Greg Gard has been impressed with Connor Essegian so far. Wisconsin almost missed out on one of their biggest potential playmakers in 2021.

Three-star recruit Connor Essegain didn’t exactly have the best game when Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard was deciding whether or not to extend a scholarship offer during the final July evaluation period in 2021. But, despite a less than impressive showing, Gard offered the SG from Indiana.

The decision seems to have been a good one, as the true freshman is making good impressions in Madison. Speaking to the media, Gard praised Essegian’s play so far.

“He knows how to find the basket,” said Gard. “He’s got a great feel offensively. The kid knows how to score. I can work with guys like that. I saw some things in France in terms of his toughness. You look at him, he maybe doesn’t look the part right now. Skinny kid, but man, he competed. He made some plays over there, it showed some scrappiness and some toughness.”

Gard has also been liking Essegian’s toughness after seeing how he played in the team’s summer trip to France:

“I saw some things in France in terms of his toughness,” said Gard. “You look at him, he maybe doesn’t look the part right now. Skinny kid, but man, he competed. He made some plays over there, it showed some scrappiness and some toughness.”

The Badgers will tip off for the first time this season on Nov. 7 against South Dakota.