 shooting and added 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. He was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team and made some clutch shots for a Cylcone team that is one of the best in the country, finishing 27-7 and winning the Big 12 Tournament.

Jackson Paveletzke, Kimberly; transfer sophomore for Iowa State

Paveltzke was the third straight player from Wisconsin to transfer from Wofford to a bigger school in as many years. During his freshman season at Wofford last year, the Kimberly grad averaged over 15 points per game and was named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year while also earning All-Freshman and Third Team honors. His playing time has decreased as the season has progressed, but the Kimberly all-time leading scorer did average 3.4 points, 1.1 rebounds and an assist while playing over 10 minutes per game.

William Whorton, Milwaukee King; freshman at South Dakota State

Whorton did not appear in a game for the Jackrabbits this season, almost certainly meaning he'll use his redshirt option. While at King, Whorton averaged nearly 18 points per game as a senior and was a WBCA Honorable Mention All-State selection.

West Bracket

1-seed North Carolina v 16-seed play in opponent

Seth Trimble, Menomonee Falls; sophomore at North Carolina

Trimble is in his second season at North Carolina and his role has increased as a sophomore. The 2022 Mr. Basketball in Wisconsin played in all 33 games last season for the Tar Heels, but averaged just 9.8 minutes per game. This season, the ACC regular season champs have needed more from Trimble. He's played in every game with one start and averaged 17.3 minutes played. He's increased his scoring to 5.2 points while also averaging 2.2 rebounds per game for one of the top teams in the nation.

South Bracket

5-seed Wisconsin v 12-seed James Madison

Isaac Gard, Oregon; sophomore at Wisconsin

Gard is a walk-on playing for a Wisconsin Badgers team coached by his father Greg. The sophomore guard has appeared in six games this season and just five last year, having attempted just one shot each year. 

Carter Gilmore, Arrowhead; redshirt junior at Wisconsin

Gilmore walked on to Wisconsin out of Arrowhead after being named a WBCA All-State performer his junior and senior season. He was awarded a scholarship after his freshman season as his role has expanded. Gilmore has appeared in all 32 games this season for the Badgers in a reserve forward role. He averages just over a point per game, but is a versatile defender and reliable rebounder.

Luke Haertle, Lake Country Lutheran; redshirt freshman at Wisconsin

Haertle is another walk-on for the Wisconsin Badgers and one who has only seen playing time in 11 games, scoring no points in 11 minutes of play. Before Wisconsin, Haertle scored over 2,200 points at Lake Country and helped win the program's first ever state championship in 2022. He also won a state championship in football and was named the WFCA Small School Offensive Player of the Year in the state.

Max Klesmit, Neenah; redshirt junior at Wisconsin

Klesmit has succeeded at every level he's played basketball at. While at Neenah, he was a three-time all-state selection before going to Wofford for his first two seasons where he scored over 600 points. Last year he transferred to the home state Wisconsin Badgers and immediately made an impact, starting all 68 games since. This year, Klesmit is averaging 9.7 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. He's made some incredibly clutch shots for Wisconsin in times they needed it and has also surpassed 1,000 career points.

Isaac Lindsey, Mineral Point; redshirt junior at Wisconsin

Lindsey scored over 1,400 points at Mineral Point and was a two-time WBCA All-State Selection. This past weekend his brother Eli helped his alma mater to the Pointers first ever state championship while the Badgers were playing in Minneapolis. After transferring from UNLV after his freshman season that was derailed by injury, Lindsey has seen up and down playing time in his three seasons at Wisconsin. He's appeared in 16 games this season and scored a season high eight points in the season opener against Arkansas State.

Kamari McGee, Racine St. Catherine's; junior at Wisconsin

McGee missed about two weeks of play towards the back end of this season and his defense and attitude were severely missed. An All-Horizon Freshman Team honoree at UW-Green Bay in 2022, McGee transferred south after his freshman season to help solidify the Badger backcourt. This season as the primary back up point guard, McGee averages just two points per game, but his presence is felt via his wing defense and energy he has brought the Badgers.

3-seed Kentucky v 14-seed Oakland

Jack Gohlke, Pewaukee; senior transfer at Oakland

Gohlke spent the past few seasons playing basketball at Division 2 Hillsdale where he amassed nearly 800 points and 250 rebounds. He transferred to Oakland for his senior year and made an instant impact. Gohlke started half the games this year for the Golden Grizzlies and averaged 12.2 and 4.1 rebounds per game. His contributions earned him Horizon League Sixth Man of the Year honors and he scored in double figures in both tournament games as Oakland swept the Horizon League regular season and tournament titles.

2-seed Marquette v 15-seed Western Kentucky

Jake Ciardo, Germantown; junior at Marquette

Ciardo, a walk-on with Marquette has yet to log any minutes this season for the highly ranked Marquette team. He did play in five games last year but did not log any stats.

David Joplin, Brookfield Central; junior at Marquette

Joplin has gotten better year after year at Marquette. Last year, he played a big role off the bench for the Golden Eagles to the tune of winning the Big East Sixth Man of the Year award. This year, he's started every game and averaged 10.9 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Joplin will be a critical piece of the puzzle as Marquette looks to make a deep tournament run.

Jack Riley, Catholic Memorial; freshman at Marquette

Riley is in his first season at Marquette and has played just seven minutes in five games; recording just two rebounds.

Don McHenry, Milwaukee Academy of Science; junior transfer at Western Kentucky

McHenry spent his first two collegiate years playing at the JUCO level, first at Hawaii Hilo and then at Indian Hill Community College. At Indian Hill, he averaged over 15 points per game and was named a NJCAA Division First Team All-American. In his first year at Western Kentucky, McHenry has been just as successful. He's averaging 15.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 47% from the field for the Hilltoppers. McHenry was named to the Conference USA First Team All-Conference team and also earned the conference tournament MVP after leading Western Kentucky to a tournament win and automatic bid.

Midwest Bracket

16-seed Grambling State v 16-seed Montana State

Terrence Lewis, Milwaukee Riverside; senior grad at Grambling State

Lewis played for Iowa State right out of high school before transferring to South Alabama and eventually Grambling State in 2021. He has been part of the rotation this season for the Tigers, getting six starts and averaging over 17 minutes played per game. Lewis is averaging 7.9 points and 2.3 rebounds per game for the SWAC conference champions.

Quintin Murrell, Milwaukee King; junior at Grambling State

Murrell, like Lewis is a rotation player for the Tigers this season. He's played in 20 games with two starts, though his playing time has slowly decreased as the year went on. He's averaging 1.6 points and 1.1 rebounds per game.

Payton Parrish, Milwaukee King; junior at Grambling State

Parrish has yet to appear in a game this year for Grambling State. The junior did play in four games last season but only played seven minutes.

6-seed South Carolina v 11-seed Oregon

Austin Herro, Whitnall; freshman at South Carolina

Herro is a true freshman walk-on at South Carolina but has not appeared in any games for the Gamecocks, almost guaranteeing a redshirt designation. Last season at Whitnall, Herro helped guide the Falcons to a state championship game, ultimately falling to Pewaukee. He was a WBCA Honorable Mention All-State selection as a senior.

7-seed Texas v 10-seed Play In

Tyrese Hunter, Racine St. Catherine's; junior at Texas

Hunter teamed with Kamari McGee and led St. Cats to a state championship in 2021. He then went to Iowa State where he was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and to the All-Freshman team. Hunter transferred to Texas last season and is in year 2 with the Longhorns. He's started all 69 games over the past two seasons and is averaging 11.1 points, 4.2 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game for the Longhorns this season, en route to a 20-12 overall record.

10-seed Colorado State v 10-seed Virginia in play-in

Patrick Cartier, Brookfield East; senior graduate at Colorado State

Cartier was one of the top Division 2 players in the country two years ago at Hillsdale, having been named a D2 All-American twice. Last season he transferred to Colorado State and inserted himself into the starting lineup. This year, the senior grad averaged 10.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game for the Rams. He's amassed over 2,300 career points in college and has started over nearly 200 games. Cartier helped Colorado State to a 24-10 record in a tough Mountain West Conference this season.

Leon Bond III, Wauwatosa East; redshirt freshman at Virginia

Bond sat out last year as a true freshman, but has been a bench player this year for the Cavaliers. The 2021 state champ and All-State selection has averaged 4.3 points and three rebounds per game for head coach Tony Bennett (also a Wisconsin high school basketball alum).

Andrew Rohde, Brookfield Central; sophomore at Virginia

Rohde holds the record for points in the Division 1 State Tournament with two games played after his 55-point combined performance in 2022 for Brookfield Central. He then went to St. Thomas (MN) where he was incredible as a freshman. He averaged over 17 points per game and was named the Summit League Freshman of the Year along with being named a First Team and All-Newcomer honoree. He transferred to Virginia and has started in 27 of the 32 games for the Cavaliers. Rohde is averaging 4.4 points, 2.8 assists, and 1.8 rebounds per game for a Virginia squad that won 23 games and finished third in the ACC.

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